contemporary art / history of art

The SetUp is still there, but in a new guise

Sono ancora qua. SetUp to be continued
Piazza XX Settembre 6, Bologna

24 – 26 January 2020

Last autumn Alice Zannoni, co-founder of the SetUp Contemporary Art Fair, announced that there would be no event with this name in 2020. Born in 2013, the alternative trade show for emerging artists and galleries was situated in the abandoned administrative spaces of the Autostazione di Bologna (coach station of Bologna). Arranged as supplement to the traditional ARTE FIERA, the SetUp wanted artists at the beginning of their career to get in touch with the art market. At the same time, innovative galleries, often with a small financial background, should get the possibility to find an audience. Herewith a new generation of collectors should be addressed. Rapidly the fair became a place of encounter for creatives, gallerists, curators, art critics and collectors. This success attracted more and more exhibitors, to expose their artists in the labyrinth of this exceptional location. The first edition started with 23 galleries to increase in 2017 to 60, thereof a quarter of foreign participations.

Various circumstances led to leave the traditional location and to transfer the SetUp. It moved to the historic Palazzo Pallavicino constructed in the 15th century. In contrast to the Autostazione built in 1967, the new space was from its beginning dedicated to art. However, the number of exhibitors needed to be reduced. This caused financial problems, so that after two editions in the Palazzo, the future of the contemporary art fair was uncertain. In consequence, Alice Zannoni, meanwhile sole director of the SetUp srl, was urged to cancel the next show.

Approaching January 2020, more and more admirers asked Alice Zannoni, not to abandon the SetUp. Touched by this encouragement and inspired by an artist friend, who offered one of his works to her, she spontaneously decided to organise a benefit exhibition. For revitalising the art fair, she contacted several artists attached to the SetUp to donate one of their oeuvres. No one hesitated a single instant. Within two weeks, she had 30 confirmations as base for an exhibition and sale. Many others should follow after the press conference of 17 January, so that the show could present 70 artworks, offered by 47 donators.

Additionally, David Pierinelli, the president of the Autostazione, welcomed the initiative. As historic partner of the SetUp he knows about the important combination of culture and his location. Here millions of travellers from all corners of the world pass by. In consequence, he ensures that, after its restructuring, 500 square meters of the location will be dedicated to art and culture.

All the efforts have borne fruits: besides the around 2000 visitors in three days, many people comforted Alice Zannoni. Moreover, the sale was so successful that it is a considerable contribution to the renewal of the SetUP Contemporary Art Fair. And the sale is still ongoing. A virtual tour produced by boraARTE is online, to visit or revisit the exhibition.

The message is clear: the SetUp Contemporary Art Fair has to be continued! In consequence, the next edition will take place during the Bolognese ART WEEK in 2021. Once again, the Autostazione will accommodate the show. Already announced is the guiding theme: “DISOBBEDIENZA come atto creativo” (Disobedience as creative act).


Sono ancora qua. SetUp to be continued, participating artists:

Alessandra Aldrovandi (private collection), Arteserse+Versus, Paolo Balboni, Luca Bellandi, Nicola Bertellotti (courtesy Sensi Arte), Fabrizio Berti, Marco Biscardi, Luca Caccioni (private collection), Stefano Calligaro (private collection), Leonardo Canella (private collection), Davide Cascio (private collection), Giulio Cassanelli, Daniela Ciamarra (private collection), Giuseppe Ciracì, Federica Cogo, Pirro Cuniberti (private collection), Ousmane Ndiaye Dago (private collection), Stefano Della Porta (courtesy Galleria Astuni), Simone Del Pizzol, Flavio Favelli (private collection), Giovanni Gaggia, Stefano Gentile, Fosco Grisendi, Kati Heck (private collection), Debora Hirsch (private collection), Alessandro La Motta, Malachi Farrell (courtesy Raffaella De Chirico Arte Contemporanea), Andrea Mariconti (courtesy Federico Rui Arte Contemporanea), Simone Marini, Vincenzo Marsiglia, Elisa Mearelli, Nino Migliori, Luca Moscariello, Elisa Muliere, Gino Sabatini Odoardi, Stefano W Pasquini, Simone Pellegrini, Gigi Piana, Jasmine Pignatelli, Concetto Pozzati (private collection), Lorenzo Puglisi, Laura Pugno (private collection), Roberto Rizzoli (private collection), Stefano Ronci, Pier Luigi Saporetti, Zino, Emiliano Zucchini