Iconoclash. The conflict of images


in cooperation with Museo di Castelvecchio and Consorzio Collezionisti delle Pianure
13 October 2017 > 7 January 2018 – opening Saturday 14 October 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
Museo di Castelvecchio
Corso Castelvecchio 2, Verona












In these last years the process of creating images has reached unprecedented speeds. Images of all kinds are produced every second: photographs, drawings, digital outputs, graphics, emoticons. Technics and new technologies, beginning with cellular phones, have fed this overproduction. It’s as if the concept of “visual thinking”, theorised by Italo Calvino in his Six Memos for the Next Millennium and at the basis of the thought and work of Luigi Ghirri, has become the common method by which society reads the world. The social networks are perhaps the first symptom of this and one of its most evident triggers, creating a level of secondary reality that becomes fundamental for the dissemination and notoriety of an event, piece of news, object or work of art.

Ours is a society obsessed with images, within which there often are, however, tensions of an iconoclastic kind, not always evident, deriving from both ideological and cultural issues and from material factors (the ravages of time, the impossibility of preserving every single image, social disorders, even excessive mass use), and from the meeting of different cultures. The recent process of digitalisation and dematerialisation of images leads us to ask how much of what we have in our computers today will still exist in just a few years, seeing the precariousness of the storage devices and the increasing exposure of the firms that run them to the actions of hackers and of cyber-terrorists.

It’s as if recent events, and at regular intervals history too, made us realise the power of images and of art, their capability of still being ‘troublesome objects’ that are scary, bothersome, can be hurtful and can change reality or its perception. It’s not just the so-called world of art that thinks that images can change the world – it’s the facts that prove it. Some of the most ancient archeological treasures of human civilisation, such as the cities of Nineveh and Palmira, have recently suffered destructions or damages, thus changing the course of history. A cartoon in a satirical newspaper has triggered an act of war in downtown Paris. The image of the male and especially of the female body or of the sexuality it conveys, is still today a field in which the borderline between freedom and respect is extremely hazy.

The “cancellation” and “censure” of images, however, sometimes derives from even more devious factors that are difficult to control. Think of the fragility of cities such as Venice, subjected to the stress of an increasingly large and uncontrolled flow of tourists; or of the precariousness of an artistic heritage facing natural phenomena such as earthquakes and floods; or of the impossibility of truly ‘seeing’ masterpieces that are overexposed, prisoners of their own image. Isn’t the continuous creation of new images or the multiplication of the more notorious ones, through an approach similar to that involved in monetary inflation processes, a form of weakening or devaluation of the concept of image, that thus becomes a spring that is drying up due to overexploitation?

The exhibition presents in the role of curators a trio consisting of the art critic Antonio Grulli and of two collectors, Diego Bergamaschi and Marco Martini. The threesome in the past has already curated projects together under the name ‘Eddy Merckx’.

The artists will move along the thin border that separates the love and obsession for images from the equally obsessive desire to annul and cancel them. Visitors will see images that have been defaced (Nazgol Ansarinia, Luca Bertolo, Jiri Kolar, Nicola Samorì, Mimmo Jodice), destroyed (Gianni Politi), stopped up (Flavio Favelli, Vincenzo Simone), occluded (Jesse Ash, Francesco Carone), fragmented (Matteo Rubbi, Davide Trabucco), negated (Francesco Carone, Ryan Gander, Elad Lassry, Simon Starling), corroded (Paola Angelini, Stefano Arienti, Giulia Cenci, Paolo Gioli, Ketty la Rocca). Others will have reached the monochromy and total absence of elements caused by an information overload that generates a visual black out (Alessandro di Pietro, Ryan Gander, Fabio Mauri, Mandla Reuter). Some of the artists involved have made this iconoclastic approach to one of their stylistic and thematic signatures. Others have even written about it: one example is the dialogue between Luca Bertolo and Flavio Favelli published on 8 November 2016 in the online magazine ‘Doppiozero’.


Famiglia Battistella. Verona
Collezione Diego Bergamaschi, Milano
Collezione Berselli, Bologna
Collezione Biagioni / Giudici, Firenze
Collezione Giuseppe e Simonetta Casarotto, Bergamo
Collezione privata Milano Collezione De Iorio, Trento
Collezione privata, Milano
Collezione Falconi / Leidi, Bergamo
Collezione F. Farnè, Bologna
AgiVerona Collection, Verona
Collezione privata, Bologna
Collezione privata, Bologna
Collezione Antonio e Annamaria Maccaferri, Bologna
Collezione Marco Martini, Verona
Collezione Metelli, Foligno (Pg)
Collezione Giovanni Milesi, Bergamo
Collezione Gaia Rossi, Bologna
Collezione Ruggeri, Mestre
Collezione Anna e Francesco Tampieri, Modena
Collezione Carlo Vanoni, Desenzano (Bs)


Paola Angelini San Benedetto d/T (1983)
Nazgol Ansarinia Theran (1979)
Stefano Arienti Asola-Mn (1961)
Jesse Ash London (1977)
Luca Bertolo Milano (1968)
Francesco Carone Siena (1975)
Giulia Cenci Cortona (1988)
Alessandro Di Pietro Messina (1987)
Flavio Favelli Firenze (1967)
Ryan Gander Chester (1976)
Paolo Gioli Rovigo (1942)
Mimmo Jodice Napoli (1934)
Jiri Kolar Protivin (1914-2002)
Ketty la Rocca La Spezia (1938)
Elad Lassry Tel Aviv (1977)
Fabio Mauri Roma (1926)
Gianni Politi Roma (1986)
Mandla Reuter Nqutu (1975)
Matteo Rubbi Seriate (1980)
Nicola Samorì Forlì (1977)
Vincenzo Simone Seraing (1980)
Simon Starling Epsom (1967)
Davide Trabucco Bologna (1987)