16th Art Quadriennale

Altri tempi, altri miti

Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

13 October 2016 ‒ 8 January 2017



The Art Quadriennale is the only institutional exhibition devoted to contemporary Italian art. After eight years it is back at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome with the title Altri tempi, altri miti [Other times, other myths].

This year’s exhibition aims to map out contemporary visual arts in Italy and is promoted and organized by the Fondazione La Quadriennale di Roma and the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo. It will feature ten exhibition sections developed by eleven curators and ninety-nine artists, with one hundred and fifty artworks produced especially for the event or of recent production.

It enjoys the support of the Minister for Cultural Assets and Activities, Dario Franceschini, and has been renewed by the Chairman of the Fondazione La Quadriennale di Roma, Franco Bernabè. For the first time this year the curators were selected by an external interdisciplinary panel on the basis of a call for projects: Simone Ciglia and Luigia Lonardelli, Michele D’Aurizio, Luigi Fassi, Simone Frangi, Luca Lo Pinto, Matteo Lucchetti, Marta Papini, Cristiana Perrella, Domenico Quaranta, Denis Viva. Although they all have different educational and professional backgrounds, they have all influenced the contemporary cultural debate in some way. A programme of fringe events arranged by museums, foundations and private galleries around the capital will unfold alongside the Art Quadriennale.

The title draws inspiration from the collection Un weekend postmoderno. Cronache dagli anni Ottanta by the writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli (1955‒91), deemed to be a cult work, which offers a fragmented narrative of Italy through a dizzying sarabande of journeys around the peninsula. Similarly, the 16th Quadriennale is conceived as a changing map of artistic and cultural production in contemporary Italy and is divided into ten exhibition sections, each entrusted to a different curator (or two curators in one case) and each exploring a specific theme, method, approach or genealogy that connotes the art projects.

In I would prefer not to/Preferirei di no, Simone Ciglia and Luigia Lonardelli present a selection of artists who illustrate a widespread approach to art today, which can be traced back to a withdrawal and a resistance to codes of  identification.

With Ehi, voi!, Michele D’Aurizio presents portrait art as a language that can be used to explore the most recent events in our art because of its ability to convey a combination of the individual and social sphere.

Luigi Fassi presents La democrazia in America, inviting us to examine certain aspects of contemporary Italian history by re-reading the thoughts of Tocqueville. In Orestiade italiana

Simone Frangi turns his eye to the cultural, political and economic aspects of Italy, with an analogical and choral rewriting of certain parts of a film by Pasolini.

Luca Lo Pinto probes the subjects of time, identity and memory in A occhi chiusi, gli occhi sono straordinariamente aperti interpreting them in constant metamorphosis within the relationship between the individual and society. In De Rerum  Rurale

Matteo Lucchetti focuses on rurality as a real and speculative space in which to describe and reimagine the system of relationships between the natural and man-made environment, even in its historic depth.

Marta Papini proposes an installation in progress in Lo stato delle cose  in which the rotation of highly diverse artists establishes a dialectic space between the individual studies and between them and the public.

In La seconda volta Cristiana Perrella identifies a group of artists brought together by an interest in the use of materials packed with past histories, which they reinterpret in unexpected combinations, in keeping with an ethos of transformation.

In Cyphoria Domenico Quaranta analyses the impact of digital media on various aspects of life, experience, imagination and story-telling.

Lastly, in Periferiche  Denis Viva identifies polycentrism as an original structural condition of the Italian territory, which also permeates our visual culture. The 16th Quadriennale marks the start of a new form of public-private collaboration, building partnerships based on specific ad hoc projects.

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Exhibition sections

I Would Prefer Not to / Preferirei di no
Esercizi di sottrazione nell’ultima arte italiana

Curated by Simone Ciglia and Luigia Lonardelli

I would prefer not to is the famous response with which the scrivener Bartleby, protagonist of the tale of the same name by Herman Melville (1853), progressively denies himself an active life. A tireless clerk working for a Wall Street attorney, one day he suddenly refuses to do his job for no apparent reason, sparking a crescendo that culminates in his imprisonment and death.

The inextricable node of negation, resistance and alienation embodied by the protagonist has been associated with artistic creation within the sphere of the reflections of Gilles Deleuze and Giorgio Agamben. Melville’s literary creation embodies “unpredictability”, “openness to the unplanned”, “skewed moves” and “surprise”: characteristics that seemed to provide a potential key to reading the history of Italian art over the last fifteen years. Indeed, it seems to want to withdraw from an identity that has perhaps only ever been imagined. “I Would Prefer Not to” is based on the ascertainment of the episodic, fragmentary and sometimes slightly unstable nature of the latest artistic production.

The new millennium has extended the domain of precariousness from the social level to the existential level. Precariously founded on the weakness of historical theories, the figure of the artist has appeared divided between professionalization and impossible flights, often at the very limit of invisibility. This approach to subtraction helps to create a climate that crosses the generations and is translated into choices targeted at peripheral and secluded existential levels. The exhibited artists claim the right to move away from the ongoing jumble of facts and things without losing awareness of their personal and collective experience. Just like the scrivener Bartlebey, they prefer not to, refusing in a way that is no longer contesting or resisting, but is simply a negation of the possibility to choose.

Mario Airò
(Born in Pavia in 1961. Lives and works in Milan)
Rosa Barba
(Born in Agrigento in 1972. Lives and works in Berlin)
Massimo Bartolini
(Born in Cecina, Livorno,in 1962. Lives and works in Cecina)
Gianfranco Baruchello
(Born in Livorno in 1924. Lives and works in Roma and Paris)
Claire Fontaine
(A Paris-based collective founded in 2004)
Matteo Fato
(Born in Pescara in 1979. Lives and works in Pescara)
Anna Franceschini
(Born in Pavia in 1979. Lives and works in Milan)
Chiara Fumai
(Born in Rome in 1978. Lives and works in Milan)
(Group founded in 2003 by Simone Bertuzzi, born in Piacenza in 1983, and Simone Trabucchi, born in Piacenza in 1982. Live and work in Milan and Vernasca)
Cesare Pietroiusti
(Born in Rome in 1955. Lives and works in Rome)
Nicola Samorì
(Born in Forlì in 1977. Lives and works in Bagnacavallo)
Luca Trevisani
(Born in Verona in 1979. Lives and works in Berlin)
Luca Vitone
(Born in Genoa in 1964. Lives and works in Berlin)

Ehi, voi!
curated by Michele D’Aurizio

The Hey, you! section of the 16th Art Quadriennale proposes the idea of exploring contemporary Italian art through the language of portraiture. This section presents self-portraits and portraits of figures from within the artist’s community (friends, former fellow pupils, partners, etc.), produced in a variety of media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, video and performance, but also in the form of artist novels, diaries and personal archives.

By bringing together works broadly interpreted as representations of the self, “Hey, you!” encourages a progressive dive down beneath the “surface” of art into the human affairs of the artist. However, this section does not aim to minimize the examination of the work itself in favour of an analysis of the social figure of its creator, but instead sets out to present a blend of these two narratives. In this sense, the portrait is a genre that intrinsically affirms a conformity between the life and work of the artist, proposing a reflection of the self through the act of producing art. “Hey, you!” is a landscape of faces and bodies ‒ as well as characters and avatars ‒ that invited the spectator to share in the artist’s narrative of the process of producing art, of living by producing art, of existing by producing art.

Italian art, especially over recent years, is full of works that both critics and the wider public have described as cryptic and hermetic, ambiguous and camp. These works are often “elusive”, “indescribable” and “incommunicable”. In response to these interpretations, “Hey, you!” suggests that in the genre of portraiture these characteristics of Italian art can be seen in a “positive” light because, if we look more closely, they are inseparable from the very language of portrait art. In fact, the portrait is always an act of intimacy and yet, at the same time, even in the most lifelike portrayals, it is fundamental to produce an unnatural image mediated by the codes of representation.

Describing the work and life of the artist within the context of an institutional event such as the Art Quadriennale means not only contributing to the debate on art, but also assessing the state of health of an entire cultural system. The section title refers to artists who experience the invitation to take part in the Art Quadriennale as a real “calling”. However, if it is targeted at the organizers, curators and spectators ‒ surrounded by the artists, who are the real figures in question ‒ that “hey, you!” conveys an invitation to reassess the role that each of them plays in contemporary cultural production.

Alessandro Agudio
(Born in Milano in 1982. Lives in Milan)
Francesco Cagnin
(Born in Zero Branco, Treviso, in 1988. Lives in Losanna)
Costanza Candeloro
(Born in Bologna in 1990. Lives in Geneva)
DER Sabina (Sabina Grasso)
(Born in Genoa in 1975. Lives in Milan)
(founded in 2011 in Milan)
Alberto Garutti
(Born in Galbiate, Lecco, in 1948. Lives in Milan)
Massimo Grimaldi
(Born in Taranto in 1974. Lives in Milan)
Dario Guccio
(Born in Milan in 1988. Lives in Milan)
Corrado Levi
(Born in Turin in 1936. Lives in Milan)
Marcello Maloberti
(Born in Codogno, Lodi, in 1966. Lives in Milan)
Michele Manfellotto
(Born in Rome in 1977. Lives in Rome)
Beatrice Marchi
(Born in Gallarate, Varese in 1986. Lives in Hamburg)
Diego Marcon
(Born in Busto Arsizio, Varese in 1985. Lives in Milan)
(founded in 2015 in Milan)
Francesco Nazardo
(Born in Milan in 1985. Lives in Milan)
Giulia Piscitelli
(Born in Naples in 1965. Lives in Naples)
Carol Rama
(Turin, 1918-2015)
Andrea Romano
(Born in Milan in 1984. Lives in Milan)
Davide Stucchi
(Born in Milan in 1988. Lives in Milan)
Patrick Tuttofuoco
(Born in Milan in 1974. Lives in Berlin)
Francesco Vezzoli
(Born in Brescia in 1971. Lives in Milan)
Italo Zuffi
(Born in Imola, Bologna in 1969. Lives in Milan)

La democrazia in America
Curated by Luigi Fassi

This exhibition project came about as the result of an urgent need shared with a group of Italian artists born in the 1970s and 1980s to reflect on certain problematic aspects of the history of contemporary Italy, from its uncertain development as a democratic republic during the post-war period, to its stop-start relationship with the history of united Europe, its instability and the complex geopolitical transformations currently taking place.

The exhibition project intends to explore some of these crucial aspects and is based upon the shared reading, both by the artists and the curator, of a particular source of inspiration for reflecting indirectly on the country, the essay Democracy in America published by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835.

Written as a travel journal and describing his discovery of new American democracy, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America examines the great modern European dilemma at the time: the advent of democratic man and the unstoppable drive towards égalité des conditions, equal rights and equal conditions for all citizens, which was first officially manifested in the New World. Tocqueville’s ideas and the reception of his work have both always been strongly linked with the history of Italian culture, from his visit to Sicily in 1826 to the first Italian translation of the French text of De la démocratie en Amérique in 1884. In no other country has Tocqueville’s text been commented upon, published and translated to the extent it has in Italy, where it has accompanied some of the decisive moments of the country’s cultural history.

The exhibition project focuses on the key themes of Tocqueville’s thinking ‒ the relationship between freedom and equality, the role of political parties, the function of the free press, the link between individual wealth and political equality ‒ in order to lead to the creation of new works and new reflections by each artist. The final aim is to read the reflections of Democracy in America from a contemporary Italian perspective in order to trigger new ideas, theories and interpretations by the participating artists regarding present-day Italy and its recent history.

Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck
(Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1972. Lives and works in Berlin).
Nicolò Degiorgis
(Born in Bozen in 1985. Lives and works in Bozen)
Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio
(Born in Turin in 1978. Live and work in Turin)
Adelita Husni-Bey
(Born in Milan in 1985. Lives and works in New York).
Renato Leotta
(Born in Turin in 1982. Lives and works in Turin)

Orestiade italiana
Curated by Simone Frangi

The curatorial project  Orestiade italiana aims to group together a series of Italian art studies around an interpretative theory. These studies take a critical and highly analytical approach to the issues of the Italian context, analysed from a cultural, economic, social and political point of view.

The methodological core of this project is an analogical and choral “rewriting” of the key parts of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Appunti per un’Orestiade Africana (1970), which takes on the sketchy form and theoretical hubs that have emerged from this highly complex and underestimated film in order to impress different lines of research upon Italian “national domesticity” and on the dynamics with which it unfurls within a transnational and global perspective.

Orestiade italiana aims to capture the propaedeutic and recognitional character of Pasolini’s project, with which it establishes a dialogue and shares the decision to use the legend of Orestes ‒ interpreted as a “long preparation for catharsis” ‒ as inspiration for exploring a group of practices that critically assume the advantages and disadvantages of the contemporary democratic plan and its ideological derivations.

Winding its way through the webs of the multiple relationships between artistic practice and cultural research on the Italian art scene, Orestiade italiana chooses to focus on a series of contributions that explore a heterogeneous catalogue of geopolitical issues: an ambivalent link between a documentary approach and cultural orientalism in anthropological and ethnological practice; nomadism and identity migrations; Italian colonial issues, focusing on the impact of decolonization and the opening of the “post-colony” within the political imagination; study of latent conflicts and European stasis; microfascism and social normalization; turbo-capitalist and accelerationist dynamics; political and symbolic resistance.

 “Notes in the margin” developed by Toni Hildebrandt in partnership with Alessandro Di Pietro.

Riccardo Arena
(Born in Milan in 1979. Lives and works in Milan)
Blauer Hase
(founded in 2007, Venice)
Danilo Correale
(Born in Naples in 1982. Lives and works in New York)
Curandi Katz on Masako Matsushita
(Valentina Curandi, born in Cattolica, Rimini in 1980; Nathaniel Katz, born in Woodstock (CA) in 1975. Live and work in Düsseldorf)
(Masako Matsushita, born in Pesaro in 1986. Lives and works in Pesaro)
Nicolò Degiorgis
(Born in Bozen in 1985. Lives and works in Bozen)
Alessandra Ferrini
(Born in Bagno a Ripoli, Florence in 1984. Lives and works in London)
Francesco Fonassi
(Born in Brescia in 1986. Lives and works in Brescia)
(Group founded in 2003 by Simone Bertuzzi, born in Piacenza in 1983, and Simone Trabucchi, born in Piacenza in 1982. Live and work in Milan and Vernasca)
Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo
(Maria Iorio, Born in Lausanne in 1975; Raphaël Cuomo, born in Delémont, Switzerland in 1976. Live and work in Berlin)
Vincenzo Latronico and Armin Linke
(Vincenzo Latronico, born in Rome in 1984. Lives and works in Turin;
Armin Linke, born in Milan in 1966. Lives and works in Berlin)
Giovanni Morbin
(Born in Valdagno, Vicenza in 1956. Lives and works in Cornedo Vicentino)
Giulio Squillacciotti and Camilla Insom
(Giulio Squillacciotti, born in Rome in 1982. Lives and works in Milan; Camilla Insom, born in Rome in 1983. Lives and works in Rome)
Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli and Federico Lodoli
(Carlo Gabriele Tribbioli, born in Rome in 1982. Lives and works in Rome; Federico Lodoli, 1982, lives and works in Paris)
Diego Tonus
(Born in Pordenone in 1984. Lives and works in Amsterdam and London)

A occhi chiusi, gli occhi sono straordinariamente aperti
Curated by Luca Lo Pinto

This exhibition project, whose title echoes a phrase by Merisa Merz, brings together a series of works ‒ some brand new, others already produced ‒ by artists of different styles, ages and approaches. All these pieces share their powerful suggestion of a visual and narrative landscape from which a personal way of looking at the world emerges, which is both singular and universal. This scenario is confronted with the trauma of history performed through images, sounds, objects and sculptures that speak a labyrinthine, allegorical and metaphorical language within our present.

