Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern curated by Angelo Gioè and Maria Rosa Sossai (Seoul, Korea)

Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern

Curated by  Maria Rosa Sossai  Artistic Director of AlbumArte, Rome  and Angelo Gioè Director of Italian Institute of Culture in Seoul


Exhibition Period            Thursday, May 8th – Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Press Conference          Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 11:30am, SongEun ArtSpace

Opening                        Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 6:00-8:00pm, SongEun ArtSpace

Artists Talk +    Performance  Thursday, May 8th, 2014 at 4:00-6:00pm, S.Atrium SongEun ArtSpace)

Artists     Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Meris Angioletti, Francesco Arena, Elisabetta Benassi, Rossella Biscotti, Tomaso De Luca, Ettore Favini, Chiara Fumai, Piero Golia, Francesca Grilli, Adelita Husni-Bey, , Margherita Moscardini,Valerio Rocco Orlando, Adrian Paci, Giulia Piscitelli, Paola Pivi, Moira Ricci, Marinella Senatore, Alberto Tadiello, Diego Tonus, Luca Trevisani, Nico Vascellari

 Exhibition Hours                Monday – Saturday 11:00-19:00, Closed Sundays / Free

Venue                              SongEun ArtSpace (Apgujung-Ro 75 Gil 6, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul)

Exhibits        24 works including sculptures, drawings, photos, installations and video works

Organized by        SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation, Italian Institute of Culture in Seoul

Supported by          Embassy of Italy in South Korea, Italian Institute of Culture in Seoul


Exhibition Overview                                                                                       

In May 2014, SongEun ArtSpace will present its third special annual project, titled Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern featuring promising Italian young artists who are showing for the first time in Korea.


The exhibition We Have Never Been Modern aims at questioning the disappearance of guarantees and foundations for the future. We are left with the gaping ideological void of a modernity that has failed, or indeed perhaps never existed, and the impression of having been divided, segmented and trained. Rethinking the mechanisms of construction of the work of art, this exhibition tries to question where we can situate the artistic production of today and of Italy in particular and what the answer is.


The works of twenty-two Italian artists of the younger generations featured in the exhibition are indicative of the way in which Italy’s artistic life has addressed facts and values over the last few decades, calling into question the power that determined them and the discourse that transmitted them.


Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern                                                                                     

 The exhibition takes its title from an essay by Bruno Latour in which the French anthropologist of science reflects on the idea of modernity seen as progress advancing rationally and evenly throughout all corners of the earth. At the core of his critical thinking are the paramount issues concerning those Western societies who have imposed their own modern mind-sets on individual local cultures. What does it mean, today, to be modern? Being modern no longer means riding on that time arrow that drew a clear line between the past and the future. On the contrary, more and more art evades the modernist requirement and aspires to a timeless condition while, at the same time, addressing present-related issues or engaging with the more recent history and localized situations that then become the starting point for a range of subjective but nonetheless universal explorations. These are the questions at the core of the project. The twenty-two Italian artists selected for the show were born in the years from 1965 to the mid ’80s and are grouped according to a sensibility that is shared across the generations and to lines of research that appear in the various artistic paths. The aim is that of showing, although not exhaustively, the aesthetic and expressive changes experimented by the latest generation of Italian artists. What emerges is an artistic production in line with other contexts such as: architecture, media, literature, philosophy, anthropology, social sciences and with areas adjoining the field of the visual arts.

The exhibition will be part of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul program to promote Italian contemporary art.

‘We Have Never Been Modern’ is a process of analysis and mapping of the Italian art scene through five separate sections, each one addressing an aspect of the artistic take on a certain idea of modernity.

Uninventing modernity Francesco Arena, Elisabetta Benassi, Rossella Biscotti, Valerio Rocco Orlando, Alberto Tadiello consider the phenomenon of hybridization which has given rise – in the last two decades – to a multifaceted and heterogeneous artistic process that draws equally from the past and the present, for both contents and means of expression.

