contemporary art / history of art

Dear you – How to make an art exhibition in pandemic times?

MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna
March – May 2021

In these pandemic times, cultural enjoyment is difficult if not impossible. Creatives all around the world are struggling since one year to stay connected to the public. Due to the circumstances, most of the initiatives are in the virtual space. Now the MAMbo makes a particular proposal to appreciate artworks physically again.

Previously, the museum offered the “2 minuti di MAMbo” (2 minutes from MAMbo) with short videos about the permanent collection, starting with the first closure in February 2020. Soon the team decided to dedicate its huge exhibition hall for temporary exhibitions to the contemporary art production and artist support by inventing the “Nuovo Forno del Pane” (New Bakery). Besides regular postings about the project development on social media, there was the weekly radio emission “Breaking Bread”. The Educational Department offered stories inspired by artworks of the collection via telephone and packages for children at home.

Despite all these and more initiatives, the team wanted to organise a new exhibition where the public could finally appreciate artworks in the real and not virtually. But how is exhibition making possible in these uncertain times? How to invite international artists to create artworks for a predefined context without travelling? How to transport oeuvres from abroad? How to set up a show, without knowing if or when the public could visit it? The MAMbo decided to bring the artworks to the people at home!

For this purpose, the curator Caterina Molteni has chosen six artists whose practice is strongly connected with poetry, writing and performance. There should be a reflexion on the current social distancing, its impacts on the emotional life and a research for new contact strategies beyond the virtual space. Besides the view on the negative aspects of the isolation, there also might be positive facets pointed, for example if the solitude is a personal choice.

The exhibitions title “Dear you” deliberately reminds to the beginning of love letters, to underline the intimate character of receiving a personal message. In doing so, the label refers to the form of the show: the artworks will come by the postal service to the public. For many this might be a special experience and for the younger ones an exceptional one, because receiving physical post besides ordered articles is a little bit outdated in our digital world. Moreover, it will not be only one single letter. Everyone who registers on the museums website between the 19th of February and the 14th of March 2021 will get in two-week intervals six letters, starting mid-March. The “entrance fee” for the show is 20 € and includes a physical admission to the museum’s collection, which is valid during the whole year 2021.

Even in case you could not come personally to Bologna later in the year, you will have your own little collection of multiples at home, forever! Moreover, the participation in the project is not limited to the city of Bologna, neither to Italy! No matter where you are, you can sign up, receive your letters from the MAMbo and appreciate artworks physically.

Also the oeuvres are from different countries. Internationally renowned artists contribute poems, short stories, posters and scores for performative acts. They are Hamja Ahsan (London, 1981), Giulia Crispiani (Ancona, 1986), Dora García (Valladolid, 1965), Allison Grimaldi Donahue (Middletown, 1984), David Horvitz (Los Angeles, 1982) and Ingo Niermann (Biefeled, 1969). Mattia Pajè (Melzo, 1991) curates the visual identity of the project.


Now, do not hesitate and register here: