Curated by: Kathryn Weir
Conceived in relation to the collection of the Madre, Utopia Distopia: the myth of progress starting from the South intends to investigate through the works of fifty-five Italian and international artists, the contemporary practices that have responded to the massive social changes of the last half century: urbanization, industrialization, creation of new urban suburbs, emptying of the countryside, struggles related to freedoms and restrictions of the body.
The exhibition itinerary proposes an analysis of the utopian hopes compared with the dystopian experiences of the modern era, with particular attention to the South, in addition to the representation of the substantial failure of the often violent logics that move the ideology of progress - failure also of a system that has become overloaded, of which we have experienced the demonstration during the last year of the pandemic. From Mimmo Jodice's clear observations on urban suburbs, industrial architectures and landscapes of southern Italy between the 1960s and 1970s, to Antonio Biasiucci's photographic tributes to abandoned villages and pastoral life in Campania, to the investigations of Raffaela Mariniello and Ibrahim Mahama on the industrial space of Bagnoli with its powerful and toxic beauty. Through six sections - Urban Space, Rural Space, Peripheral Space, Industrial Space, Extraterritorial Space and Space of the Body - the potential of artistic intervention is also explored to open spaces of transformation within dystopian realities, and to create alternatives. Joseph Beuys wrote on the poster for his 1971 exhibition in Naples (created on the basis of a photographic work on display here): We are the revolution.