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july 10, 2017 - Mambo

Anime. Di luogo in luogo - Christian Boltanski in Bologna

Christian Boltanski is the artist selected for the special cultural project promoted by the city of #bologna in 2017. The French artist, one of the most important living ones at international level, will be the main focus of a rich programme of cultural events called Anime. Di luogo in luogo, promoted by the Municipality of #bologna together with Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, in conjunction with the Emilia-Romagna region and the Association of the relatives of the victims of the Ustica disaster.

The project, curated by Danilo Eccher and taking place from 26 June to 12 November 2017, includes several events and involves many urban venues, all featuring the multi-faceted work of Boltanski.
The programme includes a large anthological exhibition of the same name at the #mambo - #museo d'Arte Moderna di #bologna; The  installation Réserve at the former powder keg bunker inside the Lunetta Gamberini Garden; the performative installation Ultima at the Arena del Sole theatre, and the special project Take Me (I'm Yours) inside the area of the former Giuriolo parking lot. Furthermore, to highlight the decisive role of the suburbs in this #event, from mid-June the diffuse iniziative of public art Billboards connects the center and the suburban areas, in order to polycentrism and integration between different souls of the city.

The whole project is in line with previous special initiatives that paid homage to other major national and international artists who had a meaningful relation to #bologna, ranging from John Cage to Gianni Celati, from Romeo Castellucci to Pier Paolo Pasolini. The original idea was to explore the work of some of the most innovative and experimental artists of our times through site-specific and original works involving local public authorities and cultural entities. Thanks to this innovative approach the city had a great influence in shaping national cultural policies geared to the enhancement and dissemination of contemporary culture. 

Anime. Di luogo in luogo, designed in close cooperation with the artist, is made of complementary components, namely #contemporaryart, urban fabric and society, whose interaction materializes along the axis of memory and time, considered as an inevitable passageway between life and death. 
These concepts are evoked by the very same title of the project that crosses time, space, philosophy and religion. The curator, Danilo Eccher, explains: “Anima (Soul) is a word that if used in its singular form refers to the vital essence of individuals. If used in its plural form it refers to a community, to the stories of individuals that make up History with an imaginary point of view that projects the present in the future in a confident sense of continuity”. 

The choice of #christianboltanski gains an even greater and deeper meaning because it coincides with some key city anniversaries: the 10th anniversary of both #mambo and the Memorial Ustica Museum, the 37th anniversary of the Ustica disaster, the 40th anniversary of Emilia-Romagna Teatro Fondazione. Therefore, this forcefully compelling project will certainly take root into the cultural, civil and historic heritage of the city resulting in an even closer and fruitful relation between memory and contemporaneity.

Over his career Boltanksi established several relations with #bologna, intertwining some of his most famous works with landmarking moments in the city history.
In 1997 the venue of Villa delle Rose hosted his first Italian solo exhibition, curated by Danilo Eccher and entitled Pentimenti, featuring for the first time the work Les Regards, then acquired by Galleria d'Arte Moderna di #bologna and today visible in a new set-up in #mambo Permanent Collection. The piece, directly inspired by the story of #bologna, reproduces on thin polyester sheets the photographical portraits of some resistance fighters, which belong to the Resistance Memorial overlooking the Nettuno Square where, during the days after the Liberation, the citizens spontaneously hung the photos of their executed relatives.

Ten years after Boltanski has returned in #bologna to create the permanent installation entitled “A proposito di Ustica” made for the #museo per la Memoria di Ustica, whose importance and central cultural role in the city will be revived by this special project. The Museum stemmed from the will of the relatives of the victims and the Municipality of #bologna to have a special memorial place reaffirming the need to remember and the commitment to finding out the truth. This deeply emotional place shows, even in the reason for its creation, to what extent contemporary cultural languages are important to actively perpetuate the memory of past events for future generations.

