Art City Bologna 2022, Bologna's art week dedicated to contemporary art, kicks off.

From May 7 to 15, Art City Bologna, the art week dedicated to contemporary art, returns. A rich program of openings and extraordinary openings in conjunction with Arte Fiera.

Art City, the widespread project in the city’s museums and art venues born from the collaboration between the Municipality of Bologna and BolognaFiere on the occasion of Arte Fiera, is back in Bologna. Usually scheduled to take place at the end of January, the 2022 edition has been postponed to spring due to the pandemic situation: in fact, it will open today, May 7, and will end on May 15.

Coordinated by the Modern and Contemporary Art Area of Istituzione Bologna Musei under the artistic direction of Lorenzo Balbi, the program offers a rich calendar of openings and extraordinary openings, in conjunction with Arte Fiera, scheduled from May 13 to 15. The main core consists of a Main Program articulated in a Special Project and a series of curatorial projects spanning a wide range of contemporary art practices. The calendar also includes proposals from museums, foundations, institutional spaces, Associazione Gallerie Bologna - Confcommercio Ascom Bologna, exhibition spaces and independent galleries in the city. ART CITY Bologna 2022 starts from a necessary redefinition of the ways in which public space is shared and a reflection on the changing dynamics of interpersonal relationships, the works extend into actions, exhibitions and site-specific installations in usual and unusual places, generating narratives and new interactions. Partners of this edition are Gruppo Hera, Unipol Group, CUBO Business Museum of Unipol Group, Associazione Gallerie Bologna - Confcommercio Ascom Bologna.


Once again this edition will involve places that are symbolic of civic history such as Piazza Maggiore, Palazzo d’Accursio and the National Picture Gallery of Bologna, prestigious palaces such as Palazzo De’ Toschi with the Sala Convegni Banca di Bologna, Alchemilla at Palazzo Vizzani, the Oratorio di San Filippo Neri of the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna, Palazzo Bentivoglio and the Centro di Ricerca Musicale - Teatro San Leonardo, as well as a precious architectural treasure such as the Padiglione de l’Esprit Nouveau built to a design by Le Corbusier to the green treasure chest of the Sistema Museale di Ateneo, located in the heart of the university area, such as the Orto Botanico and Erbario. The 2022 edition envisages a broader and polycentric dimension that extends the events toward the metropolitan territory of Bologna, involving the areas of Calderara di Reno, Pianoro, Pieve di Cento, Riola di Vergato, San Giorgio di Piano, San Lazzaro di Savena, San Pietro in Casale, Valsamoggia, as well as the municipality of Cento in the province of Ferrara.

Visual identity

The conception and development of the visual identity were entrusted, as for last year’s edition, to artists Filippo Tappi and Marco Casella, who started from the star represented as an astronomical phenomenon of a body that flickers, fades and multiplies. The background is in fact Bologna itself, seen as a galaxy in which everything happens: an agglomeration of iridescent planets, pulsating stars, dark matter, dust, dancing to the astronomical rhythm. In this nebula, myriad events come into contact, overlap, merge, echo, multiply. The star is declined in a series of shapes and colors that change in frequency, accompanying it to an explosion, an evanescent glow, an engine of transformation; it is followed by a living, organic being that reiterates the variety of the world of signs, a being with softer lines that carries with it the muffled sounds of marine environments. The last element is the wake of a journey at the speed of light, in which signs begin to multiply and merge with the background.

Main Program

Tino Sehgal, Golden Lion at the 2013 Venice International Art Exhibition, has been invited for the Special Project. His works are authentic living sculptures, choreographies of people in motion that generate unusual, sometimes surreal situations with which the public is invited to engage. Curated by Lorenzo Balbi and promoted by Istituzione Bologna Musei | MAMbo with the support of Gruppo Unipol in collaboration with Bologna Welcome, the intervention that the artist has created specifically for Piazza Maggiore features forty-five dancers and performers, whose bodies and gestures are used by the artist as artistic and human material to compose a great work.

On the other hand, the curatorial Main Projects, produced and created specifically for the event and constructed in relation to the places that host them, are nine in number. Emerging artists such as Benni Bosetto, Kipras Dubauskas, Mattia Pajè and Emilia Tapprest are placed side by side with more established names such as Andreas Angelidakis, Giulia Niccolai (the only non-living artist) and Italo Zuffi, up to international names such as Carlos Garaicoa, Pedro Neves Marques, as well as Tino Sehgal. The focus on Italian art, in continuity with the choices pursued by Simone Menegoi’s artistic direction for Arte Fiera, is accompanied by contamination and openness to artists of international origin. A transversal element that characterizes the projects of this tenth edition is the prevalence of the experiential dimension of the work, in which it is action that redefines spaces through bodies. As in Stultifera, a large performance work by Benni Bosetto curated by Caterina Molteni that takes place in the Salone degli Incamminati at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna. The scene, inspired by Sebastian Brant’s satirical work The Ship of Fools (1494), takes place on a ship destined for an endless voyage, on which passengers interact by assuming archetypal identities in the need to delineate a new social order. Stultifera is a project of Trust for Contemporary Art with the support of MAMbo, Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Azienda Speciale Palaexpo - il Mattatoio | Progetto Prender-si Cura, in collaboration with Ateliersi. The experiential element returns in the exhibition dedicated to Giulia Niccolai, Why I do it because. The poetic life of Giulia Niccolai at the Pavilion de l’Esprit Nouveau, curated by Allison Grimaldi Donahue and Caterina Molteni, promoted by MAMbo, in which the artist’s poetic, visual and sonic research is reconstructed but also reactivated through a performance by Giulia Crispiani, a writing workshop and reading by Allison Grimaldi Donahue, a video interview by Bes Bajraktarevi?, and a film project by Sergio Racanati and Manuela Gandini. The performative element is also found in Zhouwéi Network by Emilia Tapprest, in collaboration with Victor Evink, at the Centro di Ricerca Musicale - Teatro San Leonardo, an immersive video installation and live performance curated by Felice Moramarco, which through the medium of film explores the relationship between datafication, political power and individual affective experiences, promoted by the Embassy and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I-Portunus, Mondriaan Fund and Stimuleringsfonds, in collaboration with DEMO Moving Image Experimental Politics, Adiacenze and AngelicA | Centro di Ricerca Musicale. Experiencing space through actions that redefine it and generate narratives is also a peculiar trait of Italo Zuffi’s research, to whom is dedicated Front and Back, a solo exhibition articulated in two venues curated by Lorenzo Balbi and Davide Ferri, promoted by MAMbo and Banca di Bologna. The Sala delle Ciminiere at MAMbo offers a retrospective path from the mid-1990s to 2020, while a series of new productions can be seen in the Sala Convegni Banca di Bologna at Palazzo De’ Toschi. The dialogue of the works with urban and architectural space emerges in other Main Program projects: for example, in the project presented by Palazzo Bentivoglio, POST-RUIN Bentivoglio by Andreas Angelidakis, curated by Antonio Grulli. At the center is the large installation that gives the exhibition its title and traverses the three rooms of the building’s 16th-century basement, harking back to its past, to the Bolognese family’s former palace destroyed by a popular uprising. The work is part of a series in which the concept of ruin is subverted by making it usable at will by the public. It finds a home in the central spaces of Sala Tassinari at Palazzo D’Accursio, managed by Fondazione per l’Innovazione Urbana, Emergency Break by Kipras Dubauskas, a film installation curated by Elisa Del Prete and Silvia Litardi, promoted by NOS Visual Arts Production in collaboration with Home Movies, Lithuanian Cultural Institute and Sandra Natali Artist Residency. The project presents for the first time in Italy the trilogy dedicated to the theme of rescue, developed by the Lithuanian artist starting in 2019, with a preview of the chapter on Bologna. Instead, it is Carlos Garaicoa who is the protagonist of the interaction with the 18th-century space of the Oratorio di San Filippo Neri, with an installation curated by Maura Pozzati, promoted by Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna in collaboration with Galleria Continua. The Cuban artist intends to approach the history of the place, recalling its destruction during World War II and the restoration that made it possible to recover a masterpiece of Bolognese Baroque architecture. Finding a singular location is the video installation Aedes Aegypti by artist, writer and director Pedro Neves Marques, curated by Sabrina Samorì, promoted by MAMbo in collaboration with SMA - Sistema Museale di Ateneo, visible at the Botanical Garden and Herbarium of the University of Bologna. This hyper-realistic digital animation highlights the artificiality of the female mosquito Aedes Aegypti, the carrier of the Zika and Dengue viruses. In the ongoing quest to control, regulate and dominate nature, scientists have developed a weapon that interferes with the reproductive systems of these insects. By injecting male mosquitoes with a “lethal gene,” they turn the reproductive act of impregnation into one of random sterilization. Expanding the idea of contagiousness in pre-pandemic times, Neves Marques uses the example of the Aedes Aegypti as a reference for bodily suppression in the service of national and economic interests. Instead, the historic rooms of Palazzo Vizzani are inhabited by Fuori Terra, an exhibition by Mattia Pajè curated by Giovanni Rendina, promoted by MAMbo and Alchemilla in collaboration with the BOCA Association and Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio, centered on a sculptural group composed of humanoid figures immersed in an installation environment. To get a closer look at the poetics and practices of some of the protagonists of the Main Projects, the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna offers the cycle ARTALK CITY. Meetings at the Academy with Main Program artists with dialogues between artists, curators and faculty open to the public in the Aula Magna, May 11-15 at 10:30 a.m.

Protagonist of the art week in Bologna is, as usual, theBologna Galleries Association associated with Confcommercio Ascom Bologna, with exhibition proposals that will range from great Italian figurative art of the 20th century to excellent international artists and local authors. The rich program also includes exhibitions and other initiatives set up in the most diverse types of exhibition spaces and independent galleries. On the evening of Saturday, May 14, ART CITY White Night returns, an evening dedicated to contemporary art in the city, with exhibitions, performances, and events in public, private and commercial spaces. White Night is produced by BolognaFiere as part of ART CITY Bologna 2022 and in collaboration with Bologna’s commercial and cultural operators.

All events included in the Main Program are free admission.

For all information on times and venues you can visit

Art City Bologna 2022, Bologna's art week dedicated to contemporary art, kicks off.
Art City Bologna 2022, Bologna's art week dedicated to contemporary art, kicks off.

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