With a rich interdisciplinary program, developed both within and beyond the Gallery space, and with a series of new or renewed collaborations, in 2023 Bergamo’s GAMeC will return to explore some fundamental themes of our time—the preservation of memories, the dematerialization of processes, the decolonization of narratives, and the ecological turn—through the languages of painting, sculpture, experimental cinema, design, and performance.
In the year of Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture, the museum program will open in February with Salto nel vuoto. Arte al di là della materia (“A Leap into the Void. Art Beyond Matter”): the third and final chapter of the Trilogia della Materia (“Trilogy of Matter”) project, revolving around the theme of dematerialization. This will be followed in the summer by the first solo exhibition in an Italian museum by the Swiss-Argentinian artist Vivian Suter, the site-specific intervention for Palazzo della Ragione by the British artist Rachel Whiteread, and a new episode of the cycle La Collezione Impermanente.
In the fall, while the rooms of the museum will be occupied by the Italian performer Chiara Bersani, projects by the Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno dedicated to Giovanni Francia—in collaboration with Fondazione Meru-Medolago Ruggeri for Biomedical Research—and by Lebanese artist and filmmaker Ali Cherri, in collaboration with the Fondazione In Between Art Film, will be presented.
Completing the 2023 program, accompanied by educational activities and workshops for all audiences, are the urban installations by Objects of Common Interest and Salottobuono for Piazza della Libertà and Kilometro Rosso Innovation District respectively, arising from the synergy between the Municipality of Bergamo, Confindustria Bergamo and GAMeC, and the collaboration with the Donizetti Opera festival (organized by the Fondazione Teatro Donizetti) for the new production of Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Il diluvio universale (“The Great Flood”), entrusted to the Italian artist duo MASBEDO.
SALTO NEL VUOTO – ARTE AL DI LÀ DELLA MATERIA
A LEAP INTO THE VOID – ART BEYOND MATTER
February 3 – May 28, 2023
The third and final exhibition in the Trilogia della Materia cycle, Salto nel vuoto will explore the theme of the dematerialization, with a transversal tale that triggers a connection between those investigations into the void, initiated by the first movements of the historical avant-garde and developed by experimental groups post-World War II, the investigations into flux undertaken in the years of early computerization, and the use of new languages and simulated realities in the post-digital era.
The exhibition, curated by Lorenzo Giusti and Domenico Quaranta, is divided into three thematic sections that frame the various ways of focusing on, representing and expressing the principles of dematerialization. The first will be dedicated to the representation of the Vuoto (“Void”) as an immaterial space, and will host a series of works by artists who, at different times and especially through painting, have worked on the principles of extreme reduction, minimum contrast and the imperceptible, recounting the void as an imaginative, ideal, or conceptual dimension. The Flusso (“Flux”) section will present a selection of works from various periods, stretching from the avant-garde to the present day, bearing witness to the radical impact of computerization and digital networks on the perception of material reality. Finally, the Simulazione (“Simulation”) section will focus on the junction between the real and the virtual, along a path showcasing both pioneering and recent works; it will bring works into dialogue that critically investigate the impact of simulations on our perception of concrete reality together with others that, through the medium of painting, broaden our perception by creating powerful visual illusions.
On show are works by some of the great protagonists of 20th-century art, as well as pioneers of digital art, together with artists from more recent generations:
Carla Accardi, Josef Albers, Rebecca Allen, Cory Arcangel, Arte Programmata 1962, Gazira Babeli, Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Maurizio Bolognini, Agostino Bonalumi, Regina Cassolo Bracchi, Enrico Castellani, Paolo Cirio, Petra Cortright, Dadamaino, Jean Degottex, Aleksandra Domanović, Constant Dullaart, Richard Estes, Fluxus, John Gerrard, Elisa Giardina Papa, Duane Hanson, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Channa Horwitz, Ryoji Ikeda, Ann Veronica Janssens, JODI, John F. Simon Jr., Vladan Joler, František Kupka, Agnieszka Kurant, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, Mark Lombardi, Francesco Lo Savio, Scott Lyall, René Magritte, Fabio Mauri, Agnes Martin, Eva e Franco Mattes, Aiko Miyawaki, Vera Molnár, MSHR, Katja Novitskova, Roman Opałka, Trevor Paglen, Pablo Picasso, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Andrés Ramírez Gaviria, Casey Reas, Rachel Rossin, Manuel Rossner, Evan Roth, Robert Ryman, Antoine Schmitt, Lillian Schwartz, Jeffrey Shaw, Timur Si-Qin, Hito Steyerl, James Turrell, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Addie Wagenknecht, Ai Weiwei.