The rediscovered gazes of the young lives broken in Les regards work mark the opening of the project in mid-June with the major impact public art initiative called Billboards. Five portraits, personally selected by the artist, are going to be printed on billboards of several sizes and placed along the main suburban city roads ideally connecting all the memorial places included in the project. These reanimated faces shutter the urban landscapes with unexpected visual and meaning disconnections and will also question our awareness of the past by triggering a collective remembrance process.

The core of the whole project, the anthological exhibition displayed at the #mambo museum from June 26 until November 12, is the largest ever organized in Italy. The show, curated by Danilo Eccher, presents 25 works, prominantely installations and video, selected from the most significant ones that the artist produced during the last thirty years of work, among two works presented for the first time in Europe:Volver and Animitas (blanc).

Imagining the architecture of the museum as a Cathedral, Boltanski recomposes the exhibition space in a central nave and two lateral aisles, that draw an immersive setting of intense emotional involvement. The viewer is invited to put himself as an active subject in the narration of the recurring themes of his artistic career: the dialectic relation in human existence between life and death, the reactivation of memory through the symbolic value of ephemeral objects, the concept of time as a crumbling relentless flow, testament as a mean of compensation of demise.
The exhibition opening takes place Sunday, 25 June al 7.30 pm. The will be present.

The notion of impermanence of human existence and the reconstruction of daily life traces are the main source of inspiration for the installation Réserve to be seen from June at the former powder keg bunker in the Lunetta Gamberini Garden. The military facility, dating back to the nineteenth hundreds, before being shut down for security reasons, had become a shelter for homeless #people, maybe desperate migrants, still prevented from understanding the notion of welcome. The bunker, chosen for its symbolic meaning, was perfect for the artist to evoke bodies of silent presences through a site-specific piece with 500 kilograms of used clothes covered with gold metal foil isothermal blankets.

On Monday, 26 June, at 7 pm, in the Cortile dell'Ercole of Palazzo Poggi, #christianboltanski converses with Danilo Eccher in a public talk organized in collaboration with Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di #bologna. Introduction by Prof. Marco Antonio Bazzocchi, Delegate for Cultural Activities of the academic institution.

The programme of initiatives commemorating the 37th anniversary of the Ustica disaster includes on Tuesday June 27 the opening of the performative installation by Ultima, resulting from the cooperation between Boltanski, the set designer Jean Kalman and the composer Franck Krawczyk, that will transform the main hall of the Arena del Sole theatre unleashing a new unexpressed potential of this location. The piece was designed as the criss-cross of space, a strongly evocative venue full of objects, voices and sounds, all set against a simple and essential but deeply emotionally involving background. This is going to be a real journey through time and memory where the vulnerability and transience of remembrance are conveyed to the audience with a delicate yet powerful language.

Finally, in september, Take me (I'm yours) will turn Boltanski into the curator of an unusual popular art experiment turning the area of the former Giuriolo parking lot in a three days diffused art space were visitors will have the chance either to interact with art or to get it. 
Well-established artists and young emerging talents will make multiple pieces and objects to be exchanged and donated to the public, the idea being to explore in a fun and ironic way the current processes defining the value of art and in particular its distribution and dissemination often going beyond mainstream market laws. 

Moreover, during the Boltanski exhibition the #mambo Educational Department sets up a specially laid-out educational space and will also organize special guided visits and workshops for schools. 
The “Estate al Museo” (Summer at the museum) summer camps, taking place at Villa delle Rose, includes two modules of one week each devoted to the French artist and addressed to young #people from 11 to 14 years of age. Moreover, visits with educators are available for the general public in all the project venues.
Furthermore, in order to revive the #museo per la Memoria di Ustica, from the next school year 2017/2018 some new spaces for educational activities will be available. Indeed, thanks to Quartiere Navile, the top floor spaces of its seat will be adapted to host on-going workshop activities curated by the Educational Department of the Istituzione #bologna Musei.

Anime. Di luogo in luogo is accompanied by a free publication with  newspaper format, available in every venue hosting the special project, besides the other institutional premises of Munipality of #bologna and turistic points.  

The exhibition's publication in a very handy format, by Edizioni #mambo, is the ninth volume of the Instant Book collection.
In the occasion of this special project, a monographic volume tracking back the whole career of the French artist is published by Silvana Editoriale and curated by Danilo Eccher. 


Christian Boltanski
#christianboltanski is one of the world most famous contemporary artists and certainly the one who was able to work on memory at best, telling 
it in a lively and vivid way.
On May 30 1997 his first Italian solo exhibition was opened in #bologna at Villa delle Rose, at that time he was considered as one of the sharpest and most promising artists on the international scene; ten years after the same artist came back to #bologna to make an imposing and impressive installation devoted to the Ustica disaster. Over the last two decades Boltanski reaffirmed his position as one of the most important living artists: he displayed his works in the most important museums and got the most prestigious international awards, as Art Ambassador he represented his country - France - in the world top cultural events. In spite of his huge success he never forgot his special relation to #bologna, a city that already recognized him as a great contemporary artist when he was at the beginning of his career.

Danilo Eccher
Danilo Eccher was first Director of the Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea [Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art] of Trento from 1989 to 1994, then Director of GAM [Modern Art Gallery] in #bologna from 1995 to 2000, organizing the large exhibition for #bologna, European Capital of Culture. In 2001 he was appointed as Director of the new MACRO in Rome, where he stayed until 2008, then he directed the GAM [Modern Art Gallery] of Torino until 2014. He was commissioner at the Venice Biennale in 1993 and professor at the University of #bologna and La Sapienza University in Rome. He curated several exhibitions both in Italy and abroad with the most important international artists.

Anime. Di luogo in luogo
Christian Boltanski
curated by Danilo Eccher

26 June - 12 November 2017
#bologna, various venues

Project promoted by:
Municipality of #bologna
Emilia Romagna Teatro Foundation

Curated by:
Danilo Eccher

In collaboration with:
Associazione Parenti delle Vittime della Strage di Ustica
Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Alliance Française #bologna

With the patronage of:
Embassy of France in Italy

Thanks to the support of:
Regione Emilia-Romagna
Gruppo Unipol
Coop Alleanza 3.0
Nuovi Mecenati Foundation

Media partner:

Web site:

Press Office:
Municipality of Bologna
Raffaella Grimaudo
tel. + 39 051 204664

Istituzione #bologna Musei
Elisa Maria Cerra - Silvia Tonelli
tel. +39 051 6496653 / 6496620

The press kit can be downloaded after registering from the #mambo web site at the following address:


A proposito di Ustica
Permanent installation
#museo per la Memoria di Ustica | via di Saliceto 3/22

Multi-venue installation 
City suburban areas
June - August

Anime. Di luogo in luogo
Antological exhibition
#mambo - #museo d’Arte Moderna di #bologna | via Don Minzoni 14
26 June - 12 November
Opening Sunday 25 June h 7.30 pm

Performative installation
Arena del Sole | via Indipendenza 44
27 - 28 - 29 - 30 June
h 21.30 / 22.00 / 22.30

Former powder keg bunker Lunetta Gamberini Garden | via Pellizza da Volpedo
26 June - 12 November
Preview Monday, 26 June h 11 am

Take Me (I'm Yours)
Progetto speciale
Giuriolo parking lot | via Giuriolo

Guided visits curated by #mambo Educational Department:
#mambo#museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna
without reservation, in italian and english language
Thursday, Saturday h 5.30 pm | Sunday h 4.30 pm (duration around 1 hour)
full € 10 | reduced € 7 (rates inclusive of entrance ticket)

Tour from #museo per la Memoria di Ustica to MAMbo
with, italian and english language (minimun 6 partecipants)
Every Sunday h 10 am (duration around 3 hours)
full € 14 | reduced € 10 (rates inclusive of #mambo entrance ticket)
Information and reservations:
#mambo Educational Department
tel. +39 051 6496628 (Thusday and Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm)
or mamboedu@comune.bologna.it

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