Time, memory and identity in continuous metamorphosis, brought into question in the relationship of the individual with society. Works like splinters of an imaginary, ephemeral icon, which symbolically indicate a possible, fleeting portrayal of the approaches of a certain present-day Italian art.

The bulb out of which the exhibition unfurls is an object. A small fragment of painted glass with words written on it by the brush of Emilio Villa. We can see that the words are in Greek, but they are almost illegible. Being unable to decode the meaning of the words, we can still read them as an image. Villa’s fragment is a trace, a complex sign to be interpreted, included in a history in which it is difficult to understand where to position oneself. The exhibition, and the works that comprise it, should not be considered a tool for illustrating a theory but a subject to be explored in an ongoing process of associations and disassociations. An archaeological find from the present that encompasses a medley of identity, personality and stories in movement. The protagonists are works where the words can change into images and vice versa, in which the objects can speak. Unstable forms that change into others like the captions of a story that unfolds before the eyes and minds of spectators, giving them the opportunity to mark out its plot. Living languages that can communicate with the experience evoked by the place where they are talking. The exhibition is conceived as a vision device in which all the works, curled up like hedgehogs, can slowly open out to see the light and look into the eyes of the spectators.

The works on display show all the signs of a lived experience. The bodies that have lent against Martino Gamper’s back rests. The mark of Emilio Villa left by a brush on glass. The images reflected in the surfaces of the sculptures by Nicola Martini. The memory of Giorgio Andreottà Calò ripped from the skin of the polaroids. Roberto Cuoghi’s dreamlike civilization of Pazazu. Visitors to the 1966 Quadriennale evoked in the images by Rä di Martino. Urban landscapes translated in the sounds of Stargate.

Giorgio Andreotta Calò
(Born in Venice in 1979. Lives and works in Venice and Amsterdam
Roberto Cuoghi
(Born in Modena in 1973. Lives and works in Milan)
Rä di Martino
(Born in Rome in 1975. Lives and works in Rome and Turin)
Martino Gamper
(Born in Merano, Bozen in 1971. Lives and works in London)
Nicola Martini
(Born in Florence in 1984. Lives and works in Paris)
Stargate (aka Lorenzo Senni)
(Born in Cesena in 1983. Lives and works in Milan)
Emilio Villa
(Milan, 1914 – Rieti, 2003)

De Rerum Rurale
Curated by Matteo Lucchetti

Italy is a country with some of the highest land use in Europe, a prime example of a post-rural landscape in which the boundaries between urban and agricultural have disappeared to an extent almost directly proportional to the expansion of speculative land management policies. At the same time, the weakening of the great national and supranational narratives has made way for new localisms, which express new relationships of strength between individuals and the various communities to which they belong, expressing new negotiations on the use of spaces and the rules that govern them.

In De Rerum Rurale  the concept of rurality is understood as zero degree manmade space, a place in which the creation of laws and their application find themselves in a constant state of negotiation and flexibility, an ideal dimension in which new communities can constitute themselves and illustrate new interpretations and uses of what we consider common assets. Within the exhibition space the term rural becomes permeable and transitory in meaning, allowing the works on display to recount different possible interpretations. The “rural things” of the title can therefore be recognized both in the evocations of the agricultural world, and in the scenarios of the exploitation of resources and the people who cultivate our lands today. Rurality lends itself to imagining new scenarios with a low level of anthropization, where existing rules and codes can be collectively rewritten, making way for new forms of living. Rurality also acts as a catalyst for lesser narratives from temporary, imagined, nomadic, oppressed or resistant communities that populate contemporary Italy.

