GAM PALERMO - June 27 -  September 7 2015. GIANNI PETTENA / MARC WILLIAM  ZANGHI. IMAGINARIES OF A STARE. A project conceived by Lorenzo Bruni.   

OPENING: FRIDAY  JUNE 26th 2015, 6.30 pm


From June 27th till September 7th 2015 the Palermo Gallery of Modern Art (GAM) will host a peculiar dialogue between paintings  by Marc William Zanghi, one of the  foremost  representatives of young Sicilian art proceeding on the path opened by the so-called “school of Palermo”, and some architectural statements made by Gianni Pettena, one of the protagonists of the architettura radicale movement that started in Florence in the late Sixties.


The project is part of a series of exhibitions by the GAM that are meant to underline the value of the contemporary artists who are now active in Sicily.  The peculiarity of this appointment is the stress put on the dialogue between the object viewed and the viewer, the contents and the container – something that Zanghi has always underlined -  thanks to the presence of the installations by Gianni Pettena who is here also showing works originally made in Palermo in 1968.

The exhibition, curated by Lorenzo Bruni will present 30 between paintings and sculptures by Marc William Zanghi within the spaces of the Palermo museum which were changed on purpose in their perception by means of three works by Gianni Pettena.

The pieces by Marc William Zanghi are exhibited starting with six new large paintings showing imaginary forests, between exotic and phantasy.  Then one finds four thin installation/sculptures, miniature heads recalling archeological finds, made in acrylic and polyurethane resin, and finally fifteen more canvases belonging to periods of previous production, assembled according to  new concepts on the ‘anti-hero’.  Besides all this, two works on paper never published before and two  glass containers with more sculptures/heads will be on show. 

The works by Gianni Pettena are three statements on space meant to “unhinge” the usual relationship between container and contents on which western architecture is based.  This is obvious for the “wearable chairs”  that were originally used for a performance/happening in the city center of Minneapolis in 1967 and that will be worn by some students on the day of the opening at the Gam in a “surreal” action.   Later on, the chairs will be exhibited hanging  in the middle of the room like an unusual  sculpture/installation. 

In the second room another piece by Pettena will be on show, APPLAUSI, a portable suitcase where the light on this word  goes on and off, a work that was originally created in 1968 for the 6th Avantgarde Music Festival at the Teatro Biondo in Palermo and that was later presented at the 6th Berlin Biennal in 2010.  This statement, originally meant as an ironical challenge with regard to the then beginning television audience, gets here a different, sour dimension, due to the absence of an audience in the digital global world, where everyone thinks of himself as an active protagonist.  The space of the third room will be organized in a unique way through the  installation “MILITE IGNOTO” (Unknown Soldier), with standing letters made in cardboard, each two meters high.  Connected with this, two other installations will be seen in the outside spaces of the Museum, with the words “CARABINIERI” and “GRAZIA&GIUSTIZIA”, of which the latter was built for the first time in Palermo in 1968 for a performance/procession in the streets of the city.

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