press release

The 7th edition of Manifesta, the itinerant Biennale of contemporary art, will be hosted in 2008 by the Regione Autonoma Trentino-Alto Adige. At the same time, the Mart will present the Eurasia. Geographic cross-overs in art exhibition in the Rovereto site of the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto from 28th June to 16 November 2008.

The ambitious Eurasia exhibition arised from an idea by Achille Bonito Oliva, who will be the exhibition’s curator, flanked by an international team of young international curators comprising Lorenzo Benedetti, Iara Boubnova, Cecilia Casorati, Hu Fang, Christiane Rekade and Julia Trolp.

The exhibition will present a vision of art able to “pierce” every separate identity and indicate the possibilities of an art full of interchanges between Europe and Asia; in other words, “Eurasia”.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the name given by Beuys to a series of performances executed between 1966 and 1968, represented in the exhibition by the video of Eurasienstab, 1967, realised on 9th February 1968 at the Wide White Space in Antwerp.

According to Beuys, Eurasia is a geographic vision and, at the same time, an expression of a new, complex artistic identity that is no longer territorial and self-sufficient, but aimed at the world and man.

In 1967, with a Manifesto, the German artist founded the fictitious state of Eurasia. This was an open territory without physical or dogmatic borders: the geographic representation of a utopia, a fusion of Western realism and Oriental mysticism, the venue for a totality as yet not dispersed.

Total art, a new humanism and ethical responsibility are the key words for a project that appears surprising if reconsidered from its inception in the 1960s to the present day, from Beuys to the latest generation.

Some fundamental aspects of Beuys’ work – multiculturalism and the aspiration towards a total art, his stance regarding going beyond borders, and the “amplified concept of art” – find a timely echo in the work of artists of the young generation.

The exhibition, therefore, aims to stress the overcoming of a purely performative art in favour of a reflection making use of contents and themes of our time, a veritable emergence affirming the value of the co-existence of differences.

Achille Bonito Oliva’s reflection takes its stimulus from the idea that it be possible to consider Beuys’ work in a historical perspective, while re-reading and re-planning it.

The exhibition will trace an original path through the artistic landscape of Eurasia territory and identify viewpoints and projects reacting to the aestheticisation of everyday life and the abuse of reality, proposing a linguistic complexity summarising different expressions.

The awareness that the model of new humanism in Eurasia is effectively being re-used today by many young artists imparts to the exhibition not only the task of documenting their work, but also the ambitious programme of championing an art that finally pays a close attention to reality and translates it into small utopias, between a desire and ecological hope for an improved quality of life.

If it is true, as Achille Bonito Oliva maintains, that “the excess of Duchampian indifference and performative hedonism of the last generation may lead not so much to the Hegelian “death of art” as that of the public, then Eurasia. Geographic cross-overs in art sets itself the objective of recovering a greater attention to social themes, and of promoting the total art of the young of an ideal continent that runs seamlessly from Europe to Asia.

Eurasia. Geographic cross-overs in art 28th June to 16 November 2008. Project curator: Achille Bonito Oliva in collaboration with: Lorenzo Benedetti Iara Boubnova Cecilia Casorati Hu Fang Christiane Rekade Julia Trolp

Organisational coordination: Elisabetta Barisoni Julia Trolp

only in german

Eurasia. Geographic cross-overs in art

Kuratoren: Achille Bonito Oliva, Lorenzo Benedetti, Iara Boubnova, Cecilia Casorati, Hu Fang, Christiane Rekade, Julia Trolp

Künstler: Lida Abdul, Mark Bain, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Joseph Beuys, Ursula Biemann, Alighiero e Boetti, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Stefano Cagol, Mircea Cantor, Andrea Caretto & Raffaella Spagna, Beatrice Catanzaro, Heman Chong, Cao Fei, Vadim Fishkin, Christian Frosi & Riccardo Previdi, Silvia Giambrone, Alban Hajdinaj, Koo Jeong-a, Anant Joshi, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Terence Koh, Cristina Lucas, Mindaugas Lukosaitis, Sirous Namazi, Timo Nasseri, Alessandro Nassiri Tabibzadeh, Elena Nemkova, Vladimir Nikolic, Adrian Paci, Dan Perjovschi, Mandla Reuter, Luigi Rizzo, Kirstine Roepstorff, Aidan Salakhova, Fernando Sanchez Castillo, Bojan Sarcevic, Hans Schabus, Chiharu Shiota, Carola Spadoni, Kuang-yu Tsui Hema Upadhyay, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Eva-Maria Wilde & Jenny Rosemeyer, Jun Yang, Haegue Yang, Yangjiang Group , (Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, Sun Qinglin), Vadim Zakharov, Darius Ziura