Circumnavigating rurality, describing new meanings and possible interpretations is, in De Rerum Rurale, a means of exploring recent artistic productions that choose social fabrics and their backgrounds as their operating space, crossing through society as a modus operandi and commitment to it as a compass for their operations. Contemporary rurality should be understood as a hybrid, evolving space, where the metamorphosis between states generates brand new and transformational scenarios.

Nico Angiuli
(Born in Adelfia, Bari in 1981. Lives and works in Bari and Tirana)
Rossella Biscotti
(Born in Molfetta, Bari in 1978. Lives and works in Amsterdam and Bruxelles)
Beatrice Catanzaro
(Born in San Donato Milanese, Milan in 1975. Lives and works in Milan)
Leone Contini
(Born in Florence in 1976. Lives and works in Tuscany)
Michelangelo Consani
(Born in Livorno, 1971. Lives and works in Castell’Anselmo)
Luigi Coppola
(Born in Lecce in 1972. Lives and works in Bruxelles and in Salento, Apulia)
Danilo Correale
(Born in Naples in 1982. Lives and works in New York)
Riccardo Giacconi with Andrea Morbio
(Born in San Severino Marche, Macerata in 1985. Lives and works in Milan)
(Born in Montichiari, Brescia, in 1984. Lives and works in Paris)
Adelita Husni-Bey
(Born in Milan in 1985. Lives and works in New York)
Marzia Migliora
(Born in Alessandria in 1972. Lives and works in Turin)
Moira Ricci
(Born in Orbetello, Grosseto in 1977. Lives and works in Italy)
Anna Scalfi Eghenter
(Born in Trento in 1965. Lives and works in Trento)
Marinella Senatore
(born in Cava de’Tirreni, Salerno in 1977. Lives and works in Paris and London)
Valentina Vetturi
(born in Reggio Calabria in 1979. Lives and works in Geneva and Bruxelles)

Lo stato delle cose
Curated by Marta Papini

Adelita Husni-Bey, Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Alberto Tadiello, Cristian Chironi, Margherita Moscardini, Elena Mazzi (in partnership with Sara Tirelli) and Yuri Ancarani: seven key names from the current national and international scene, each very different from the next. Their styles differ so much that it is impossible to assimilate them in a single reading. A dialectic space for comparison between the individual pieces and between them and the public is formed.

The project consists of a programme of seven exhibitions and seven events that extends over the entire period of the 16th Art Quadriennale. The invited artists will alternate within the space in a sort of relay, an interlocking exhibition mechanism that adopts a different timeframe to the other shows being held in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni at the same time.

Lo stato delle cose is not a group exhibition, where the images and meanings of the works overlap and interweave thanks to the work of the curators. Instead, it is an exercise in attention: the public, in a one-to-one relationship with the work, has the possibility to linger on the research of each artist both within the exhibition and through a public programme, conceived as an integral part of the project, which studies it in depth.

On the one hand, the installed works are never seen side by side in a visually unifying space, but can only be linked and compared in the mind of the visitor. On the other, as well as exhibiting their own work, each artist has the opportunity to invite speakers to hold talks on the areas of research of interest to them, to arrange film screenings, to organize public workshops and to hold studio visits.

Lo stato delle cose offers a key to entering the worlds of the artists, an opportunity to explore their work in a new context, without relegating the research to an ancillary moment of the exhibition, but taking it back to the fundamental point of sharing the work, within an institutional context that thus becomes performative, dynamic and discursive.

Yuri Ancarani
(Born in Ravenna, 1972. Lives and works in Milan)
Giorgio Andreotta Calò
(Born in Venice in 1979. Lives and works in Amsterdam and Venice)
Cristian Chironi
(Born in Nuoro in 1974. Lives and works in Italy)
Adelita Husni-Bey
(Born in Milan in 1985. Lives and works in New York)
Elena Mazzi and Sara Tirelli
(Elena Mazzi born in Reggio Emilia in 1984. Lives and works in Venice)
(Sara Tirelli born in Gorizia in 1979. Lives and works in Venice)
Margherita Moscardini
(Born in Donoratico in 1981. Lives in Tuscany)
Alberto Tadiello
(Born in Montecchio Maggiore, Vicenza in 1983. Lives and works in a former bakery at the bottom of the Dolomites)

