27 MAY – 24 JULY 2016
PREMIO LORENZO BONALDI PER L’ARTE – 8TH EDITION
Curated by XIAOYU WENG
Artists:Yin-Ju Chen, Anthony Discenza, Fabien Giraud& Raphaël Siboni, Diana Thater and Tsang Kin-Wah
Opening: 26 May 2016, 7 p.m.
From 27 May to 24 July 2016, GAMeC’s Spazio Zero is hosting the exhibition project Soft Crash for the 8th Premio Lorenzo Bonaldi per l’Arte – EnterPrize.
Xiaoyu Weng, winner of this edition, was chosen by an international panel composed of:
Chiara Bertola – Head of contemporary art at Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice and creator of Premio FURLA
Martin Clark – Director of Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
Giacinto Di Pietrantonio – Director of GAMeC
Stefano Raimondi – Curator of GAMeC
The jury awarded the project with the following statement:
The jury considers all the participants’ projects to be very original, carefully executed and related to the most recent contemporary art researches, and has unanimously decided to award the project that best explained the fundamental aspects of how technology and machinery have been able to influence and change the human being. The curator has been able to choose and select artists and artworks that perfectly fit with and investigate this theme. At the same time, the curator has presented a display that can transform the Spazio Zero of the GAMeC into a very evocative, coherent and unpredictable space.
The jury felt that Xiaoyu Weng’s creative way of approaching the idea of an exhibition was very convincing in the context of a curatorial prize that, from the beginning, aimed to bring the most innovative and original curatorial practices to the city of Bergamo.
The awards ceremony took place on 26 October 2015, at the end of Qui Enter Atlas. International Symposium of Emerging Curators, during which the five candidates of Premio Lorenzo Bonaldi per l’Arte and young curators who completed courses on curatorial practices compared their personal experiences and theoretical and methodological positions.
The Premio Lorenzo Bonaldi per l’Arte Premio Lorenzo Bonaldi per l’Arte –EnterPrize was presented for the first time in 2003 by the GAMeC with the support of the Bonaldi family following the family’s wish to commemorate Lorenzo Bonaldi’s passion for art and collecting. The aim of the prize is to seek talented curators under the age of 30 and mount the winner's proposed exhibition. Its purpose is to draw attention to the importance of the curator in the international art field and to encourage and support the talent of a young curator at an extremely dynamic moment of his or her professional career.
The idea behind this prize was not to create a competitive situation, but to offer an opportunity for professional growth and comparison. This is why, in 2005, the idea arose to accompany the awards ceremony with a biennial convention, Qui Enter Atlas – International Symposium of Emerging Curators.
THE WINNING PROJECT
Curator: Xiaoyu Weng
Selected by Leeza Ahmady, Independent curator and Director of Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)
Artists: Yin-Ju Chen, Anthony Discenza, Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, Diana Thater, Tsang Kin-Wah
The Atrocity Exhibition. Entering the exhibition, Travis sees the atrocities of Vietnam and the Congo mimetized in the “alternate” death of Elizabeth Taylor; he tends the dying film star, eroticizing her punctured bronchus in the overventilated verandas of the London Hilton; he dreams of Max Ernst, superior of the birds; “Europe after the Rain”; the human race – Caliban asleep across a mirror smeared with vomit.
- J. G. Ballard
Entering the exhibition, the viewer sees a mummified butterfly, fixated and pinned to the wall; the act of killing has disguised itself in the name of conservation, transforming the butterfly into an object of study, archiving and display. But death seems to alternate when the butterfly re-emerges and flits about in the monitor screens of Diana Thater’s Untitled (Butterfly Videowall #2). Has it really come back to life or has it just become a partially dead hyper-reality? Is this a different kind of atrocity that we are exhibiting?
