Exhibition Title : Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern
Exhibition Period : Thursday, May 8th – Saturday, August 9th, 2014
In May 2014, SongEun Art Space will present its third special annual project, titled Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern featuring promising Italian young artists who are showing for the first time in Korea.
The exhibition We Have Never Been Modern aims at questioning the disappearance of guarantees and foundations for the future. We are left with the gaping ideological void of a modernity that has failed, or indeed perhaps never existed, and the impression of having been divided, segmented and trained. Rethinking the mechanisms of construction of the work of art, this exhibition tries to question where we can situate the artistic production of today and of Italy in particular and what the answer is.
The works of twenty-two Italian artists of the younger generations featured in the exhibition are indicative of the way in which Italy’s artistic life has addressed facts and values over the last few decades, calling into question the power that determined them and the discourse that transmitted them.
Uninventing modernity – Francesco Arena, Elisabetta Benassi, Rossella Biscotti, Valerio Rocco Orlando, Alberto Tadiello consider the phenomenon of hybridization which has given rise – in the last two decades – to a multifaceted and heterogeneous artistic process that draws equally from the past and the present, for both contents and means of expression.
Plurality of worlds – Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Piero Golia, Giulia Piscitelli, Paola Pivi, Luca Trevisani belong to the era of globalization and diaspora, where it is not important to belong to a territorial geography, but rather to be tuned to a conceptual nomadism that can reflect, on every occasion, our existential and creative processes.
Parallel cosmograms – Meris Angioletti, Tomaso De Luca, Chiara Fumai, Nico Vascellari go to the heart of the principles that define the most essential truths and the quality of the present time.
Policies of nature – Ettore Favini, Margherita Moscardini, Adrian Paci, Moira Ricci are aware of the disappearance of movements and currents; perhaps such orphanage is why artists often cultivate the cult of memory and use expressive forms.
Thinking about the present – Francesca Grilli, Adelita Husni-Bey, Marinella Senatore, Diego Tonus’s videos are more like containers of time that is eternally present.
The exhibition takes its title from an essay by Bruno Latour in which the French anthropologist of science reflects on the idea of modernity seen as progress advancing rationally and evenly throughout all corners of the earth. At the core of his critical thinking are the paramount issues concerning those Western societies who have imposed their own modern mind-sets on individual local cultures. What does it mean, today, to be modern? Being modern no longer means riding on that time arrow that drew a clear line between the past and the future. On the contrary, more and more art evades the modernist requirement and aspires to a timeless condition while, at the same time, addressing present-related issues or engaging with the more recent history and localized situations that then become the starting point for a range of subjective but nonetheless universal explorations. These are the questions at the core of the project. The twenty-two Italian artists selected for the show were born in the years from 1965 to the mid ’80s and are grouped according to a sensibility that is shared across the generations and to lines of research that appear in the various artistic paths. The aim is that of showing, although not exhaustively, the aesthetic and expressive changes experimented by the latest generation of Italian artists. What emerges is an artistic production in line with other contexts such as: architecture, media, literature, philosophy, anthropology, social sciences and with areas adjoining the field of the visual arts.
The exhibition will be part of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul program to promote Italian contemporary art.
‘We Have Never Been Modern’ is a process of analysis and mapping of the Italian art scene through five separate sections, each one addressing an aspect of the artistic take on a certain idea of modernity.
Guest Curators Angelo Gioè and Maria Rosa Sossai
Angelo Gioè is Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul. He serves for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and previously has been posted to Cairo, Tel Aviv and Sydney as Cultural Attaché. During his last year in Rome (2012) he was Head of Section of the “Farnesina Art Collection”.
He received his M.A. in Classic Philology (main subjects: Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit Aesthetics and Art) from La Sapienza University in Rome; his post Lauream Specialization in Greek Paleography from The Vatican Library (BAV- 2 years); his second M.A as Curator for Contemporary Art and Architecture from La Sapienza University in Rome; and his PhD in Ancient Greek Language from La Sorbonne University in Paris.
He was Professor of Latin and Ancient Greek at the Liceo Martino Filetico in Ferentino (Italy) and held the chair of Ancient Greek Language and Literature, and Grammar and Linguistics at the Matela Bela University in Slovakia. He organized several exhibitions internationally. The most recent, Sounds and Visions, was held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2009. He continues to write articles in the areas of philology, literature, translation studies, and art.
Maria Rosa Sossai is a curator and researcher in the field of artistic practices and educational policies. She lives in Rome, Italy. In December 2013 she was appointed artistic director of AlbumArte, space | projects for contemporary art, Rome. She is also one of the founders of ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti, an independent platform for education and contemporary art that conceives the artistic practice as a process of shared knowledge; As an independent curator she worked on projects and exhibitions for commercial galleries, art foundations and museums both in Italy and abroad; among them MAN Museum in Nuoro, Real Academia de España, the American Academy, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, AlbumArte and Nomas Foundation in Rome, Institute of Italian Culture in Istanbul, the Tel Aviv Museum.
She is a contributor to Flash Art, Arte e Critica, Artribune and Shifter; and her publications include Arte video, Storie e culture del video d’artista in Italia (Video Art, History and Culture of Video Art in Italy), 2002, and Film d’artista, Percorsi e confronti tra arte e cinema (Artists’ Films, Writings on Art and Cinema), 2009, both published by Silvana Editoriale, Milan.