Plurality of worlds – Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Piero Golia, Giulia Piscitelli, Paola Pivi, Luca Trevisani belong to the era of globalization and diaspora, where it is not important to belong to a territorial geography, but rather to be tuned to a conceptual nomadism that can reflect, on every occasion, our existential and creative processes.

Parallel cosmograms – Meris Angioletti, Tomaso De Luca, Chiara Fumai, Nico Vascellari go to the heart of the principles that define the most essential truths and the quality of the present time.

Policies of nature – Ettore Favini, Margherita Moscardini, Adrian Paci, Moira Ricci are aware of the disappearance of movements and currents; perhaps such orphanage is why artists often cultivate the cult of memory and use expressive forms.

Thinking about the present – Francesca Grilli, Adelita Husni-Bey, Marinella Senatore, Diego Tonus’s videos are more like containers of time that is eternally present.


All the artists invited to the show, together with the curators, know that we do not control what we produce, so the sphere of our certainties will be smaller than that of our actions. In any case experts are as blind as we are.


Curators Angelo Gioè and Maria Rosa Sossai                                               


Angelo Gioè is Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul. He serves for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and previously has been posted to Cairo, Tel Aviv and Sydney as Cultural Attaché. During his last year in Rome (2012) he was Head of Section of the “Farnesina Art Collection”.

He received his M.A. in Classic Philology (main subjects: Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit Aesthetics and Art) from La Sapienza University in Rome; his post Lauream Specialization in Greek Paleography from The Vatican Library (BAV- 2 years); his second M.A as Curator for Contemporary Art and Architecture from La Sapienza University in Rome; and his PhD in Ancient Greek Language from La Sorbonne University in Paris.

He was Professor of Latin and Ancient Greek at the Liceo Martino Filetico in Ferentino (Italy) and held the chair of Ancient Greek Language and Literature, and Grammar and Linguistics at the Matela Bela University in Slovakia. He organized several exhibitions internationally. The most recent, Sounds and Visions, was held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2009. He continues to write articles in the areas of philology, literature, translation studies, and art.


Maria Rosa Sossai is a curator and researcher in the field of artistic practices and educational policies. She lives in Rome, Italy. In December 2013 she was appointed artistic director of AlbumArte, space | projects for contemporary art, Rome. She is also one of the founders of ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti, an independent platform for education and contemporary art that conceives the artistic practice as a process of shared knowledge; As an independent curator she worked on projects and exhibitions for commercial galleries, art foundations and museums both in Italy and abroad; among them MAN Museum in Nuoro, Real Academia de España, the American Academy, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, AlbumArte and Nomas Foundation in Rome, Institute of Italian Culture in Istanbul, the Tel Aviv Museum.

She is a contributor to Flash Art, Arte e Critica, Artribune and Shifter; and her publications include Arte video, Storie e culture del video d’artista in Italia (Video Art, History and Culture of Video Art in Italy), 2002, and Film d’artista, Percorsi e confronti tra arte e cinema (Artists’ Films, Writings on Art and Cinema), 2009, both published by Silvana Editoriale, Milan.


About SongEun ArtSpace                                                                                

SongEun Art Space is a non-profit, non-commercial art space founded by the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation in November 2010. The main purpose of the space is to support and promote promising young Korean and acclaimed international artists. As the only private art space in Seoul that is open free to the public, the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation aims to contribute positively to the community through its unique and innovative exhibitions and projects.


SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation

SongEun ArtSpace             Apgujeong-Ro 75 Gil 6, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-955

Hyoung-Jung Yoo                 E  T 82-2-3448-0100  F 82-2-3448-0105  M 82-10-4129-2020


Laurence Geoffrey’s, Ltd.                                                                                                     64-4, Bukchon-ro, Jongno-Gu, Seoul 110-260

Press Contact : Mi-Ri Noh                                                                                                                      E   T 82-2-745-1149   F 82-2-745-1148   M 82-10-2698-7411

Webhard                          ID: songeunart / PW : 1111    Folder: Italy in SongEun