When J. G. Ballard had an exhibition of atrocities in mind, he was thinking about car crashes. By dislaying crashed vehicles without commentary, his controversial 1970 exhibition Crashed Cars pungently commented on the complex relationship between man and his technology – a theme Ballard pondered extensively. Soft Crash pays homage to Ballard, his novels The Atrocity Exhibition (1970) and Crash (1973), and his proactive view on human relationships and experiences intervened by technology. Evolving and departing from what Ballard describes as an obsession of machine making, the technological developments of digital and information network, computer simulation and animation, and artificial intelligence have now assumed the role of reorganizing life today. Instead of blunt collisions, these crashes are much softer: technology no longer destroys humans in immediate action (such as car accidents) but becomes viral and contagious, metamorphosing into our very existence.
Featuring four Featuring four artists and artists and artists and a collective, collective, Soft Crash – conceptually and in its layout conceptually and in its layout conceptually and in its layout–examines examines examines the notions of the notions of the notions of the hybridity, mimicry, difference and ambivalence of a technologically mediated reality. It is not an exh technologically mediated reality ibition about technology, but refers to technology in its broadest sense: the knowledge of techniques and processes. Through these notions, the exhibition also expresses a desire to situate cultural discourses (for example, post-colonialism studies) into an inter-species dimension.
Serving as the starting point of the exhibition, Diana Thater's Untitled (Butterfly Videowall #2) (2008) invites reflections on technology’s mediation on life and death, violence and mercy. Two episodes, The Brute Force (2014) and La Mémoire de Masse (2015) from Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni‘s film series The Unmanned are the backbone of the show. The series recounts in reverse a non-human history of technology and requires an account of history as a morphological relationship between humans and their environment. The Brute Force reconstructs the scene soon after Garry Kasparov’s crushing defeat against the IBM Deep Blue computer on 11 May 1997; represented through computer-generated characters, La Mémoire de Masse unfolds during the second Canut revolts in Lyon in 1834, the protests against the implementation of perforated cards in the silk industry. Both events are symbolic in the history of the human struggles with modern computation.
Yin-Ju Chen, Anthony Discenza and Tsang Kin-Wah will each present a multimedia installation with various components, functioning as three small solo presentations. Together, they create an “experience space” that connects singular encounters of the three different positions. As Chen’s As Above, So Below (2013–14) speculates on the fictions of modem epistemological systems and explores alternative means of knowledge production; Discenza’s Trouble Sleeping (2015) observes the everyday absurdity of human and technology interactions; and Tsang’s The Third Seal – They Are Already Old. They Don’t Need To Exist Anymore (2009) investigates religious and philosophical narratives through his highly technologically facilitated artistic language.
While other works are on display during the entire period of the exhibition, Discenza’s project will have a separate life. Each element of the work alternates and evolves in three difference phases to interpret the exhibition narrative, echoing with the ideas of mutation and non-fixation.
Created especially for this exhibition, Tsang’s newly commissioned vinyl window installation Soft Crash (2016) – borrowing from the exhibition’s title – poetically comments on the relationship between fiction and science, human body and technologies.
Xiaoyu Weng is The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She served as the founding director of the Kadist Art Foundation’s Asia Programs, Paris and San Francisco. There, she launched the Kadist Curatorial Collaboration, which organizes exhibitions that stimulate cultural exchange, and she also oversaw artist residencies and the building of the contemporary Asian art collection. In addition to her institutional affiliations, Weng has organized numerous exhibitions and events for international venues such as the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, Witte de With Contemporary Art Center in Rotterdam, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. She is a contributing editor of Leap, a Beijing-based Chinese and English bilingual magazine of contemporary art. As a prolific writer, her writings have appeared in various professional art journals and catalogues of Biennials.
27 MAY–24 JULY 2016
PREMIO LORENZO BONALDI PER L’ARTE –ENTERPRIZE, 8TH EDITION
Curated by XIAOYU WENG
Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. / Thursday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. / Monday closed
Tickets (valid for all the exhibitions on show)
Full: € 6 / Reduced: € 4 / Schools: free