Silvana Editoriale publishes "Germano Celant: The Story of (my) Exhibitions"

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Silvana Editoriale publishes "Germano Celant: The Story of (my) Exhibitions"
Germano Celant all’interno della mostra / Germano Celant in the exhibition Post Zang Tumb Tuuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918-1943, Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2018. Photo by Ugo Dalla Porta. Courtesy Fondazione Prada, Milano.

MILAN.- 562 pages, over 300 images, many never before published, a rich collection of documents and critical essays: The Story of (my) Exhibitions – one of the last works by Germano Celant, published by Silvana Editoriale with the collaboration of Studio Celant – testifies to the historical and critical path of 34 exhibitions designed and curated by the critic between 1967 and 2018.

“Celant had worked extensively on an editorial project that would be the synthesis of his wide-ranging critical research. This book, of which he followed all the processing stages, is the outcome of this endeavor. In each of the exhibitions presented, one can recognize his curatorial method through which he created the ‘exhibition’ system, using different artistic languages and different media to assemble artworks and documentary material. Studio Celant worked together with the publisher Silvana Editoriale to make sure that this volume remains true to his original idea.” (Studio Celant)

The book describes the exhibiting logic characterizing Celant’s work, the methodology of scientific research, and the different kinds of installations he generated. It presents a selection of exhibitions in chronological order, able to reflect the complexity of his contribution to the history of exhibitions.

The itinerary begins in 1967, with the first definition of Arte Povera, to shift to the contemporary art developments internationally with Conceptual art Arte povera Land art (1970) at Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Turin, and then to 1976 and the extensive exhibition on the theme Ambiente/Arte, at the Venice Biennale.

The discourse continues, covering different research areas presented in the most important Italian and international exhibition venues and museums in the following decades: from the revival and historical reinterpretation of Arte Povera, in exhibitions such as Coerenza in coerenza (1984) at Mole Antonelliana in Turin, The Knot Arte Povera at P.S.1 (1985) in New York, and Arte Povera 2011 in various venues, to the events of the Italian Novecento in exhibitions such as Identité italienne. L’art en Italie depuis 1959 (1981) at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Arte Italiana. Presenze 1900-1945 (1989) at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, and The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968 (1994-1995) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Furthermore, the theme of the contamination between languages, like art and fashion in exhibitions such as Il Tempo e la Moda (1996) at the Florence Biennale; art and architecture as in Arti & Architettura 1900-2000 (2004) in Genoa; art and music in Art or Sound (2014) at the Fondazione Prada in Venice; art and food in the Arts & Foods exhibition (2015) at the Milan Triennale.

Finally, the theme of reenactment is dealt with in exhibition projects such as When Attitudes Become Form. Bern 1969/Venice 2013, at the Fondazione Prada in Venice and Post Zang Tumb Tuuum. Art Life Politics: Italia 1918-1943 (2018) at the Fondazione Prada in Milan.

An overview capturing the evolution of Celant’s curatorial practice, from personal interpretation to attention to the historical document, with the gaze always turned to non-traditional media (book, record, photography) and to the overlaps between languages (art, architecture, design).

The Story of (my) Exhibitions reveals the richness of an extraordinary human and professional path, in which a constant cultural tension is fueled by scientific rigor and results in the spectacular staging of artworks, capable of wide-ranging suggestions and wide-spectrum sensitivity: a dichotomy revealing the depth of Celant’s work, tracing the scope of his scientific practice and representing a living intellectual testament.

The book will be available in bookstores and online ( from April 30, 2021.

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Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

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