Where and when
Stefano Collicelli Cagol
Director of the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato
On Tuesday, May 31 at 6:00pm, the new volume by Giorgio Bacci, Borders. Journeys into contemporary art will be presented to the public (Postmedia Books, 2022). The meeting, scheduled in the Cinema Room of the Museo Novecento, will be introduced by Sergio Risaliti (Director of the Novecento Museum) together with Stefano Collicelli Cagol (Director of the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato) and Stefania Rispoli (Curator of the Museo Novecento).
This volume presents a series of journeys into contemporary art analysing different artists who are far from each other geographically but who often share experiences and thematic confluences. Works are looked at starting with their historical and artistic placement; on one hand they are able to relate creatively to the art of the sixties and seventies and on the other they are capable of opening up to interdisciplinary inclusion without foregoing the essence of the medium employed.
Journeys, and not journey (in the plural and not singular), because I believed the best option was to travel through thematic areas, determined by the very nature of the research undertaken. The book’s structure reflects its content-based approach, with the methodological intention born of the desire to let the art historian’s role emerge from the description of the artists and their work: this is not a mere bullet-point list, but a reflection on stylistic conjunctions and iconographic connections. The text’s initial methodological approach will put the problem into focus in a general sense, preparing the ground for a contemporary reading of art that aims to join critique, history and visual comparison of (and with) the artwork.
The reader will travel, along with migrants and the artists, and cross walls (Fiamma Montezemolo, Rula Halawani), inhospitable landscapes (Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo’s borderscapes), misleading thresholds to another world that is denied (Mimmo Paladino, Giovanni de Gara, Shinpei Takeda), lines of troublesome borders (Shilpa Gupta, Reena Saini Kallat) and enter houses draped in fragile memories (Mona Hatoum, Do Ho Suh, Petrit Halilaj), discovering the difficulty of relating to an identity in transit (Adrian Paci, Sislej Xhafa), remembering past languages and learning new ones (Ilaria Turba, Parastou Forouhar, Alessandra Brown), to finally reach a landing that is really a new point for future departures.
Giorgio Bacci was born in Livorno in 1980. He is Associate Professor in History of Contemporary Art at the SAGAS department of University of Florence. He graduated and specialised at Pisa University going on to do his doctorate at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he became a research fellow appointed as the national leader for the Capti project (www.capti.it). In addition to numerous essays and articles, he has written Le illustrazioni in Italia tra Otto e Novecento. Libri a figure, dinamiche culturali e visive (2009) and curated exhibitions (and their catalogues) on: the illustrations of the publishing house Salani (2012 and 2013), the relationship between Mimmo Paladino and literature (2015 and 2016), Roberto Innocenti (2016), Silvano Campeggi (2017), Lorenzo Mattotti (2018), Gipi, Daniel Schinasi and Umberto Brunelleschi (2019), Tom Phillips, Mario Madiai (2021), as well as illustrations to Dante’s Divine Comedy between 1983 and 2021 (an exhibition held at various Italian Cultural Institutes under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation). Currently his main fields of interest are the relationship between art and literature, the themes of migration and the ‘Perspective of the Other’ in contemporary art.