BOLOGNA, ITALY.-Artelibro Art Book Festival takes place September 22 26 in Bologna at the Palazzo di Re Enzo e del Podestà. Poring over books, lingering over the pictures, weighing what the editors have chosen to do, getting au fait with the Italian and foreign art publishing scene. Not to mention meeting authors, critics and artists, hearing about episodes from past centuries and the legendary doings of famous painters and architects, thinking about how patronage started and how museums were founded, and getting into conversation about where contemporary art is going and what they're doing with our art heritage.
All this is possible at "Artelibro Art Book Festival" to be held in Bologna from Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th September at the Palazzo di Re Enzo e del Podestà as well as in squares and salons throughout the city centre.
In a town where everything is within convenient walking distance, Artelibro is still living off last year's success with the public, no doubt due to its original formula and the quality and variety of what is on offer. The aim is to highlight the cultural setting of a town against which the special features and resources of art publishing may be shown to advantage.
There are 107 publishers represented, 42 of them from abroad: all selling and displaying the latest novelties of their own product range to catch the visitor's eye: catalogues, art books, art-work books, facsimiles, art reviews, ancient volumes and antique rarities. The cultural programme put on by Artelibro with its editors and supporting institutions, Banks and Foundations, has doubled since the first year it was held: 68 events featuring personalities like Antonio Paolucci or Umberto Eco, Philippe Daverio or Gianfranco Ravasi, Andrea Emiliani or Francesco Dal Co, Cesare de Seta or Italo Rota, Fernanda Pivano or Lella Costa in a constant round of debates, meetings, presentations and readings, making Artelibro a venue not to be missed by art enthusiasts, scholars, bibliophiles and all enquiring minds. Admission is free to all the events of this five day festival, and there are many indeed, though not to the detriment of quality. There promises to be a steady fuelling of the debate on cultural and economic aspects of Italian and international art publishing, which has never before enjoyed such media or market limelight.
These events form one side to the Festival, the other being devoted to 18 exhibitions of sculpture, painting, miniatures, art-work books, photographs and architecture. These will be held in the Palazzo di Re Enzo e del Podestà but also in city museums, libraries and private galleries playing their part alongside the institutions in making the Festival a success.
Thanks to the sponsorship of UniCredit Banca, the visitor is greeted, appropriately, by Giuseppe Spagnulo's imposing sculpture, "Book". More books, too, in painterly monochrome by the English artist Simon Morley on show at the Cappella dei Carcerati; while the Villa delle Rose will be hosting colourful scenes of Brazil captured by the viewfinder of Ralph Gibson. At the Museo Civico Archeologico the exhibition entitled "Art-work books in Emilia-Ronagna", curated by Renato Barilli, will be offering a valuable selection of one-off or limited-run works, while inside the Palazzo di Re Enzo the modern and contemporary art galleries belonging to Ascom will be inviting the public on an art escapade through sculptures in the most unlikely materials.
Schoolchildren are to have their own programme, mainly on the Monday, devoted to art teaching in museum and school, Academy and University. Again as part of Children's Artelibro there will be another chapter in the photographic course-cum-competition open to pupils from secondary schools in Bologna and its surrounding Province, calling for a critical analysis through photography of the urban and extra-urban context. Some gems from the Festival to wind up with: the debate "Deeds and misdeeds: editing art books or the art of reviewing" goes into the relations between journalists or art critics and the review-hungry editor; the presentation of an art-work book by the students of the Bologna Accademia delle Belle Arti on the topic "Piazza Verdi and neighbourhood"; presentation of experimental books from the Masters Degree in Paper-based and multimedia publishing, run by Umberto Eco. Artelibro ends in the impressive Stabat Mater hall of the Archiginnasio Museum where Lella Costa will be interpreting texts by twentieth century artists and, as part of the cycle "The art of reading art", Piergiovanni Castagnoli will be reading Mistero e malinconia di una strada (Mystery and Melancholy of a Street) by Giorgio de Chirico.