Marc Bauer analyzed social media (and Salvini and Sardine's communication) and made an exhibition about it. In Milan

It has as its subject the dynamics of social media the exhibition "I Like Comment Share," a solo show by Marc Bauer at the Swiss Institute in Milan.

TheSwiss Institute in Milan presents I Like Comment Share, A Rhetorical Figure, the first solo exhibition in Milan by artist Marc Bauer (Geneva, 1975).

The exhibition starts from the consideration that “Likes” and “Shares” are the capital of social media, the capital of the present. A simple click is enough to express one’s appreciation and, with just a few words, one can spread one’s opinion or dissent. The shiny surfaces of our smartphones act as transmitters and keep us connected to our followers.

For his exhibition Like Comment Share, A Rhetorical Figure, Marc Bauer traces the mechanisms and rhetorical tricks of digital communication, at a time when world politics is sometimes handled through ’aggressive’ capitals on Twitter where cat videos and hate speech content can spread through the same digital waves.

The works, created specifically for the Milan exhibition (they consist of drawings, a sound installation, and a large site-specific mural), take their cue from Marc Bauer’s analysis of the Twitter communication of Matteo Salvini, until September 2019 Interior Minister of the Italian government. The artist’s drawings, often in black-and-white and sometimes in color, also include images of cats, particularly of “Kittens with Salvini,” who according to statements by the League leader are supposed to eat Sardines, the recently born movement aligned against right-wing populism. So, cats and fish. But also dogs and wolves: the dog from the popular comic strip Dylan Dog or the wolf from the online magazine Il Populista. And above them, in the large mural, dominate the eerie winged creatures from an etching by Francisco de Goya.

With I Like Comment Share, A Rhetorical Figure, the artist not only analyzes the symbolic content of various animal figures but also examines, in a broader sense, the power of images and words themselves, with their political and manipulative potential: the iconography of so-called infamous paintings with upside-down portraits or people hanging upside down, images of pizzas or Madonnas as supposed insignia of Italian culture, blurred photos of boats crowded with refugees, complemented by distinct words in which statements about Christian nativity figures become populist slogans. By researching and accumulating such images and through their graphic realization, Marc Bauer illustrates how digital communication and the market of ’Likes’ and ’Shares’ can work: in Italy and elsewhere, in dark times - as, similarly, Goya’s etching can be interpreted - but not only.

In the background, however, is audible the refrain of Bella Ciao, today a buzz in the Sardine choruses for the Italian piazzas.

Working primarily with graphite and pencil and almost exclusively in black and white, Marc Bauer (born 1975 in Geneva, lives and works in Berlin) makes drawings that explore concepts of memory and history, both personal and collective. Often drawing from memory, he creates a complete world with fictional characters and narratives, placing them in a familiar representation.

Marc Bauer studied at theEcole supérieure d’art visuel in Geneva and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. His work has been presented both in numerous group exhibitions, including Drawing Room (solo) in London (2019), 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2017), and Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich (2016), and in solo exhibitions, including Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris, and FRAC Auvergne, FRAC Alsace, FRAC Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. In early February 2020, he presented a solo exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on Sea, UK. He is the winner of the 2020 GASAG Art Prize which will be awarded this year for the sixth time in collaboration with the Berlinische Galerie. Marc Bauer was a Fellow of the Swiss Institute in 2005/2006.

The exhibition opens June 4 through July 10.

For all information you can call +39 02 760 16 118, send an email to or visit the official website of the Swiss Institute.

Pictured: Marc Bauer, I Like Comment Share, A Rhetorical Figure, installation view at Istituto Svizzero, Milan. Ph. credit: Allegra Martin

Marc Bauer analyzed social media (and Salvini and Sardine's communication) and made an exhibition about it. In Milan
Marc Bauer analyzed social media (and Salvini and Sardine's communication) and made an exhibition about it. In Milan

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