…AND THE ANIMALS WERE SOLD
June 23 – October 29, 2023
One of the most celebrated English artists of her generation, Rachel Whiteread (Ilford, 1963) reflects on the memory of places, investigating the relationship between empty and full, between past and present, creating sculptures akin to architecture that can reach very large dimensions. Her work gives shape to invisible space through molding technique, carried out using a variety of materials, such as concrete, rubber, resin, and bronze.
For the exhibition at Palazzo della Ragione, curated by Sara Fumagalli and Lorenzo Giusti, the artist will create a group of new works inspired by the architectural context, thus creating a new bond between past and present, between material history and the modern-day culture of form.
The intervention involves the production of thirty new works, for the creation of which the artist will exploit local stones, ones also found in the buildings of Piazza Vecchia: gray and pink orobic guilloche from Val Brembana, white Botticino marble from the quarry of the same name in the province of Brescia, and Sarnico stone, from the Sarnico quarry in the province of Bergamo. The forms created correspond to the empty space inside the legs of some of the chairs; a choice that—citing A Cast of the Space Under my Chair, the project created by Bruce Nauman in 1965—explores the themes of the void and absence, leading thought back to the architectural pre-existence of the square and, in this way, to its millennial history.
June 23 – September 24, 2023
The works of Vivian Suter (Buenos Aires, 1949) tell of the intimate bond that keeps them linked to the vital forces of the environment from which they originate. After moving to Guatemala at the age of thirty-five, since 2005, when most of her works were submerged during the passage of Hurricane Stan, the artist has further opened her research to the infinite possibilities of chance, accepting metamorphosis as an essential element of art and painting.
The exhibition, curated by Lorenzo Giusti, the first ever by the artist staged in an Italian museum, will bring together almost 200 of Vivian Suter’s canvases, created over various phases of her career. With Vivian Suter. A Stone in the Lake (April 28–June 18, 2023) the Vienna Secession will present a corresponding solo exhibition programmed by the board of the Secession and curated by Jeanette Pacher. A monographic publication focusing on the creative domestic dimension of the artist will be co-published by GAMeC and Secession.
LA COLLEZIONE IMPERMANENTE #4
June 23 – September 24, 2023
The Impermanent Collection is a research, exhibition and workshop platform that since 2018 has highlighted the hybrid nature of the GAMeC Collection, reflecting on its dynamic and at times contradictory character. In the light of the first chapter of the series—which told the story of the museum’s own Collections—and the second—which put the Collection in dialogue with a nucleus of works confiscated in Lombardy and destined for the Gallery—the third exhibition of the cycle was conceived as an active display to coincide with the celebrations dedicated to marking GAMeC’s 30th anniversary, and presented the public with a rich selection of works from the museum’s heritage created by artists of various generations, from the 1990s right up to the present day.
In 2023, La Collezione Impermanente #4, curated by Sara Fumagalli, Valentina Gervasoni and A. Fabrizia Previtali, will feature a series of works belonging to the heritage of the Municipality of Bergamo, including both historical and contemporary works, according to criteria arising from the suggestions, preferences and indications of the public gathered over the course of 2022, according to a principle of sharing the planning of museum itineraries.
July – December 2023
Deserters is a live installation by Chiara Bersani (San Rocco al Porto, 1984), with which GAMeC won the 11th edition of the Italian Council: the program aimed at supporting Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity within the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Deserters stages a joining of bodies; it consists of a performance work for three actors with motor disabilities and a large sculptural environment in which the bodies act and interact, leaving signs of their passage. The work gets to grips with the themes of vulnerability and dependence, interweaving the languages of the visual and performing arts; it accompanies the audience on an engaging journey that undermines the stereotypes linked to the intimate, identitary and sexual sphere that frequently affect people with disabilities.
Through this work, Chiara Bersani not only explores new practices of inclusion that take plural prerogatives into account, but she also investigates the broader concept of accessibility, from an aesthetic perspective rooted in proximity and relationships. The work will be produced over the period of the artist’s residency in Bergamo, which will conclude with a series of event days, during which the public will be invited to attend the final rehearsals of the performance in preparation for its debut at the Kunsthaus Baselland in Muttenz/Basel, which will host Bersani’s first solo exhibition in a European institution in the autumn, curated by Lorenzo Giusti and Ines Goldbach.
