The Merz Foundation presents, from Wednesday 9 June to Sunday 25 September 2022 , the collective exhibition of the finalists of the fourth edition of the Mario Merz Prize , art sector. The protagonists of the exhibition are Yto Barrada (Paris, 1971), Paolo Cirio (Turin, 1979), Christina Forrer (Zurich, 1978), Anne Hardy (United Kingdom, 1970), Koo Jeong A (Seoul, 1967) and He Xiangyu (China, 1986). The exhibition, curated by Claudia Gioia and Samuel Gross, brings together the works of six artists with different backgrounds and expressive practices, who stand out for their dissonant attitude and visionary ability.
In the spaces of the Turin branch of the Fondazione Merz, Yto Barrada combines references to artists such as Frank Stella with the experiences of the Casablanca School of the 1960s in the exploration of an autonomy of identity that is independent of official narratives. Paolo Cirio analyzes the dangers inherent in the authorized control systems that dominate society, while Christina Forrer entrusts the fantastic language with the task of returning complex issues such as family, social, political and environmental conflicts. Anne Hardy presents fragments and everyday objects as precious archaeological finds, creating environments on the border between dream and hallucination.
Koo Jeong A explores physical and mental spaces with the aim of identifying new relationships between the individual and the collectivity, while He Xiangyu delves into the dynamics of belonging and consumerist idolatries typical of all social systems, including that of art. The researches of the six artists presented in the exhibition reveal different languages and formal solutions, which nevertheless share a common tension in the investigation of the contemporary that sees in the work of art a tool for the formulation of new questions and queries. The six finalists of the Mario Merz Prize, proclaimed in June 2021, were selected by Samuel Gross (Special Project Manager of the Musée d'Art e d'Histoire in Geneva), Claudia Gioia (independent curator) and Beatrice Merz (President of the Merz Foundation ).