WE WANT EVERYTHING. In Ravenna first posthumous exhibition for Nanni Balestrini

From June 22 to September 3, 2019, the Classense Library in Ravenna is hosting the exhibition 'VogliAMO tutto,' featuring works by Nanni Balestrini.

The Sala del Mosaico of the Classense Library in Ravenna is hosting VogliAMO tutto from June 22 to September 3, 2019, in fact the first posthumous exhibition of Nanni Balestrini (Milan, 1935 - Rome, 2019), a great protagonist of the neoavantgarde who passed away a few days ago. The exhibition, curated by Davide Di Maggio and Paolo Trioschi, will host one of Balestrini’s most famous works, Anni ’70, Anni ’80, the large 7-by-5-meter canvas that recounts those years, which will be accompanied by the eponymous series of collages and the very famous canvas entitled Potere operaio from 1972, one of the most significant works of Balestrini’s poetic research on the expressive conditions of language and the social and political contexts of its enunciation.

Nanni Balestrini’s visual production of the 1970s and 1980s unravels from a somber succession of heavy words, full of oil and disquiet, to the more colorful and seemingly light collages and gouaches of the 1980s. The 1970s represent the decade of antagonist movements, feminism, psychedelia, terrorism and confrontations. 1979 ushered in the heavy wave of repression for which Balestrini and other intellectuals moved to France. Balestrini’s upheaval of narrative linearity causes the journalistic context of the time to unveil the threat of the end of dreams and the imagination in power to shatter under the weight of words suspended like curses, like mantras uttered in reverse.

Nanni Balestrini, born in Milan in 1935, writer, poet, visual artist, has been at the center of national cultural changes since the 1960s: among the animators of the neoavantgarde season, he was part of the “Novissimi” poets and the “Gruppo 63” with Umberto Eco, Angelo Guglielmi, Renato Barilli, Alberto Arbasino, Amelia Rosselli, Furio Colombo, Giorgio Manganelli, Edoardo Sanguineti and others. Many and authoritative were his companions also in the experience of “Alfabeta,” a journal he animated together with Umberto Eco, Gillo Dorfles, Edoardo Sanguineti, Gino Di Maggio and Achille Bonito Oliva. At the same time, the artist has developed an extraordinary activity in the field of visual arts with many exhibition opportunities involving him, at Mart in Rovereto in 2007, Museo Pecci in Prato and Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 2008, the Louvre in Paris in 2009, Macro in Rome in 2016, dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel in 2012, not forgetting his 1993 presence at the Venice Biennale. “I have the habit of seeing the verbal and visual levels as one,” Balestrini declared in 2017. “I started my artistic activity by writing poetry, but I have always been interested in the transformations of avant-garde arts.”

The Ravenna exhibition takes up the vision of Vogliamo Tutto (a title “expropriated” from Nanni Balestrini’s 1971 cult book that inspired entire generations with the story of the worker Alfonso), or the synthesis of human illusions and the unchallenged power of media representation. The shredded sentences and letters are apocalyptic and light at the same time. They are works that anticipated the advent of virtuality and its pitfalls, the manifestation of that anthropophagous techno-world made of videos and words that eat the real.

The exhibition at the Classense Library is part of the Ascoltare Bellezza program, and at the opening, June 21, there will also be an opportunity for an affectionate and participatory remembrance of the artist who passed away last May 19 with the reading of some of his most significant poems by Franco Costantini and the testimony of Manuela Gandini under the curatorship of Davide Di Maggio and Paolo Trioschi.

VogliAMO tutto is organized by the Culture Department of the Municipality of Ravenna / Istituzione Biblioteca Classense in collaboration with Ravenna Festival and the Mudima Foundation of Milan. Opening hours: July, Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday and Monday from 2 to 6 p.m.; Aug. 1 to 14 daily (except Sunday, closing day) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 15 to 31 daily from 2 to 6 p.m., September daily from 2 to 6 p.m. Free admission.

Pictured: Nanni Balestrini, Anni ’70, Anni ’80 (1980; emulsified canvas, 700 x 500 cm)

WE WANT EVERYTHING. In Ravenna first posthumous exhibition for Nanni Balestrini
WE WANT EVERYTHING. In Ravenna first posthumous exhibition for Nanni Balestrini

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