The promotion of the project also includes a talk and a workshop, respectively at the Galerie Stadtpark in Krems and the Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan. At the end of the project, the performance score and the sculptural environment will become part of the GAMeC Collections.
TOMÁS SARACENO + GIOVANNI FRANCIA
October 8, 2023 – January 14, 2024
In the autumn, a special project by the Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno (San Miguel de Tucumán, 1973) will be presented at GAMeC on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Fondazione Meru – Medolago Ruggeri Foundation for Biomedical Research, producer of the work in collaboration with GAMeC and BergamoScienza.
The exhibition, curated by Anna Daneri and Carlo Antonelli, will shape the dialogue between the artist and the physicist and mathematician Giovanni Francia, a pioneer in the studies and applications of solar energy who designed the solar station in Sant’Ilario, Genoa in 1965: the world’s first solar-powered thermoelectric power plant.
The immersive nature of the exhibition path will include Saraceno’s works from the A Thermodynamic Imaginary series, as well as objects from the Fondo Giovanni Francia of the Fondazione Micheletti in Brescia, which reference the Sant’Ilario solar station and the visionary, modular-propagating, solar urban planning project of the same name developed by Francia in 1970 together with architects Bruna Moresco and Karim Amirfeiz.
In this context, a film—made for the occasion and produced by the Fondazione Meru—documenting the performative project Aerocene: Libérer l’air will be premiered.
October 8, 2023 – January 14, 2024
On the occasion of his first solo exhibition in an Italian institution, curated by Alessandro Rabottini and Leonardo Bigazzi, the artist and director Ali Cherri (Beirut, 1976) will present a preview of a new video installation commissioned and produced by the Fondazione In Between Art Film.
Through film, sculpture, drawing, and performance, Cherri constructs metaphorical narratives that explore the convergence of history, archaeological finds and cultural heritage, highlighting their material manifestations and ideological implications. The work of Ali Cherri—who received the Silver Lion at the 2022 Venice Art Biennale—is a lyrical as well as a critical examination of the processes of national identity construction, with a particular focus on the survival and metamorphosis of original mythologies in the current context of global tensions.
The exhibition is the first project launched by Unison: a biennial initiative promoted by Fondazione In Between Art Film to support the production of newly commissioned video installations in collaboration with international institutions.
OBJECTS OF COMMON INTEREST / SALOTTOBUONO
January – December 2023
On the occasion of Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023, GAMeC is supporting the Municipality of Bergamo and Confindustria Bergamo in the creation of two urban installations that will be situated in Piazza della Libertà and the square in front of the new Confindustria Bergamo headquarters at Kilometro Rosso. The projects, supported by Confindustria Bergamo, testify to the desire to support the Bergamo community through the creation of inclusive, sustainable and harmoniously integrated meeting and social spaces within the urban context, linked to the values of innovation and industriousness, and conceived to create an ideal bridge between the city center and the outskirts, between the historical and representative core and the current hub of innovation and industry.
The Lights On project by Greek designers Objects of Common Interest (Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis) will dress up Piazza della Libertà with a temporary intervention geared toward interpreting the theme of the capital of culture: The Illuminated City. Pioppeto by the architectural firm Salottobuono, founded by Matteo Ghidoni, will transform the entrance space to the Confindustria Bergamo headquarters within the Kilometro Rosso Innovation District, with a square dedicated to the concept of the Industrious Nature.
The Piazza Libertà installation will be inaugurated in early 2023 to coincide with the opening of the celebrations for Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture; the installation in the square at Kilometro Rosso, on the other hand, is scheduled for spring 2023.
IL DILUVIO UNIVERSALE
Opera by Gaetano Donizetti for the Donizetti Opera Festival
Teatro Donizetti, November – December 2023
The opera project directed and staged by the artists of MASBEDO (Nicolò Massazza and Iacopo Bedogni) of Gaetano Donizetti’s Great Flood embraces the original musical conception of the Bergamasque composer as a form of sacred oratory, transforming it into a secular prayer—transversal and inclusive in the cultural references and narrative archetypes it stages—through an installational dimension of strong visual impact and of an immersive nature.
The display exploits the synesthesia of the theatrical medium to create an emotional bond with the audience and bring pressing contemporary issues to its attention, such as ecological sustainability, our inability to see into the future and obsession with the present, as well as social inclusion. Il diluvio universale thus becomes a mirror in which to highlight various interconnections between past, present, and future.