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. 

Featuring four 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.