contemporary art / history of art

The Day of the Contemporary in Bologna (part 1)

On Saturday 7th October was the 19th Day of the Contemporary (Giornata del Contemporaneo) in Italy. Promoted by the AMACI (Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art), this countrywide yearly event invites not only museums, but also foundations, public institutions, private galleries, artist spaces and studios to show the vitality of contemporary art. We visited several exhibitions in Bologna, which were inaugurated on this special day and others, which started a little bit earlier. However, all the shows are still on view for a certain time. In this first part we’ll talk about:

Studio Cenacchi: Ricard Huerta – Cimitero Pasolini

Adiacenze: plurale – SNITCH

Galleria Stefano Forni: Elisa Grezzani – On my border

Galleria L’Ariete: Jingge Dong – When I looked away

Ricard Huerta – Cimitero Pasolini
Studio Cenacchi

6 October – 10 November 2023

“Cimitero Pasolini” (Graveyard Pasolini) by Ricard Huerta is part of a long-term multi-disciplinary project, which wants to attract the population to the cultural heritage of their city. In Bologna, Huerta has chosen the Cimitero Monumentale della Certosa, where he took photos. These pictures are related to quotes by Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was born in Bologna. In 1945, the Italian poet, writer, filmmaker and actor published the book “Morte di un fanciullo” (Death of a Boy), where the citations are taken from. The artist created aquarelle paintings to embed the words. Additionally, Ricard Huerta invited students and employees of the University of Bologna to send him photos of a graveyard dear to them, with a short description. Printed on paper, these images are also on view in the show.

Visitors at the Studio Cenacchi can admire the beauty of the pictures, tombs and words and/or reflect on death and life. Moreover, the photos and paintings will be accessible on the website of the MOdE (Museo Officina dell’Educazione), a digital museum.

plurale – SNITCH

7 October – 11 November 2023

The collective “plural” dedicates its exhibition “SNITCH” at Adiacenze to the cultural phenomenon of Italian trap. With an analytical approach they explore the trend and show that trap is much more than a musical style. In fact, it is more a form of lifestyle, with the corresponding soundtrack.

For people unfamiliar with trap, the video “Colazione sull’erba sintetica” (Breakfast on the synthetic Grass) could be an introduction since one could listen to the music and at the same time see the comportment of the actors and the accessories. Besides, the film is a wonderful re-interpretation of Édouard Manet’s “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe”.

In the space around are elements, which occurred partly also in the video or have a significance for trap. To decode the objects, there is a kind of dictionary, which explains typical vocabulary and the meaning of components. While reading the text, the observer become aware of the far-reaching issue. The double cup (Lean on me) refers to the common consumption of lean or purple drank, in Sprite dissolved cough syrup with codeine. The long-term effect of this drug is sedative and sleepiness, hence people want to lean on. To underline this effect, the two cups are decorated with the text of the song “Lean on me” by Bill Withers, written in violet brushmarker. Here the colour is an allusion to the colour of the drink.

Recurring is the ski mask, in the video and on photos, which points to the criminal aspects of trap, likewise the belt bag, an accessory to hide illegal drugs or small weapons. Herewith, plurale exemplifies difficulties of this cultural phenomenon and at the same time the current social problems of the generation Z.

To expand the topic, plurale and the curator of the exhibition Alessio Vigni have released a book:

Snitch – Dentro la trap, by Alessio Vigni and plurale at Psicografici Editore

Elisa Grezzani – On my border
Galleria Stefano Forni

7 October – 11 November 2023

Elisa Grezzani exhibition “On my border” at the Galleria Stefano Forni, shows a selection of works from the last years (2020-2023). They are an explosion of colours, underlined by the gleaming surface, a result of the technique: resin and colours. Some have a pastel, almost translucent background, with some vibrant colour strokes in the foreground. Others have darker tones but also attain a spatial effect by contrasting glaring colours in the front. This effect is the result of the artist working process. She mostly works on several paintings simultaneously and superimposes layer after layer.

Working on various images at the same time, might recall artists like Claude Monet, who represented with his series the same object with different light incidences. By the game of colours and the impressionist attitude of composing the painting by colour stains, he created images on the way to abstraction. On the contrary, Elisa Grezzani composes abstract pictures by colour fields and strokes, which sometimes recall realistic elements like nebulous landscapes, stormy skies, or mouths of caves.

In addition to the paintings on the wall, also the floor becomes protagonist by “Circles of Evolving Energies – Flying carpet”. Even though, the carpet remains in the exhibition on the ground and its colours are a little bit muted, it is the continuation of the paintings in another technique: also here different layers seem to be superimposed.

Jingge Dong – When I looked away
L’Ariete Arte Contemporaneo

23 September – 18 November 2023

Also Jingge Dong’s paintings at the gallery L’Ariete have an abstract appearance. Though the artist takes his inspiration from real sceneries, which he sketches and develops. Frequently, they are almost central compositions, where colour fields meet in the middle of the image surface. They are enriched by single elements, which recall something familiar, an animal, a human being and often plants.

The Chinese artist, living in Italy since several years, confronts and merges the figurative languages of the East and the West in pastel and muted colours. Resulting are delicate and tender pictures, with a poetic charm and a flowery radiation.