The Venice Biennale captures the impact of the creative process and the energy that emerges from an artist's realization of a vision or world.
Daniel Birnbaum's Fare Mondi/Making Worlds, the event's central international exhibition, is an homage to creativity and to the wealth of images and ideas that invades every aspect of our lives, changing our perspectives by suggesting or even merely hinting at new ways to see the world.
At the Biennale, which will certainly be bursting with creative themes and ideas, UniCredit Group and the MAMbo have reaffirmed their shared commitment to promoting Italian artists through the joint initiative, Focus on Contemporary Italian Art. Unveiled in 2007, this multi-year project calls for the acquisition or coproduction of artworks for major international events, after which the resulting pieces are placed on long-term loan at the MAMbo for public display.
Through this partnership, which has proven itself as a highly innovative form of collaboration between a business and a cultural institution, UniCredit Group effectively supports the expansion of the museum's collection of "young art." Artists whose work has become part of the collection include Luca Pancrazzi, Loris Cecchini, Alessandra Tesi (whose work was previously exhibited at the biennials of Moscow, Shanghai and Valencia), Elisa Sighicelli, Lara Favaretto, Luisa Lambri, Eva Marisaldi, Patrick Tuttofuoco and Sissi.
This year's project, conceived and executed by Massimo Bartolini, was commissioned as part of the transformation of the former Italian Pavilion into a modern center through which the Biennale, for the first time, will be able to offer year-round services and activities to the public.
In tandem with the reopening of the ASAC library (the Venice Biennale's Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts), the new Palazzo delle Esposizioni will have ample space to accommodate visitors, including areas for educational activities, a bookshop and a restaurant and bar. Biennale Director Daniel Birnbaum commissioned three of the artists featured at the Biennale - Rirkrit Tiravanija, Tobias Rehberger and Massimo Bartolini - to design and furnish these interior spaces.
Sala F is a space designed to serve a variety of functions, ranging from its primary role as an educational space to that of a meeting room, an auditorium and a cinema. It was designed by Bartolini as a "shared place," in which three large tables can be arranged according to need, around which visitors can sit and interact comfortably. The space can also be transformed into theatre stalls, from which an audience can enjoy a show, or into a stage, upon which events and spectacles can be presented for public viewing.
Two glass doors separate Sala F from the adjoining rooms, serving to bring focus to the space. The brightness of the room is carefully controlled through the placement of iridescent plexiglas panels that can be used to screen or shade the skylights. The intimacy and coziness of the space, as intended by the artist, helps foster personal interactions.
Sala F will remain at the Venice Biennale's Palazzo delle Esposizioni for the next 10 years, after which it will enter MAMbo's permanent collection. This project accomplishes key goals of the "Focus on Contemporary Italian Art" initiative, as conceived and carried forward by UniCredit Group and the MAMbo: to support artistic research, creativity and thought, as well as education and teaching in the context of a lifelong process of learning. To share ideas, encourage dialogue, stimulate reflection - these are the elements that have always lain at the core of UniCredit Group's approach to art and which, in Bartolini's work, have found an apt and powerful expression.
The gardens of the Querini Stampalia Foundation will feature work by Alberto Tadiello (born 1983), winner of the 2009 Furla Prize, the award created by Chiara Bertola and promoted by the Furla Foundation, the Querini Stampalia Foundation, the MAMbo and UniCredit Group in cooperation with Viafarini and Arte Fiera.
The Furla Prize, which incorporates the perspectives of both artist and institution, achieves constant thematic renewal by taking as its starting point a critical topic that is especially relevant to the Italian art world. By applying a critical examination of contemporary art to the interaction between a young Italian curator and an internationally-recognized guest curator, the prize succeeds in its objective of supporting creativity at the design and planning stages of an exhibition. It results in the creation of new artworks to be enjoyed by the public within the setting of a museum collection. The impact of the work in question is further enhanced by its association with a prestigious event like the 53rd International Art Exhibition in Venice.
Tadiello's piece is, in effect, a product of the system or, still more accurately, the result of how the system can work on a grand scale. And it is no coincidence that the final stage in such a process would take place in the preeminent venue of the Biennale - a prestigious international event marked by the presence of art experts and art lovers from around the world - at which this young Italian artist is thus provided with the invaluable opportunities associated with high visibility. This process demonstrates that real support for the creative process always incorporates a dialogue among a range of key players, who channel their diverse energies toward achieving significant results. This collaborative dynamic has always been at the center of UniCredit Group's philosophy and serves as the basis for its involvement in all of the artistic projects it has supported throughout the years.
(Picture : Massimo Bartolini "Sala F", 2009 detail of his intervention at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, Venice)
MAMbo, Museum of Modern Art in Bologna www.mambo-bologna.org/