MonuMed exhibition: « Monumento (s)fatto » – « Balkan Pavilion » 04.10 at Villa Romana, Florence
We warmly invite you and your friends to the opening of the exhibition
on Friday, 4 October, at 7 pm.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 2 – 6 pm and by appointment
Villa Romana presents the first exhibition of the multidisciplinary project MonuMed, which brings together researchers in the human and social sciences, artists and curators in order to explore processes of monumentalization in the urban environment in the Balkans and Mediterranean. At Villa Romana, the project will be presented in two complementary parts: Monumento (s)fatto and Balkan Pavilion.
7.00 pm Presentation of the transdisciplinary research project MonuMed
7.30 pm Opening
+ Monumento (s)fatto +
Starting from the analysis of the cyclical time of monumental practices, dealing with the incessant erection, overthrow and re-erection of monuments, the artists Bruno Baltzer/Leonora Bisagno and Nicolas Milhé are presenting in part new works in the main exhibition rooms at Villa Romana. Here monuments are subject of works which keep deliberate distance from the utopias of eternity, focussing on the processes of creation, transformation and destruction of urban, political and social structures. While Lewis Mumford and Marcel Hénaff predicted the « death of the monument » and questioned its obsolete character in a functional, mechanized, and hyper-networked urban environment, today we can observe an inverse tendency. Anthropologist Tim Ingold’s research shows that the metamorphoses set in motion in contemporary settings, are expressed not only through formal transformations, but also through changes in the practices connected to them. Drawing on a metaphorical and conceptual language of expression the artists address the complexity of the cyclical time in an exhibition that leads through all aspects of the « creation of monuments ».
During their residence at Villa Romana, Bruno Baltzer/Leonora Bisagno have conducted specific research into marble extraction techniques in Carrara, investigating marble quarrying techniques and are confronting the « monument factory » with the socio-economic problems, environmental pollution and anarchistic culture of the region. This work dialogues with a project realized in the Francon quarry in Montréal, Canada, completing a metaphoric discourse on the fossil and mineral complexity of the construction/destruction of the multiple layers of natural, social and urban history of these places. Continuing their reflections, the two artists present a series of works devoted to the dematerialization of the monument and its photographic migration. The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and Tiananmen Square in Beijing become not just privileged settings for an investigation of the standardization and tourist circulation of “monument images”, but also temporary spaces for new processes of involvement, subverting the roles and functions of the monumental object.
In his sculptural works in bronze and marble, Nicolas Milhé combines the importance of a centuries-old tradition with new forms of contemporary sculpture. By interrogating symbolic superimpositions, the artist approaches the figure of the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, called « the dog », and with his bronze work refers to the precarious balance between monumental symbolism and counter-monument as well as to the dark side of power beyond humanity. The marble sculpture Rosa Luxemburg, a young woman in contemporary clothing, embodies the failure of the idealism of the Enlightenment, underlined by Kosovo proposition 3, the third proposal of the flag of Kosovo (never used).
+ Balkan Pavilion +
The Balkan Pavilion is a transverse multi-disciplinary research laboratory devoted to dialogue between artists and researchers, in which Eva Sauer, artist, and Sarah Sajn, political scientist, present a work about the commemorative cemetery for partisans at Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a utopian monument inspired by Bogdan Bogdanović’s ideals of inclusion and dialogue which is at odds today with the harsh social reality that surrounds it, with various kinds of individualization of memory and many forms of instrumental political use. This work resonates with the Totem MonuMed, a video sculpture featuring the simultaneous reproduction of a series of talks and video works presented during the MonuMed seminar cycle, held in Marseilles in the first half of 2019. The works of Igor Grubić, Alban Hajdinaj, Stefano Romano and Stefanos Tsivopoulos thus engage with presentations by Gilles de Rapper (anthropologist), Pierre Sintès (geographer), Alessandro Gallicchio (art historian) and Suzana Milevska (art historian specializing in Visual Studies).
Bruno Baltzer and Leonora Bisagno have formed an artist duo since 2014. The two visual artists analyze the contemporary conditions of both official and spontaneous self-representation, with installations and actions that often begin during artist residencies. In their projects, Baltzer and Bisagno make use of various sources, ranging from photographs to election posters, from neon logos to television archives. Through the subtlety of expression and through idioms in specific cultural contexts, the artists explore the different ways of producing images and interpreting documents and signs.
Nicolas Milhé lives and works between Paris and Bordeaux. After completing his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, he specialized at the Pavillon unité pédagogique of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and then returned to the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux to teach. He uses many different media in his work (sculptures, monumental installations, drawings, videos, etc.), to transform the symbolic forms of power and trace their contradictions and paradoxes. Though he claims his works are free from any form of activism, they do evoke political and social issues. Web site: www.nicolasmilhe.com
Eva Sauer was born in Florence and moved to Düsseldorf in 1985. She studied at the HfbK, Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. In her work she combines photography and text, often pairing them with objects and sculptures. The main theme of her works are the different and sometimes subtle forms of violence and collective existential fears. Web site: www.evasauer.allyou.net
Sarah Sajn is a graduate student in Political Science at CHERPA/Sciences Po Aix and a lecturer at the Université de Lille 2. In her research she analyses the political uses of the past, the Europe/European Union dialectic and post-colonial, post-conflict and post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her studies explore the symbolic and material dimension of the power struggles associated with the institutionalization of memory.
Artistic and scientific directors: Alessandro Gallicchio, curator and Pierre Sintès, geographer
In cooperation with:
With the support of:
Pour le projet « Monumed »
Appel à projets Pépinière d’Excellence 2017
Porteur de projet : Pierre Sintès