Fondazione Memmo-Arte Contemporanea is proud to present Conversation Piece | Part 1, the first exhibition of many future ones dedicated to those artists currently residing in Rome, scholars at foreign academies, cultural institutes, museums, foundations.
The exhibition, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, was conceived with the aim of observing carefully and constantly reviewing what is happening in the contemporary art scene in Rome. A surprisingly active context, that of the contemporary art in the capital, difficult to perceive for the general public , but dominated by the continuous and crucial activity of the Academies and foreign cultural institutes, where during several centuries new generations of artists from all over the world complete their education.
Fondazione Memmo, through this programme of different exhibitions and other activities related to it (talks, workshops, studio visits), aims to be the amplifier of these institutions, which are historically considered vital to the maintenance and development of a cultural and narrative texture related to the contemporary visual language in Rome.
For this first exhibition the invited artists are: Francesca Grilli (American Academy in Rome), Josephine Halvorson (Accademia di Francia a Roma – Villa Medici), Rowena Harris (British School At Rome), Isabell Heimerdinger, Thomas Hutton, Corin Hewitt (American Academy in Rome), Tobias Kaspar, Jonathan Monk, Anna-Bella Papp Eddie Peake, Calixto Ramírez, Su-Mei Tse (Accademia di Francia a Roma – Villa Medici).
The cycle’s title was inspired by a particular genre of painting, originally developed in the Netherlands and then became popular in England in the XVII and XVIII centuries, which represented a group of people in a domestic setting or engaged in genteel conversations. This exhibition, in fact, is an opportunity for a dialogue and a discussion on the work of different artists, often very distant from each other for research, poetry and techniques. Artists are invited to share the space of a private foundation, located in Palazzo Ruspoli, one of most significant examples of the late Renaissance in Rome. A space particularly characterized by the history, but also from the everyday life that continues to run with the succession of a younger generation, a space where artists will have the opportunity to reflect together on the different ways in which a group show could be coinceived, finding a common fil rouge and giving each work the possibility to relate and “converse” with the others. In choosing the title there was also a kind of cinematographic suggestion, ispired by one of the most famous films by Luchino Visconti, Conversation Piece (1974), which tells the story of a science professor living solitary in an ancient palazzo in Rome surrounded by his collection of family group portraits. Soon his life is completely revolutionized by the arrival of young and restless tenants upstairs. A clear metaphor for the generational debate and of the hypothetical and productive exchange that may result from the reciprocal comparision, even with complications , resistances and misunderstandings. The idea of home, intimacy, generational exchange , relationship with history , narration and the idea of a work of art as a manifestation of life in an expositive dimension, the search for a special relationship with the viewer and the space, are just some of the issues on which we invited foreign artists, temporarily living abroad, to reflect in order to create the works currently shown.
On the occasion of Conversation Piece | Part I, the Fondazione Memmo, presents a public programme of talks, lectures and screenings.
Agenda: February 10, 2015 at 6pm; Isabell Heimerdinger, Performance for Conversation Piece, performance February 22, March 22, April 19, May 24, 2015; at 4pm; free creative workshops for children aged 3 to 10 years, organized by Oneway kids (by appointment only) January 28, March 18, at 8.30pm: Screening of “Gruppo di famiglia in un interno”, a film by Luchino Visconti (Spazio Etoile Louis Vuitton, Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina 41)
April 20, 2015, at 6pm; Josephine Halvorson, Corin Hewitt and Thomas Hutton in coversation with Francesco Garutti
May 12 – 13, 2015 at 11.30am and 4pm; Thomas Hutton, a performative guided tour through the zoo, performance (meeting point : Viale del Giardino Zoologico 20, Roma. Reservation required)
June 4, 2015, at midnight; Francesca Grilli, Enduring midnight, performance
Press office: Margherita Cardelli