26 July 1995
Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti
The text of the conference is available in Italian.
Francesco Bonami proposes a reflection on “how art can manifest itself in a period such as this one and with what criterion we can evaluate a creative effort in relation to our increasingly a-social, a-political, a-moral, autonomous identity.” A rapid succession of works, from Boetti to Charles Ray, from Joseph Koons to Luciano Fabro, are chosen to illustrate the immense changes that have invested the last twenty years of the twentieth century. “As long as we are able to understand art as a symbolic means of sociality,” Bonami argues, “I believe that we will be able to keep alive, a real – albeit reduced space – in which, in an age condemned to virtuality, the presence of the individual in the space in front of something or of nothing still means and projects a possible transformation of existence.”
Francesco Bonami is a critic and curator. He has been editorial director of Flash Art International. From 1995 to 2014 he was the artistic director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo per l’Arte in Turin. From 2004 to 2008 he was the artistic director of Villa Manin Center for Contemporary Art. In 2003 he directed the 50th edition of the Venice Biennale, in 2010 he curated the 75th Whitney Biennial of American Art, in 2000 he curated Manifesta 3 in Ljubljana and in 1997 the Santa Fe Biennale. In Chicago he was Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art and has worked for the Gagosian Gallery, the Pinault Foundation, the Qatar Museum, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the National Museum of Seoul, PS1 in New York, and the Hara Museum in Tokyo. Among his books: Potevo farlo anch’io (2007), Dopotutto non è brutto (2009), Maurizio Cattelan; autobiografia non autorizzata (2011), Mamma voglio fare l’artista (2013).