At MACRO, the project RETROFUTURE. Notes For a Collection questions the value of originality inside a collection and the way it is received. Photographer Giovanna Silva for Museum For Preventive Imagination printed gigantic images from the collections in the storeroom archives as a wallpaper covering the entire space. This thus became the background and context of this space used for up-and-coming Italian artists to exhibit new work.
RETROFUTURE. Notes for a Collection Exhibition view. MACRO, 2021. Photo: Simon d’Exéa.
Along these lines some works exhibited: Polia, 2019 – a video art piece by Carola Bonfili (Rome, 1981) with audio by Francesco Fonassi. The video is composed of a series of scenes inspired by observing the woodcuts of the book which illustrates the passages of the dream of Poliphilo. Story of a Girl band, 2018 is the video art piece by Beatrice Marchi (Gallarate, 1986), which explores motion in layers on the moving walkways of an airport: a group of characters in transit is transformed into a girl band, simultaneously human and animal, young and old, women and men. The sound was mixed by Franco Curfone.
Fore-edge Painting with Tauba Auerbach, Kerstin Brätsch, Cansu Çakar, Enzo Cucchi, Camille Henrot, Victor Man, Andrea Salvino, Andro Wekua Exhibition view. MACRO, 2021. Photo: Alessandro Saletta, DSL Studio.
Also noteworthy was the installation Three Questions, 2021 by Camille Henrot (Paris, 1978). She chose to use the Italian Encyclopedic Dictionary as her canvas by drawing on the side of the page edges of each book. Pressed by clamps each encyclopedia offers enough solid space on the squeezed pages. On these edges she doodles and draws sphinxes – hybrid mythical creatures, guardians of passage ways. In the same spirit, artist Kerstin Brätsch (Hamburg, 1979) paints watercolors on the force edge of the books. She used a book by German psychiatrist and philosopher Carl G. Jung as well as on Dante’s The Divine Comedy illustrated by William Blake.
SALVO, Autoritratto come Salvo Exhibition view. MACRO, 2021. Photo: Melania Dalle Grave, DSL Studio
On the top floor is the exhibit Polyphony a series of monographic focuses conceived to take their cue from methods of musical improvisation. The work of a single figure is explored and expanded through its impact on other practices. Each focus is a heterogeneous palimpsest that grows over time thanks to addition of new elements.
MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome
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Text: Victor Moreno
Photos: Courtesy of MACRO - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome