October 28 – March 07, 2021

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Press release

Giulia Cenci (Cortona, 1988, lives and works in Amsterdam and Tuscany), Tomaso De Luca (Verona, 1988, lives and works in Berlin) and Renato Leotta (Turin, 1982, lives and works in Turin and Acireale) are the three finalists for the MAXXI BVLGARI PRIZE, the project bringing together MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bvlgari to support and promote young artists. The three finalists were chosen by an international jury composed by Hou Hanru, Artistic Director at MAXXI, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi Director of MAXXI Arte, Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Emma Lavigne, President of the Palais de Tokyo and Victoria Noorthoorn, Director of the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art; the same jury will choose the winner by the end of the exhibition.

Their site-specific artworks created for the PRIZE will be on show at MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Arts from 28 October 2020 to 7 March 2021. The exhibition, curated by Giulia Ferracci, starts from the walkway on the third floor, which runs from the exit of the lift to the entrance to Gallery 5. Here we find lento-violento, the largest installation created by Giulia Cenci, which is divided into four groups of sculptures, four plastic clusters suspended in space that invade the room and impose on the visitor constant perspective changes, projecting them into a world of hybrid, fluid, partly human, partly animal forms. Through this monumental installation, the artist stages the changes and tensions between man and nature, the machine of hyper-productive capitalism and unbridled consumerism, the conflicts of our time and a dystopian future for humanity.

Already in the first sculptural cluster, the subjects are two anthropomorphic figures who seem to challenge each other. The conflict erupts in the second group of casts, along the balustrade, where the legs of headless horses seem to be thrown into the fray. The third scene is a sort of prison, a grid that descends almost as low as the hall and traps small figures without connotations, guarded by a monstrous creature. The path closes with an image of apparent calm, an abandoned moorland where a zoomorphic machine looms from above, similar to an airship. The exhibition continues inside Gallery 5 with A Week's Notice, a video and sound installation on three channels by Tomaso De Luca.

The work offers an alternative ending to the unforgiving phenomenon of gentrification that, between the 1980s and 1990s, followed the AIDS crisis. While in the neighbourhoods of large cities the homosexual community, which was the most affected by the epidemic in those decades, disappeared, the market saw an opportunity in the carnage: furniture and personal belongings were thrown out onto the streets and flats were put back on the market for healthier and more affluent tenants. In an attempt to regain this lost space, the artist transforms domestic architecture into a disorienting space, where the sense of loss and precariousness become elements for fostering a reconstruction.

Roma and Fiumi, a project dedicated to the city of Renato Leotta, end the itinerary: twelve films, shot in 16 mm film, are presented on twelve screens distributed in the Museum space as though to evoke an ideal walk through the remains of the city. The films were shot among the iconic fountains of Barcaccia, Trevi, and Quattro Fiumi and the sacred area of Largo di Torre Argentina: a gash in the asphalt, showing the anatomy of the ancient city lying under the road surface. From the balustrade that marks the perimeter of the area, inaccessible to visitors but visible only from above, you can see a space cut out from the hectic urban flow that revolves around it, the Largo being a crucial junction for city traffic, a space governed by a different temporality, out of sync, and populated exclusively by cats. With this unusual walk through the ruins, where the cats move cautiously and sinuously, looking at the visitor in an inquisitive way, the artist reflects on art as a means of rethinking the relationship between man, nature and the anthropized landscape, re-establishing a relationship between society and animality.

Installation view. Giulia Cenci, lento-violento, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Installation view. Giulia Cenci, lento-violento, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Installation view. Giulia Cenci, lento-violento, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Installation view. Tomaso de Luca, A Week's notice, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Installation view. Tomaso de Luca, A Week's notice, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Installation view. Renato Leotta, Roma, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni 
Renato Leotta, Roma (video still), 2020  
Renato Leotta, Roma (video still), 2020 

Featured image: MAXXI BVLGARI PRIZE, installation view, Tomaso de Luca, A Week's notice, 2020. Photo: Giorgio Benni

Digital Mourning, curated by Roberta Tenconi, is the first major solo exhibition devoted to Neïl Beloufa in an Italian institution, and it stems from a reflection on the current times and on the concept of life in our digital world. Right from the title, the exhibition alludes to one of the most striking paradoxes of contemporary society, which is the existence in a technological world and its parallel disappearance. Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan
Clima Gallery, Milan
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
CRAC Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sète
Eugster || Belgrade, Belgrade
Istituto Svizzero, Rome
Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Peres Project, Berlin