Conversation Piece | Part 1
F. Grilli, J.Halvorson, R.Harris, I. Heimerdinger, T. Hutton, T. Kaspar, J.Monk, A.B. Papp, E.Peake, C.Ramìrez, Su-Mei Tse
Curated by Marcello Smarrelli
Fondazione Memmo – Arte Contemporanea is proud to present Conversation Piece | Part 1, the first exhibition of a series dedicated to Italian and foreign artists currently living in Rome, either for personal reasons or to attend the cultural and academic institutions.
The exhibition, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, was conceived with the aim of continually reviewing the contemporary art scene in Rome. The contemporary art scene is difficult to understand for the general public, but is a surprisingly active panorama dominated by the continuous activity of the Academies and foreign cultural institutes. These institutions have helped to form new generations of artists from all over the world over the last several centuries. Through different exhibitions and activities, Fondazione Memmo aims to support these institutions, which have been considered vital historically in the maintenance and development of the contemporary visual arts and culture in Rome.
For this first exhibition, the artists invited are: Francesca Grilli (American Academy in Rome), Josephine Halvorson (Accademia di Francia a Roma – Villa Medici), Rowena Harris (British School in 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 series’ title was inspired by a genre of painting that was developed in the Netherlands and became popular in England in the XVII and XVIII centuries. These paintings represented a group of people in domestic settings, or engaged in conversation. This exhibition is an opportunity for dialogue on the work of different artists, which is often distanced in research, poetry, and techniques.
Artists are invited to share the Fondazione, located in Palazzo Ruspoli, one of the most significant examples of the late Renaissance in Rome. A space particularly characterized by history, but also by the everyday life that continues to pass with the younger generation, it is a space where artists will have the opportunity to reflect on the different ways that a group show could be carried out, finding a fil rouge in common to allow for the artists to relate to each other.
The series' title was also influenced by film, inspired by the famous film Gruppo di Famiglia in un interno (Conversation Piece) (1974) by Luchino Visconti. This film tells the story of a science professor who lives alone in an ancient palace in Rome, surrounded by a collection of his family portraits. His life is revolutionized by the arrival of young and restless tenants upstairs. This acts as an obvious metaphor for the generational debate, and of the hypothetical and productive exchange that can result from reciprocal comparison, not without complications, resistance, and misunderstandings. We ask these foreign artists, temporarily living abroad, to reflect on the idea of home, of intimacy, of generational exchange, of a relationship with history, of narration, and of the idea of artwork as a manifestation of personal life in an expository dimension, the search for a special relationship with the viewer and the space in the creation of their artwork on display.
For the occasion of Conversation Piece | Part 1, the Fondazione Memmo – Arte Contemporanea presents a public program of talks, lectures, and screenings.