Work List                                                                                         


Giorgio Andreotta Calò (1979-)   


Scolpire il tempo (Sculpting time), 2010

Installation view from   Extralarge, MACRO, Rome, 2013

Installation of variable   dimensions: three bronze sculptures with wax and water

Raffaella and Stefano   Sciarretta Collection, Nomas Foundation, Rome

Courtesy the artist

Photo Giorgio Benni

Meris Angioletti (1977-)


Golden, Brown and Blue, 2013

Slide projection. Six slide   projections, coloured gels and text. Variable dimensions

Courtesy the artist and   SCHLEICHER/LANGE, Berlin

Francesco Arena (1978-)


3,24 mq, 2004

Installation   view: Francesco Arena, Nomas Foundation, Rome, 2008

Wood,   furniture

270 x   120 x 230 cm

Raffaella   and Stefano Sciarretta Collection, Nomas Foundation, Rome

Courtesy   the artist and Monitor, Rome

Photo   Francesco Cartocci

Elisabetta Benassi (1966-)


Son of Niobe, 2013

HD video transferred onto   DVD, color, silent, approx. 2’

Courtesy the artist and   Magazzino, Rome

Elisabetta Benassi (1966-)

Per una lira io vendo tutti sogni miei, 2009

Coin (100 lira), Ø 2.2 cm

Courtesy the artist and Magazzino, Rome

Rossella Biscotti (1978-)   


Le teste in oggetto (The Heads in Question), 2009

Silver gelatin print on baryth paper

110 x 141 cm


Le teste in oggetto, particolari (The Heads in Question, details), 2009

Eight c-prints

39.5 x 27 cm each

Raffaella and Stefano Sciarretta Collection, Nomas   Foundation, Rome

Courtesy the artist

Tomaso De Luca (1988-)                        


An Incomplete Portrait of Anchises and Love is Soft   but Hard Sometimes, 2013

Video, color, sound; ink on paper, slide projection

Variable dimensions

Installation view at Van Horbourg, Zürich

Courtesy the artist and Monitor, Rome

Ettore Favini (1974-)                             


Cantra, 2011-2013

Installation of variable dimensions (detail); iron,   wool, wood

Courtesy the artist and Aike Dellarco, Shanghai

Chiara Fumai (1978-)   

Still from the video-performance Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas, 2013

Winner of Furla Art Award 2013

Courtesy the artist and A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia

Piero Golia (1974-)

May Be Not Even a Nation of Millions…, 2004

Human skeleton, diamond, gold

28 x 172 x 100 cm

Raffaella and Stefano Sciarretta Collection, Nomas   Foundation, Rome

Courtesy the artist

Francesca Grilli (1978-)

194.9 MHz, 2006

Video still

Digital video, 5’22″

Courtesy the artist

Adelita Husni-Bey (1985-)  

Gestures of Labour, 2009

Video still

Silent video, S8 transferred to DVD, 5’39”

Courtesy the artist and Laveronica Arte Contemporanea,   Modica

Margherita Moscardini (1981-)

1xUnknown, 2012-ongoing

Partial view of the installation

Mini-projectors, power packs, paper, paperboard,   concrete, miniDV videos, sound, MDF

Courtesy the artist and Ex Elettrofonica, Rome

Photo Dario Lasagni

Valerio Rocco Orlando (1978-) 


Personale è Politico (The Personal is Political), 2011

Green neon, 20 x 142 cm

Raffaella and Stefano Sciarretta Collection, Nomas   Foundation, Rome

Courtesy the artist

Photo Giorgio Benni

Adrian Paci (1969-)   

The Column, 2013

Video still

Video, colour, sound, 25’40’’

Courtesy the artist, kaufmann repetto, Milan, and   Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich

Giulia Piscitelli (1965-)

Guerra/e Pace (War and Peace), 2013

1957 Italian edition of War and Peace by Lev Tolstoj,   26 x 6 x 18 cm

Courtesy the artist and Galleria Fonti, Naples

Paola Pivi (1971-)