La seconda volta
Curated by Cristiana Perrella

This project presents the work of five artists born between 1966 and 1981 who, despite their different expressions and individual styles, demonstrate a shared focus on the use of materials packed with stories of the past, interpreting them in a new way and bringing them back to life in unexpected combinations. Theirs is an art of remains and fragments, composite, residual and hybrid. An art of assembly, transformation, rebirth, and perhaps also an art of crisis. Reuse and assembly, ever since their introduction as artistic techniques in the early 20th century, have always had close links with the concept of trauma and, upon closer inspection, this was also the case in more distant times, when the reuse of waste materials expressed the desire to take possession of a glorious past and the need for economical materials.

Lara Favaretto, Martino Gamper, Marcello Maloberti, Alek O. and Francesco Vezzoli measure themselves against a time that ‒ despite the unprecedented acceleration of scientific and technological progress and the future that seems to be running towards us ‒ still looks to the past a lot and in which the euphoria of consumption, of the new, is a sentiment that seems foggy and inappropriate. It is no coincidence that the work of these artists is often characterized by a “low-fi”, artisanal approach and a focus on manual techniques and bricolage.

Lara Favaretto’s research involves neglected paintings found in street markets, which she conceals and reveals by weaving a monochrome weft of brightly coloured wool around them. Martino Gamper remixes old furniture and objects with affection and skill, creating new forms and functions. Marcello Maloberti puts together different faces, stories and images in his performances, in a new kaleidoscope of figures, gestures and expressions. Alek O. performs the poetic action of destroying and reassembling everyday objects packed with memories, glimpsing new forms and modern patterns inside them that help to free them not from the past but from his weighty position as the youngest artist. Francesco Vezzoli comes face to face with history and fame, progressing from his embroidery produced with slow, patient stitches to the appropriation of Roman sculptures, forcing them into an ideal dialogue ‒ not lacking in humour ‒ with the present. These are all ways of measuring oneself against the past and against history ‒ whether on a small or large scale ‒ and seeking to come to terms with it, to draw vitality, new thoughts and new forms from it.

Lara Favaretto
(Born in Treviso in 1973. Lives in Turin)
Martino Gamper
(Born in Merano, Bozen in 1971. Lives in London)
Marcello Maloberti
(Born in Codogno, Lodi in 1966. Lives in Milan)
Alek O.
(Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1981. Lives in Milan)
Francesco Vezzoli
(Born in Brescia in 1971. Lives in Milan)

Curated by Domenico Quaranta

“We live in an era infused with mediation, which has found its way into every aspect of life, experience, imagination and story-telling. Politics, the economy, work, forms of communication and society, but also intimacy and dreams have been overturned by the impact of digital media. Issues such as privacy, surveillance and the capitalization of social life define an important part of what we call the present. Cyphoria, the section I am curating at the 16th Art Quadriennale, raises these questions and investigates how they are reflected in Italian contemporary art.” Domenico Quaranta


The last twenty-five years have seen the progressive extension to the entire globalized world of the political, economic, social and cultural consequences of a technological evolution that began after the Second World War. It is no coincidence that we have chosen to use the term “evolution” instead of the more commonplace “revolution”: while a revolution occurs at a specific moment in time, evolution knows no reprieve, and the series of changes and the speed at which they took place played a precise role in shaping the contemporary condition. There is no aspect of life that has not been transformed by the meeting and clash with the digital data flows that come from the computer, a universal medium, and travel over networks, and by the experience of mediation.

