contemporary art / history of art

Arte City 2019 – Poesy from heaven and the underground and in between the two

In the following, there are three main projects on focus. Leandro Erlich fetched some clouds down from the sky and Michele Spanghero invited to a cinematic sound installation in a subterranean historic movie theatre. Eduard Habicher showed the lightweight of steel.


Leandro Erlich: Collection de Nuages

Michele Spanghero: AGAIN ANEW – Before the film

Eduard Habicher. Uni-Verso


Leandro Erlich: Collection de Nuages
Oratorio di San Filippo Neri
Via Manzoni 5, Bologna

28 January – 3 February 2019

Entering the Oratorio di San Filippo Neri in these days, one might think a dream became true. Indeed, Leandro Erlich did not bring the stars from the sky, but at least some clouds: heaven on earth. Finally, we can approach the clouds. They appear to be touchable.

At the same time, these ephemeral objects seem to be captured in big glass boxes, floating quietly like fish in the aquarium, though, they are not moving. Here starts the contradiction. Our daily companions are moving and changing constantly. Leandro Erlich fixed them for us. We can approach them, to find out, that it is only an illusion. The clouds are formed by little white points and printed on twelve glass panels for each case.

Nevertheless, the impression is magical and underlined by the ambiance of the Oratorio, with its baroque décor. Additionally, the cupola – destroyed during the Second World War – is restored with a wooden framework to reveal the damage. Could it just have been opened to let the clouds in? In this illusionistic atmosphere, the oeuvre by Leandro Erlich is in good neighbourhood. It is a very poetic sight.


Michele Spanghero: AGAIN ANEW – Before the film
Cinema Modernissimo
Via Rizzoli 3, Bologna

27 January – 3 February 2019

“AGAIN ANEW – Before the film” by Michele Spanghero is a sound installation in the historic Cinema Modernissimo, opened in 1915. Even though, the movie theatre is still under renovation works to shine in new splendour after an extensive renovation, one can imagine the former impressive appearance.

With his site-specific installation, the artist refers to the past and present, without retelling the story. The movie screen remains white. In front of it, there are seven microphones on stands, which are used as loudspeakers, six of them assembled in a half circle, one in front of them. The sounds are partitioned in three phases, so that it results in a sonic tryptic.

The first part, the repetition of one significant sentence spoken by an important protagonist of Italian cinema is coming from each of the six microphones. There are the original voices of Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Francesco Rosi and Vittorio Taviani, recorded by Gideon Bachmann. His voice spills out of the microphone in the front. To understand exactly what is being said, the visitor has to move from one loudspeaker to the other, otherwise it is only a whisper. This is growing to a murmur like the voices of the audience before a film presentation. For the last part, Michele Spanghero recorded the sound frequencies of the empty hall. Silence can be so loud.



Eduard Habicher: Uni-Verso
Palazzo d’Accursio – Cortile d’Onore
Piazza Maggiore 6, Bologna

26 January – 28 February 2019

Despite its weight, the monumental sculpture “Uni-Verso” by Eduard Habicher appears to be light as a brushstroke on canvas. Formed of steel girders it seems to be a simple wire. This impression is underlined by the poor contact area to the ground and the red colour, which conceals the real materiality. Additionally, there are no closures, so that the sculpture reminds more a framework. The figure is built asymmetric, with gentle curves. Air can circulate easily around the steel girders.

In occasion of the Arte City, Uni-Verso is placed in the courtyard of honour of the Palazzo d’Accursio, today Bologna’s town hall. Historical buildings surround the patio; however, it does not appear to be closed, due to the arcades on the ground floor. The sculpture repeats this openness. On the other hand, the yard is a harbour of tranquillity, in contrast to the city’s central Piazza Maggiore, only few footsteps away. This impression could be underlined, if the visitor enters Eduard Habicher’s construction. One could find shelter in an open ambiance. In consequence, it is a perfect placement. Besides, the artist often colours his external sculptures in red. Nevertheless, this colour suits Bologna very well, which is called by nickname “La Rossa” (The Red), due to the dominance of red brick facades in the city centre and its traditional leftist political attitude. Therefore, Uni-Verso also seems to be a site-specific installation.

It is complemented by a solo exhibition of the artist “Eppur si muove” (And yet it moves) at the Galleria Studio G7, not far from the Palazzo d’Accursio. Self-evident, here are smaller sculptures on view. Eduard Habicher worked once again with steel, but this time he left it without colour and combined it with red, blue and green Murano glass. At this, the heavy metal also appears lightweight, due to the soft shape. In contrast to that, the glass chunks seem to be ridged and weighty, unlike one expects glass to be. The exhibition stays open until the 27th of April 2019.


All about the Arte City 2019

What happened during the Arte City 2019 in Bologna?

Part 1: Arte City 2019: Exclusion, Inclusion, Disturbance

Part 2: Arte City 2019: What the future brings …

Part 3: Arte City 2019: Poesy from heaven and the underground and in between the two