Artists who become curators. Genoa is now following this tendency as well.
Genoa- – UnimediaModern is welcoming a new partner, the artist Maria Rebecca Ballestra who is to become the co-curator of the gallery.
Today the figure of the curator-artist is becoming more and more common worldwide. First and foremost, the example of Adam Szymczyk, the director of Documenta 14 Athens and Kassel, one of the most talked-about editions and a source of countless reflection and thought. This is a real tendency and thanks to this new collaboration in the historic UnimediaModern Gallery, which has been active on the Genoese scenes for 48 years, it is now Genoa’s turn, too.
The Unimedia Gallery was opened in Genoa in 1970 by an extremely young Caterina Gualco who decided to transform it into the object of her own work.
From the very start, the choice of the artists was not directed at what the current cultural industry was offering in those years, but at niche sectors such as the Conceptual, Nuova Scrittura, Body Art and performance, which gradually established themselves as the real cultural roots of the contemporary. 1977 saw the meeting with Ben Vautier, followed by Fluxus, resulting in a massive increase in work for the gallery. The first movement began with Fluxus, which was undoubtedly the first supranational situation, and that was the start of the journeys to reach the Festival and to organise it, participation in important museum exhibitions and fairs, and the nomadism of the great “fête permanente”.
In 1995, in the wake of several American experiences on her trips to New York, Caterina Gualco wanted to try her hand at a home-gallery, and it worked extremely well for around ten years.
A convinced supporter of the principle that God lives in the movement and that history is regenerated through change, in 2005 Caterina opened new rooms in Palazzo Squarciafico, a marvellous example of seventeenth century Genoese architecture.
If one weighs up the experiences throughout this long period (the forty-eighth season is about to begin), one must admit that the expectations of those who believed in the gallery and gave it their support have not been disappointed. The gallery’s principal activity, in the past year Fluxus has been the protagonist of some very important events: Ben Patterson’s great participation in Documenta 14 Athens and Kassel (in the creation of which UnimediaModern played an active part), Geoffrey Hendricks’ anthological exhibition (curated by Caterina Gualco) at Fondation du Doute di Blois, Al Hansen’s one-man exhibition at the National History Museum in Vienna, Charlotte Moorman’s at the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg, the Leone d’oro for the career at the Venice Biennale for Carolee Schneeman, the acquisition of the Philip Corner archive by The North Western University in Evanston, Illinois (which already has the John Cage and Moorman Archive), not to mention Ben Vautier’s incredible success at Musée Maillol, which reopened with his epochal exhibition.
As a consequence, the gallery’s work has increased exponentially, meaning that it is necessary to expand, with the desire to also look at younger artists on the international scenes, as well as continuing the research of the new which has been at the heart of the activity since the very beginning.
To turn this need into reality, Maria Rebecca Ballestra, who has already been working with Caterina Gualco for some time, will assist her in running UnimediaModern. There are great similarities between them: they share a similar attitude towards research, a passion for this work (not regarded as such), her environment without borders and without limits, shared by both of them. One of Maria Rebecca’s great sources of inspiration is travelling and its sociological implications: continuing to travel, moving the horizon of UnimediaModern forward as well, and bringing young strength to this enterprise so that it can have a future.
The first exhibition they will curate together is their participation in Artissima in Turin in the section BACK TO THE FUTURE with a one-man exhibition by Philip Corner.
This will be followed by a very full programme, which will be announced shortly and will include, as the last exhibition of the season, a one-man exhibition by Fabio Tremonte, a Brazilian artist of great interest, and chosen with great resolution by Maria Rebecca.
Maria Rebecca Ballestra