What GALLLERIAPIÙ represented for the Italian art ...

What GALLLERIAPIÙ represented for the Italian art scene (and what its closure tells us)

«Sometimes retreating, “decreasing” and disavowing the capitalist terms of success is the best strategy to send a sincere signal and to live better. I find the closing of GALLLERIAPIÙ wonderfully expressive, a collapse on stage, a way to express an emotion that would be distorted if I decided to continue».  (Veronica Veronesi)

Ann Hirsch, “Submarine Society” (23/09 – 11/11/2017), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

GALLLERIAPIÙ closed its exhibition venue in via del Porto in Bologna: the news has been circulating for some time and its confirmation appears to be yet another radical stance taken by the founder Veronica Veronesi. The gallery owner, who in the last ten years has always committed to opening fronts of discussion on the art system, with this gesture leads us to reflect on how within this system the monopoly of the so called “brand galleries” ends up extinguishing non-aligned visions with market trends. The process was already (still unconsciously) underway when, to celebrate the first decade of activity in December 2023, the gallery surprised the public suspending its normal exhibition activity in favor of a transdisciplinary program of talks, performances, workshops, screening and live sets.

Ivana Spinelli, “Minimum” (26/11/2016 – 14/01/2017), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

The project, entitled OFF GALLLERIAPIÙ, for three months offered the public three weekly appointments focused on new technologies, languages ​​and digital subcultures, analyzed as catalysts of a subversive question: «What does it mean to be an exhibition space when the concept of space is infinitely expandable, digitizable, algorithmically programmable? What does it mean to be the link between artistic production and the market when the latter systematically creates asymmetries? Is it possible to resist in this system and protect artists, workers, research in order to offer a cultural proposal and continue to create vibrant material?». These doubts, once made explicit in a declared short circuit of the white cube concept, became incandescent material. When what is hidden rebels and defeats the established order, causing the repression to explode, the unconvincing answers confirm the contradictions and it is no longer possible to go back, hence the decision to decrease and retreat.

Yves Scherer, “The Last of the English Roses” (12/05/2018 – 15/09/2018), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

I have been visiting GALLLERIAPIÙ since the very first years of its activity: in my view it is the most original hotbed of new talents in Bologna for its ability to be an integrated laboratory and a style of thought even before being aesthetic. The gallery was conceived from the beginning as a living space shared with the artists and the public, as a transdisciplinary place whose attitude set a milestone in capturing certain types of languages and topics when they were still underground. A meeting place, for talks, screenings, DJ sets, live performances and countercultural insights, highly refined in the obsessive attention to every detail. A web radio, a bar with an alcohol license and a niche bookshop completed the whole. «Aesthetics with consequences» is the first reasoned statement, which after a first exploratory phase aimed at challenging topics of pressing relevance, shaped the vision of the gallery, from that moment passionately projected into the exploration of new hypotheses of expressive languages and interdisciplinary themes. All exhibitions were produced by the gallery and represented the outcome of a project (a real project, not the label that is often used to “culturally package” a series of similar works) based on a dialogue substantiated by comparison with other creative or cultural professionals. For each exhibition event there were a publication, a program of critical insights on the covered topics, a schedule of collateral events related to the reflections raised by the exhibition, a soundtrack, a mood, a bibliography, graphics and in many cases even packaging, all custom designed.

Débora Delmar, “Liberty” (24/09/2022 – 26/11/2022), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

The unmistakable identity of the gallery lies in this integral approach, more attentive to the discovery of an interesting visual culture than to market positioning. The idea is to support and enhance the artists’ research by supporting them in their journey, not to ask them for an impressive performance or a guaranteed result. And the artists are both very young emergents who are taught to structure themselves, and artists who are very qualified from a curricular point of view in the institutional relationship, but still without a market. From a commercial point of view, therefore, the goal is not to try to intercept the trends to ride the wave, but to create a market as a result of real speculative research, carried out with the most diverse artistic media and at different degrees of manual intensity. Among the most characterizing threads of the research, the hybridization of human identity with that of its various technological prostheses, ever more subtly capillary, and the intersection with the mysterious and existentialist aspects of neuroscience.

Pauline Batista, “Implantation”, 2019, from the exhibition “Is Your System Optimized?” (24/11/2019 – 11/08/2020), courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

Apparatus 22, Ivana Spinelli, Emilio Vavarella, Gaia Fugazza, Ann Hirsch, Pauline Batista, Felicity Hammond, Débora Delmar and Gluklya: these are the first names, in random order, that come to mind when thinking of the most stimulating encounters I have had the opportunity to do in the gallery, on the occasion of their solo exhibitions. And all the exhibitions were conceived, on a small scale, with a museum approach, as conceptually immersive environments in which priority was given to the effectiveness of a whole and not to the programmatic attractiveness of the single artwork, despite the ensured that the works were perfectly self-sufficient even in their singularity. And then collective exhibitions as joyful immersions into the unknown, one of which was GALLLERIAPIÙ IN WONDERLAND, dedicated to «strategic arts, impossible forms, instinctual incandescences. Delicate explorations through subconscious fluidity, where the works and thoughts on display evoke latent imaginaries, between the known and the imagined» How can we not wait with curiosity for the next surprising exhibition at GALLLERIAPIÙ?

Emilio Vavarella, “rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me)” (04/05 – 16/07/2021), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

If the white cube creaks and cracks, for Veronica Veronesi it makes no sense to row against the course of things and come up with temporary fixes to continue to exist with a format, that of the small quality shop, which also in many other product sectors (such as food, fashion or design) is proving to be no longer sustainable. If in a reality increasingly dominated by the monopoly of big brands, successes are produced on the table by systems that have little to do with culture, not succumbing means breaking down hierarchies and finding financing mechanisms other than the sale of the work. To look at the future, therefore, GALLLERIAPIÙ takes advantage of its experience and the relationships that it has managed to consolidate to propose itself as a nomadic and ubiquitous catalyst of events.

Andrea Marco Corvino/LOL 63, “L’Ascella del Sole” (26/05 – 10/09/2022), exhibition view at GALLLERIAPIÙ, courtesy GALLLERIAPIÙ

The first event of this new course will be the NO FUTURE BUT POEMS festival in Poznań, Poland, in October 2024, designed in partnership with Galeria Skala as a result of a joint participation in a European call. The project, born as a cultural exchange between the two realities, for ten days will bring new performative productions by both the “historical” artists of the gallery, and other creatives on the Bolognese scene who operate in the cross-media field. In the name of teamwork, there is also another top secret project that will develop in the metaverse, focused on the reactivation of desire in the workplace and on the development of a community of cognitive and inventive professionals, whose projects will be produced thanks to a decentralized and self-supporting system of financiers. We have no doubts: even in this new form which is still in full evolution, GALLLERIAPIÙ will leave its mark and will never cease to surprise us.



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