contemporary art / history of art

It’s BOOMing! The first Edition of the Bolognese Contemporary Art Show 2020

BOOMing Contemporary Art Show
DumBo, ex scalo ferroviario del Ravone
Via Casarini 19, Bologna

23 – 26 January 2020


During four days, the first edition of BOOMing took place in the DumBo, the district of a former cargo railway station close to the central station. Artistically directed by Simone Gavoldi, the art fair was produced by Doc Creativity, an Italian association of professionals of culture and creativity. Under the two guidelines “Environment” and “Feminisms”, the organisers invited 31 national and international galleries with around 100 artists. Conceived as complement to the traditional ARTE FIERA, the opening hours were in the afternoon and evening until midnight, so that it was possible to visit the Arte Fiera during the day and afterwards the BOOMing.

The first oeuvre on view, was welcoming the visitors already outside the building: Leandro Summo’s monumental installation “Per farla finita con il giudizio di Dio”, which was designed by the Apulia Center for Art and Technology, in collaboration with KUKA and Ronchini Massimo. It is a huge robot arm, carving a sculpture out of a polystyrene bloc. With this connection of art and high technology, Leandro Summo questions, if the manufacturing artist might be replaced by artificial intelligence in future. In this case, the execution of artistic work would be transformed to write the program for the machine.

Entering the space, the people could visit a symbiosis of both guidelines. In a house with zero environmental footprint by OXIGEN CREATIF and Vibra, three female artists were invited for a micro residence during the event. Giovanna Lacedra, Giulia Lazzaron and Silvia Naddeo presented performances, regarding their current artistic research. At the same time, the works of the three artists were on view. Silvia Naddeo refers rather to the environmental aspect in investigation about food. Whereas Giovanna Lacedra and Giulia Lazzaron question femininity. One is reflecting on internal and external prejudices, the other one attempts to unify her physical self-perception with the female image given by the media under the keyword “body positivity”.

Inside the art fair, the galleries were grouped in two divisions. The main section, focussed on “Environment”. At this, the exhibited artworks revolved not only around the endangered world and around its rescue, but also pointed at the beauty of our planet. However, the section solo show centred on women, which are still underrepresented in the art market. As different as the artists with their personal and creative approach were, so multifarious were the artworks on view. Also for this, it was appropriate of the organisers to choose the plural and not only one feminism as subject.

This diversity was also reflected by the two awarded prizes. Alessandra Baldoni was selected for the Premio Tiziano Campolmi by the public via social media. “Atlas 15”, a diptych, was part of the solo show “All the single Ladies” with single and grouped photos pointing at woman, presented by the Zeit Gallery. In the left image is a young girl, photographed from the back, watching her left palm, which is painted with red colour. The right photo shows a stony landscape with a leafless tree. A red cloth is entangled in it. Both pictures radiate a wait-and-see silence and communicate through the red colour, standing for love, passion, pain or tension. While the girl might try to read in her hand what the future brings, the red cloth waits for the next gust of wind, to be carried away. This expressed uncertainty, might be personal from the girl in transition to adulthood or a general one with regard to our uncertain times.

On the occasion of the 30 years of Doc Creativity, the association offered the Premio Doc Creativity. For the best representative of the two main subjects, the scientific team of BOOMing and the directorates of the art fair and Doc Creativity have chosen Silvia Levenson with her oeuvre “Love” at the Bi-Box Art Space. Working with the classical medium glass, the artist points relatively provocative at domestic violence. In the case of “Love” it is a soft pink hand grenade under a glass dome. There are several references to the subject: the glass dome as shelter like the family, the soft pink for femininity, the fragility of the material for breakability of relations, the weapon for violence, etc. So-called love imperils lives, often for women: one third of murdered women in the world are killed by their husband or partner. Here the promise “Until death do us part” has a bitter aftertaste. This is one of Silvia Levenson’s comments on it and points on women and their environment.

Invited as special guests were Letizia Battaglia and Luca Carboni. At alberto damian | a gallery without walls, the black and white photos by Letizia Battaglia showed portraits of women and children. For the internationally recognised photographer, best known for her work on the Mafia, images of woman are an expression of solidarity, because for many, there are still obstacles to overcome to be happy, since in the chauvinistic society they are often enough considered as property. The deep dreamful eyes of children, remind the artist and photojournalist of herself at the age of ten years, when she realised that the world is not as beautiful as it was.

At the Manuel Zoia Gallery, Elyse Galiano emphatically visualises the by Letizia Battaglia criticised masculine perspective on women. Choosing a typical female technique, she embodies texts from ancient manuals of good manners for women with natural hair. Since antiquity, women’s hair symbolise the feminine beauty. Consequently, there are also hairpieces placed at the wall, so that it looks like a woman’s back of a head. These pieces are carefully executed, like to be expected by a docile woman. In the installation “Conversation”, a coffeepot and a cup are connected by hair, which is braided to a plait. By the porcelain service, it reminds to a bourgeois female coffee-party, though the flow of hair brings the cup to slop over. Moreover, Elyse Galiano depicts women in classical situations, like looking into an oven or covering their pubis. But in contrary to the embroidery of the manuals of good manners, here the hair seems to grow out of the image, like rebelling against the situation. The obedient servility has started to crumble.

Looking like hard diligence work, which requires a lot of patience are the paintings and drawings brought by the Vijion Art Gallery. Attributes that might be assigned to female art. So, not surprisingly, the two artists are women: Mirijam Heiler and Luise von Rohden. However, the very well matching oeuvres are abstract and seem to follow a mathematical order, characteristics that are supposed to be masculine. This gives rise to the question if it is possible to distinguish art by the genre of the author.

If not for their huge size, but by their detailed structuring, the ink drawings by Mad Meg are also a diligence work. In her series “Patriarchs”, presented by Gasparelli Arte, the artist depicts masculine prototypes of men. This might be an analyst, an architect or a soldier. All persons, which have influence on our daily life. By their insect heads, they not only remain anonymous; they have lost all humanity, they are only their carrier, they have to play their role. Hence, they are marionettes, whose threads are pulled by someone else.

Jacopo Di Cera at the bART Gallery, points with his series “Italian Summer” to a time in the year, when in Italy all people are equal or at least seem to be. On holidays, the worker and the banker are alike. In using the perspective from above, the photographer is even outside of this society.

Besides this glance to Italy, the bART Gallery presented “Through the eyes” by Massimo Bietti. He travelled to the antipodes of our planet for example to Siberian Tundra, Ethiopia or India. With his poetic photos resulting of these journeys, he invites the visitor to enter in these distant worlds.

Here some more impressions of other interesting artworks.