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Symphony Of Hunger

Fondazione Bonnoto, Venezia

September 8 - October 31,2015


Inspired by a notable selection of works from the Fondazione Bonotto collection, the show feeds an appetite for candid action and fosters a relation to bodily presence through a composition of pieces by established and emerging artists. Considering themes of desire, taste, digestion, and waste, the exhibition will use an experimental curatorial model to orchestrate an organic exploration of corporal, sociopolitical, and aesthetic hungers.

The exhibition is anchored by historical works from renowned artists including Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Joseph Beuys, Robert Filliou, Juan Hidalgo, Dick Higgins, Arrigo Lora Totino, George Maciunas, Walter Marchetti, and Claes Oldenberg, many of whom were active in the Fluxus movement. Originating in the 1960s, Fluxus was integral to challenging and expanding the definitions of art by breaking away from pre-existing practices. Deriving its name from the Latin word for “flowing” or “fluid," the movement was driven by artists who craved human connections, actions, and exchanges and believed deeply that art originates in the belly rather than the brain. Inspired by these intentions and stemming from early experimental music scores by composer John Cage, Fluxus artists explored notions of democratic inclusion, interactive association, and indeterminacy in art.

This exhibition re-enlivens the spirit of Fluxus with a convergence of contemporaneity. While the key efforts of the movement may have passed, major threads of its revolutionary intentions live on within the current creative sphere. Many artists today are inspired by the same hunger for expression of social, cultural, and political matters through physicality and interaction. By uniting the historical Bonotto selections with a global assemblage of contemporary works, this exhibition creates a harmonious meeting of artists across five decades and nine countries that share a common craving.

Showcasing the recent work of eleven international artists and collectives, this exhibition illustrates a fluid continuity of attitude through a wide range of media. Throughout its run, several site-specific works will be revealed, including an immersive installation by sound artist Christian Skjødt [Denmark], as well as three newly commissioned works: a poetry piece by Barbara Rockman [USA], a performance by Tizian Baldinger [Switzerland], and an interactive installation by Davide Sgambaro [Italy]. The exhibition will also feature sound and video works by Christof Migone [Canada], and Pil & Galia Kollectiv [Israel]. Photographic work by Kensuke Koike [Japan], and two dynamic objects by Mano Penalva [Brazil] will also be displayed.


In the manner of a conceptual symphony, the exhibition explores an experimental presentation model by unfolding over four days in a succession of curatorial “movements.” Following the physical process of digestion in the conjectural path of a compositional score, each day will unveil a new grouping of works. As the score of the show progresses, each movement will build off the last to create a harmony of nuanced connections. The symphony will reach a crescendo as the exhibition is completed on the fourth day. Although the layout of the show will become fixed at this point, the works will not remain static. Rather, many of the pieces will be continuously shifting and evolving in time and space. In this way, visitors will have the chance to metaphorically ingest and digest the score in their own way.

The exhibition will align with the release of a new publication titled Symphony of Hunger: The Fifth Movement, a complementary tome that will add depth and relevance to the conceptual reflections and relational threads presented in the gallery space. The publication will be created in tandem with the Tankboys design studio and printed by Automatic Books. It will present several newly commissioned texts, including an essay by Patrizio Peterlini of the Fondazione Bonotto, and will provide inquisitive artist interviews and extended research into thematic issues expounded by the show. 

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