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BEECROFT, A BLACKOUT, A CERAMICS BIENNIAL, AND THE G8 SUMMIT

On July 3, Vanessa Beecroft staged a performance with thirty women of color in the ducal palace in Genoa, Italy, where leaders of the world’s most industrialized nations and Russia will meet this weekend for the G-8 Summit. Though a press release had promised a “self-portrait,” the artist, who was born in Genoa, said the description was “an ironic comment.” “A local newspaper carried the headline ‘Vanessa returns home,’" said Beecroft in an interview. She insists, however, that this is an overstatement: “I don’t have this sense of belonging to any specific city. In response, I decided to be represented by thirty women of color. I live in Brooklyn in a multiracial society… I am a foreigner there, too.” Documentation of the performance will be included in an upcoming exhibition featuring over 300 artworks and antiquities loaned to the ducal palace for the summit. Curated by Arnaldo Bagnasco and Franco Ragazzi, “Art for the G8 from Giambologna to Vanessa Beecroft” is set to open in July and continue through September 9.

Several other art exhibitions and events have also been organized recently around the G-8 meeting, including “Il Blackout dell’arte” (The art blackout), organized by the Kaiman Art Gallery in protest of security measures for the summit that will close parts of the city, including the area where the gallery is located, off to the public. In the week prior to the summit, eight Italian artists—Ubaldo Bartolini, Paolo Castaldi, Elena Chiesa, Marina Giannobi, Norma Jeane, Marco Lavagetto, Danilo Premoli and Corrado Zeni—presented works completed in eight days to protest the forced closure of the gallery. Organizer Linda Kaiser describes the gesture as a “nonevent that stimulates the search for new methods and approaches for confrontation and dialogue.”

Perhaps in an unintentional parody of the summit, international curators—including Young Chul Lee, Adriano Pedrosa, Nelson Herrera Ysla, and Olu Oguibe—will meet nearby in Albisola on July 21 to attend “Happy Face of Globalization,” the first Biennial of Ceramics in Contemporary Art. Organized by the nonprofit cultural organization Attese Onlus, twenty-five international artists—including Sislej Xhafa, Luca Pancrazzi, Alessandra Pessoli, Jane Simpson, Rainer Ganahl, and Momoyo Torimitsu—are set to produce ceramics in collaboration with local craftspeople. Also featured are works by Lucio Fontana, Pinot Gallizio, Asger Jorn, Wifredo Lam and Piero Manzoni. Curators Tiziana Casapietra and Roberto Costantino hope to explore the relation between “tradition and modernity” and “question the rampant leveling of culture which is underway on a planetary level.” The biennial continues through August 31.

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