Equorea: interview with the curator Giulia Bortolu...

Equorea: interview with the curator Giulia Bortoluzzi

Giulia Bortoluzzi, born in 1987, Pordenone. Giulia is an author, editor, university lecturer and curator. She graduated in contemporary philosophy and specialized in curating at the École du Magasin in Grenoble (FR). She collaborates as editorial coordinator as well as editor for the Milan Triennale, and she’s an author of art publications. She teaches Phenomenology of Contemporary Art at the European Institute of Design in Milan, maintaining the course of Aesthetics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Udine. Her career is dotted with curatorial and co-curatorial activities. She is currently the curator of Equorea (di mari, ghiacci, nuvole e altre acque ancora) at BUILDINGBOX, an exhibition space visible 24 hours on 24, day and night, every day, in Milan. The programming of BUILDINGBOX (started as an independent path with respect to the exhibition activity of the gallery which develops in a magnificent and articulated way on several floors) follows an annual schedule, based on exhibition projects in which, having selected an annual theme and a related curator, each month hosts a different work, conceived as a specific declination of the general concept. It is, therefore, the monthly alternation of artistic proposals that progressively defines the identity of the specific exhibition project, which is thus built over time rather than space.

Installation view, Silvia Mariotti, Equorea, courtesy BUILDINGBOX. Photo by Simone Panzeri

Lukrecija Bieliauskaite: The annual program you organized for the Galleria Building showcase presents an interconnection between contemporary art and science (geographical, biological, global warming aspects) …
Giulia Bortoluzzi: For the 2023 exhibition year Galleria Building has decided to entrust me with the curatorship of BUILDINGBOX, a showcase belonging to the gallery building, overlooking via Monte di Pietà 23 and conceived as its own exhibition space, visible 24 hours a day. The theme I proposed, which unites the twelve site-specific interventions of the invited artists, is water as an emblem of every natural element and, more generally, as a form of life and creation possibilities. The title chosen, in fact, is Equorea (di mari, ghiacci, nuvole e altre acque ancora), and belongs more to a literary or anthropological imagination than a strictly scientific one. Not because the interest in science is not present within the project, but the intent is not to become translators or disseminators of knowledge that would need adequate contexts and specific languages ​​to be treated correctly and exhaustively. We must be careful not to fall into a pseudo-scientific discourse, for this we should return to an attitude of curiosity and wonder, to a desire for knowledge and reflection that science arouses in us while clarifying that we are dealing with forms of art that are also confronted with the themes of the present but which is still art.

Installation view, Michele Guido, Equorea, courtesy BUILDINGBOX. Photo by Run Chen

What is Equorea’s vision?
The general concept of BUILDINGBOX was defined by the Galleria Building. Starting from its “fixed” characteristics: being an independent environment with respect to the programming of the gallery, constantly visible from the street, and in the year 2023 the Equorea project was introduced. I have tried to select, together with the artists and the gallery, the works exhibited inside the BUILDINGBOX keeping in mind the specificity of this space for a mutual enhancement. I like its nature, the idea of ​​potentially showing itself to anyone at any time of the day or night. The showcase is there, it is visually accessible, but still requires an action on the part of the passer-by, that is, to turn their gaze towards it: a small but significant movement of the eyes.

Do you think that the combination of art and science will become increasingly “necessary” for the visitor?
I think this pairing is already widespread, I don’t know if it’s necessary or inevitable. However, they remain two independent languages ​​with their own norms but certainly capable of addressing each other.

Installation view, Fabio Marullo, Equorea, courtesy BUILDINGBOX. Photo by Simone Panzeri

The idea of ​​the gallery-showcase had its debut with Edicola Notte, in the heart of Trastevere, in the 90s with H.H. Lim. Now, what can be new?
Edicola Notte is an example which left its mark on history for this kind of increasingly numerous art spaces; in recent years they have flourished in various places that are also geographically less “obvious” for the public accustomed to art. In the case of BUILDINGBOX, a gallery-showcase overlooking a very central area of ​​Milan, between Brera and Montenapoleone, the intention is to address the city directly. If the passer-by looks up from his smartphone to look at the BUILDINGBOX, if any reaction can be aroused in him, it is already a success for me. Furthermore, during the gallery’s opening hours, the staff is available to the visitor to answer questions, information and curiosities.


Equorea (di mari, ghiacci, nuvole e altre acque ancora)
curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi
via Monte di Pietà 23, 20121 Milan


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