Cyphoria, is an exhibition that aims to investigate the way in which the contemporary condition is reflected in the work of some Italian artists who started to work, at different times, during the course of this evolution. According to Basar, Coupland and Obrist, the expression ‒ a neologism that combines the prefix cyber and the term dysphoria ‒ describes the state of those who believe that the Internet is the real world. However, it has been adopted here to describe the effort and discomfort involved in living a condition that man has produced, but has not been instructed how to inhabit, of deciphering and revealing the languages and the influence on forms of work, communication, social life and politics, of adopting and shaping aesthetics and imaginations. The exhibition brings together artists who explore this condition both in its public dimension ‒ tackling issues such as censorship, the intellectual property crisis, surveillance, the new black economies of the web, the ubiquity of the production of cultural artefacts ‒ and in its private dimension, investigating the intimate and personal consequences introduced by hyperconnection, accelerationism, the deluge of information, and the new balance between public and private dimension to which living in the web has accustomed us.

Alterazioni Video
(Collective founded in Milan in 2004, works in Milan, New York and Berlin. Members: Paololuca Barbieri Marchi, Alberto Caffarelli, Matteo Erenbourg, Andrea Masu, Giacomo Porfiri)
Enrico Boccioletti
(Born in Pesaro in 1984. Lives and works in Milan)
Mara Oscar Cassiani
(Born in Pesaro in 1981. Lives and works in Gradara)
Paolo Cirio
(Born in Turin in 1979. Lives and works in New York)
Roberto Fassone
(Born in Asti in 1986. Lives and works in Asti)
Giovanni Fredi
(Born in Brescia in 1984. Lives and works in Brescia)
Elisa Giardina Papa
(Born in Medicina, Bologna in 1979. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York)
Kamilia Kard
(Born in Milan in 1981. Lives and works in Milan)
Eva and Franco Mattes
(Born in Brescia in 1976. Live and work in New York)
Simone Monsi
(Born in Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Piacenza in 1988. Lives and works in London)
(Born in Rome in 1982. Lives and works in London)
Federico Solmi
(Born in Bologna in 1973. Lives and works in New York)
Marco Strappato
(Born in Porto San Giorgio, Fermo in 1982. Lives and works in London)
Natalia Trejbalova
(Born in Košice, Slovakia in 1989. Lives and works in Milan)

Curated by Denis Viva

“Aware polycentrism”: this was the expression used, a few decades ago, by Enrico Castelnuovo and Carlo Ginzburg to profile Italian visual culture over the centuries. A wealth of centres, of numerous false peripherals that were not actually the places of a “cultural delay”, but stations of a plurality and a conflict that refused to exhaust itself within a single dominant model. Does Italy still preserve this polycentrism in the era of globalization? Does it find a voice equally capable of offering alternatives to global homologation in its “peripherals”?

Periferiche is a project dedicated to the artists who have chosen to work “on the outskirts”, not for romantic reasons or solipsism, but because of the intrinsic needs of their style. Periferiche is therefore a metaphor that indicates a device free to connect and disconnect itself, to associate and seclude itself, from the unstoppable flow of the global centres. The style of these artists does not ascetically eschew the centre, nor does it condemn it. It simply dictates when it will connect and draws its life blood from heterogeneous and diverse, often marginal territories.

These artists are united by a different conception of time and space: a time reclaimed as biological and mediated, with length times of constitution, reflection and reception; and a polycentric space, different from global mainstream information and production. The only central role is that assumed by the work as the ultimate operative destination of action and research. The project unites eight Italian artists, of different generations and origins, bringing the youngest together with some older Italian artists, who established themselves over the last decade.

Emanuele Becheri
(Born in Prato in 1973. Lives and works in Vaiano)
Paolo Gioli
(Born in Sarzano, Rovigo in 1942. Lives and works in Lendinara)
Carlo Guaita
(Born in Palermo in 1954. Lives and works in Florence)
Paolo Icaro
(Born in Turin in 1936. Lives and works in Tavullia)
Christiane Löhr
(Born in Wiesbaden in 1965. Lives and works in Vernio and Cologne)
Maria Elisabetta Novello
(Born in Vicenza in 1974. Lives and works in Udine)
Giulia Piscitelli
(Born in Naples in 1965. Lives and works in Naples)
Michele Spanghero
(Born in Gorizia in 1979. Lives and works in Monfalcone)

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