The section POLIS this year grows including: POLIS / ARTWORKS exhibitions scattered around town, POLIS / CINEMA  The Coming Community curated by Mark Nash (held between the art fair and Mambo Museum), POLIS / SPECIAL PROJECTS: PERFORMING THE GALLERY curated by Chiara Vecchiarelli, and the special collaborative art projects POLIS / BBQ curated by Mia D. Suppiej.


In collaboration with Nicholas Ballario, the Artistic Director has also developed a series of exceptional exhibitions held in several magnificent venues in Bologna's old town centre that provide a backdrop for works by other artists represented by the exhibitor galleries. The title  “Polis” - already used in the previous edition - was chosen to underline the connection between Arte Fiera and the city. This year the accent will be placed on the link between the artists and their galleries, exhibitors at Arte Fiera.


Vito Acconci • OSART, Milano
Andreco • TRAFFIC, Bergamo
Valerio Berruti • MARCOROSSI, Milano, Pietrasanta (LU), Verona
Alik Cavaliere • NICCOLI, Parma
Mario Cresci • MLB MARIA LIVIA BRUNELLI, Ferrara
Giuseppe De Mattia • MATÈRIA, Roma
Sanna Kannisto, Rachele Maistrello • METRONOM, Modena
Luigi Mainolfi • PAOLA VERRENGIA & C., Salerno
Rachele Maistrello • METRONOM, Modena
Dennis Oppenheim • MONTRASIO ARTE / KM Ø, Milano, Monza (MB)
Luigi Veronesi • 10 A.M. ART, Milano


curated by Mark Nash

The show Viva L’Italia, (Arte Fiera, Bologna January 2017) explored the leg- acy of utopian and socialist ideas in militant, avant-garde and art cinema through a psycho-geographical exploration of 1970s cinema in Italy. One of the implicit questions the exhibition posed was: is such a militant concept, so important for Bolognese politics and cultural life in the 1970s and 80s, still possible today?

The second movement of this project in 2018, The Coming Communi- ty, takes its title from the book by Giorgio Agamben in which he develops the concept of community and the social implications of his philosophical thought. Our exhibition focuses on contemporary artists (and film-makers) responses to this problematic. It presents works dealing with notions of commitment, solidarity, friendship (as in ‘socialist friendship’), and rebellion (as in the Maoist - ‘it is right to rebel’), all of which involve notions of com- munity alternative to those of western liberal democracies.

In collaboration with MAMbo we present a screening programme, using the large rectangular space on the wall left empty by the removal for a restro- spective in Turin of The Funeral of Togliatti (1972) by Renato Guttuso. The painting commemorates the 1964 funeral, in Rome, of Palmiro Togliatti, the leader of the Italian Communist Party from 1927, and introduces portraits of key figures in the history of Italian Communism.

The exhibited works will explore the affective community of Soviet and Euro- pean Communism: an extract from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Uccellacci e Uccel- lini (1966) which documents the same funeral, Joaquim Jordà & Gianni Toti assemble extant footage of Lenin. Derek Jarman and William E. Jones both foreground a homoerotic sensibility in Soviet visual culture. Dana Claxton’s sculptural intervention re-introduces red flags into the gallery. Chen Shaox- iong’s documents the history of the Peoples Republic of China (in 3 min- utes!). Works by Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi and Pere Portabella reflect on the legacy of the anti-communist populism of Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco.


curated by Chiara Vecchiarelli

The Special Projects programme once again explores the potential of performance in the lanscape of the contemporary. While last year’s performative works saw artists appropriate the format of lectures, lessons and guided tours to use them as an artistic medium and work either their form or content, this year will put the accent on one particular instrument for creating and transmitting value: the art gallery.

Galerie, an intangible gallery dealing exclusively with intangible works, founded by artists Simon Asencio and Adriano Wilfert Jensen was invited to develop the Performing the Gallery programme.

Within the frame of an ongoing reflection about the spectrum of action of an art gallery nowadays—its questioning, full deployment and slightmisplacement, Galerie will represent a selection of artworks in the dematerialized booth My Body is My Booth, a performative version of the art gallery booth in which the works on show will be presented by the performing gallerists in and for the duration of the art fair. By assuming and reinterpreting the form of an art gallery, Galerie embraces the underlying mechanisms at work in the practice of galleries, while operating a shift in the direction of the artistic processes.  

In addition to their booth Galerie proposes The Intensive Curses, a new format conceived for Arte Fiera. The Intensive Curses is a programme of workshops led by select artists. Informed by the artists’ own poetics and through various procedures and practical exercises, each workshop will include transactions of knowledge, skill and experience, allowing the artworks or practice of each artist to circulate through the bodies of the participants.With The Intensive Curses, Galerie addresses the growing role art galleries have in the production of cultural value, as well as the space where circulation of knowledge and creation of value collide. 

Like the gallery, so too the workshop becomes a potential artistic medium.

Artists and workshops:

Valentina Desideri, Political Therapy (Arte Fiera)
Krõõt Juurak & Alex Bailey, Sleeping Workshop led by a dog (Arte Fiera)
Hana Lee Erdman, Animal Companion and Telepathic Elegance (Collegio Venturoli)
Pavel Sterec, Silver Academy (Arte Fiera)


A project ideated and coordinated by Mia D. Suppiej

A sparkling network of connections escapes the formality of the polite neigh- bourhood relationships and it is rather based on the sweating around the embers, taking care of time, waiting for the food to be ready. Different stories and individual practices find the time to listen and influence, drawing together a unique historical dimension that suggests a belonging to the same enor- mous common affair. From the 1st to the 5th February: after midnight, before midnight,  lunch, dinner, brunch,  aperitif, all you can  eat, finger food, accept credit cards, accept Mastercard, accept Visa, free parking area, Wi-Fi connec- tion free, full bar, hot & fast, low & slow, reverse searing, high chairs available, parking available, accepts reservations, seats, serving alcohol, parking in the street, takeaway, television, radio, projector, parking.