curated by Mark Nash

The show Viva L’Italia, (Arte Fiera, Bologna January 2017) explored the legacy of utopian and socialist ideas in militant, avantgarde 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 Community, 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 community 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 restrospective 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 European Communism: an extract from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Uccellacci e Uccellini (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 reintroduces red flags into the gallery. Chen Shaoxiong’s documents the history of the Peoples Republic of China (in 3 minutes!). 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.

At MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna - 14, Don Minzoni St., Bologna and at CINEMA - Service Centre, BolognaFiere will be played in loop:

  • Pier Paolo PasoliniUccellacci Uccellini (1966) - (extract)
  • William E. JonesModel Workers (2014)
  • Pere PortabellaMudanza (2008)
  • Derek JarmanImagining October (1984)
  • Chen ShaoxiongInk History (2010)
  • Gianni Toti, Joaquim JordàLenin Vivo (1970)
  • Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci LucchiLo Specchio di Diana (1996)
  • Arin RungjangAnd then there were none (2016)
  • Dana ClaxtonOde to Gramsci - Red on Red (2016) - (installation)