italianpavilion

Biennaint.2017

ITALIAN PAVILION
57TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
OF THE VENICE BIENNALE

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ITALIAN PAVILION
57TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
OF THE VENICE BIENNALE
PADIGLIONE ITALIA
57. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia
Il mondo magico / The magical world
Artists
Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi,
and Adelita Husni-Bey
selected by Curator Cecilia Alemani
a cura di Cecilia Alemani
Assistant Curator Marta Papini
PREVIEW: 10-12 May 2017
10, 11 e 12 maggio 2017 dalle 10 alle 19
INAUGURAZIONE UFFICIALE
alla presenza di Dario Franceschini,
Ministro dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo
12 maggio 2017 ore 12
Official Opening: 12 May 2017 | 12 pm
Exhibition: 13 May – 26 November 2017
13 maggio – 26 novembre 2017
Arsenale, Tese delle Vergini
Arsenale Venice Italy
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Il mondo magico /  The magical world
presents the work of three Italian artists—Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, and Adelita Husni-Bey—whose practices suggest a new faith in the transformative power of the imagination, and an interest in magic. With references to magic, fancy, and fable, these artists see art as a tool for inhabiting the world in all its richness and multiplicity.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Ernesto de Martino’s book Il mondo magico. De Martino (1908-65), developed seminal theories about the anthropological function of magic, which he studied for decades, describing its rituals as devices through which individuals try to regain control in times of uncertainty and reassert their presence in the world. Il mondo magico, written during the Second World War and published in 1948, ushered in a series of reflections on a body of beliefs, rituals, and myths that would continue to hold the Neapolitan anthropologist’s attention in the decades that followed, from his “Southern” trilogy (Sud e Magia, Morte e pianto rituale, and La terra del rimorso) up to his last writings, posthumously collected in La fine del mondo.
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Within the landscape of contemporary Italian art, Andreotta Calò, Cuoghi, and Husni-Bey construct parallel universes that teem with references to magic, fancy, and fable, creating complex personal cosmologies. They see themselves not just as producers of artworks, but as active interpreters and creators of the world, which they reinvent through magic and the imagination. For the invited artists, magic is not an escape into the depths of irrationality but rather a new way of experiencing reality. What these artists have in common is not a specific consistency of style so much as a desire to find alternative ways of discovering and describing the world, stepping away from a more sterile documentary approach and moving instead into the realm of the fanciful and imaginary. “Il mondo magico” therefore sees the artist not just as a fabricator of works and objects but above all as a guide to interpreting the world—an architect of personal cosmologies.
Like the rituals described by de Martino, the works of Andreotta Calò, Cuoghi, and Husni-Bey stage situations of crisis that are resolved through processes of aesthetic and ecstatic transfiguration. If one looks closely, these works offer up the image of a country—both real and fanciful—where ancient traditions coexist with new global languages and vernaculars, and where reality and imagination melt together into a new magical world.
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Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, and Adelita Husni-Bey
Curator Cecilia Alemani
Venice Biennale13 May – 26 November 2017

“The works of Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, and Adelita Husni-Bey stand out as complementary yet different in their approach to making art in Italy today,” says Cecilia Alemani, Curator of the Italian Pavilion. “These three artists were born in Italy between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s, and came onto the domestic and international scene at the brink of the new century, each at their own level of fame: from Husni-Bey’s promising young talent, to Cuoghi’s more mature oeuvre. While their art and their languages are global, their work is still closely tied to Italian culture. I’ve chosen to invite fewer artists than in the past in order to align the Italian Pavilion with the other national pavilions at the Biennale. That’s why my project is not meant to provide a full overview of Italian art: instead, it will provide an in-depth look at the work of three unique voices that have come to the fore in recent years, giving them the space, time, and resources to develop an ambitious large-scale project that will mark a milestone in their career, and give visitors the opportunity to explore their minds and universes. I hope this pavilion will convey an image of the contemporary, cosmopolitan Italy, no longer seen through the nostalgic lens of previous generations, but looking to the future with enthusiasm and the critical capacity to respond to the new experiments of other nations.”

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Cecilia Alemani is a person with enormous international expertise, and her project for the Italian Pavilion is ambitious and highly innovative,” says Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.

“The decision to announce the artists earlier than in previous Biennales underscores the new path taken by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, even in its management of the entire process,” explains Federica Galloni, the ministry’s head of the General Directorate for Art, Contemporary Architecture and Urban Peripheries, and Italian Pavilion Commissioner. “This year, we felt it was very important that the Directorate-General appoint the pavilion curator more than a year before the opening of the Biennale, in order to give both curator and artists ample time to work. Fostering, highlighting, and supporting Italian creativity on the international scene are among the Directorate-General’s main objectives, and the Venice Biennale has always been a pivotal opportunity for global dialogue in the cultural sphere. We are therefore particularly proud of the path we’ve embarked on for 2017, since we’re conscious that organizing the Italian Pavilion with a time frame that shows proper respect for everyone’s role and work can only make a positive contribution to defining our national identity within contemporary culture.”

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Padiglione Italia
57. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia
Arsenale, Tese delle Vergini
13 maggio – 26 novembre 2017
Il mondo magico
a cura di Cecilia Alemani
Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, Adelita Husni-Bey
Direttore Generale DGAAP e Commissario Padiglione Italia
Federica Galloni
INAUGURAZIONE UFFICIALE PADIGLIONE ITALIA
alla presenza di Dario Franceschini, Ministro dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo
12 maggio 2017 ore 12.00
solo su invito
PREVIEW
10, 11 e 12 maggio 2017 dalle 10 alle 19
CERIMONIA DI PREMIAZIONE E DI INAUGURAZIONE
sabato 13 maggio 2017
57. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Biennale di Venezia
PREVIEW
10, 11 e 12 maggio 2017 dalle 10 alle 19
CERIMONIA DI PREMIAZIONE E DI INAUGURAZIONE
sabato 13 maggio 2017
Graphic Design and Visual Identity
Leftloft
Production
La Biennale di La Biennale Venezia

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