Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona
Bonotto Foundation
Piero Manzoni Foundation, Milan

14 October - 16 November 2021

Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona
Via Montanari 5, Verona 
Cinema K2
via Rosmini 1/b, Verona

After the exhibition of the work Für Paul Celan by Anselm Kiefer in 2019, the annual event dedicated by the Academy of Fine Arts of Verona to contemporary art returns.

The 2021 edition focuses on Fluxus, one of the most well-known art movements of the 1960s. In addition to still representing the conceptual basis of a large part of the current feel of artistic research worldwide, it is a current whose intense international ramifications are intertwined, for a number of reasons, with the city of Verona itself.

The selection of works, carried out thanks to the partnership of the Fondazione Bonotto, includes the video Four (Fluxfilm no. 16) by Yoko Ono and the work Ex-creta Fluxorum by George Maciunas (founder of the movement) accompanied by the projection of the film/documentary by Roberto Delvoi: Conz. The Last Collector, dedicated to Francesco Conz, a well-known collector from Verona renowned as one of the most important documenters of the movement. The film won the FILAF D'OR 2021 at the Festival International du Livre d'Art et du Film in Perpignan.

The event also hosts a conference by: Luca Bochicchio, Flaminio Gualdoni, Rosalia Pasqualino di Marineo, Marco Senaldi, and a lecture by Gianni Emilio Simonetti to focus on Fluxus poetics and philosophy in its contemporary connections and developments.


Thursday 14 October 2021 h 11 am

Conference with the authors of the book Merda d'artista Künstlerscheisse Merde d'artiste Artist's Shit: Luca Bochicchio (Art Historian, University of Verona), Flaminio Gualdoni (Professor of Art History, Brera Academy, Milan), Rosalia Pasqualino di Marineo (Director of the Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Milan) and Marco Senaldi (Philosopher)

Aula Magna, Academy of Fine Arts of Verona
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The story of the production and exhibition of the work Merda d'artista (“Artist's Shit”) by Piero Manzoni will be briefly narrated, including the public and legal controversy that followed its exhibition in 1971 as part of the artist's retrospective at the GNAM in Rome.
There will also be an analysis of the mechanisms of reception that led the work, which became a rhetorical topos of post-World-War-II art, to become the object of something like a legendary reception on the part of the public, the critics and the artists themselves.
Lastly, a synthetic overview will be provided of the numerous d'après operations that have taken their cue from the work, signs not only of its "pop" reception in contemporary art, but also, and above all, of the wealth of conceptual implications that Merda d'artista continues to unleash.

Thursday 14 OCTOBER 2021 12:30 p.m.
Inauguration of EX-CRETA FLUXORUM
Exhibition of Fluxus works by George Maciunas and Yoko Ono from the Luigi Bonotto Collection

Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona 
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Fluxus is undoubtedly difficult to define.
What we can certainly say is that if it was a movement, it was a movement of the body.
Fluxus places the body at the center of knowledge.
It selects it as the principal means by which individuals interact with things in the world, producing social dross.
Every Fluxus action therefore contains in itself a story that is at the same time of and for the body, of and for society.
Fluxus, in the definition extracted from a dictionary and used by Maciunas as his first manifesto in 1962, indicates something that flows, that runs, that moves, that is transformed.
A flux, Fluxus, which becomes the "Purge for the world" in the second manifesto of 1963, thus inevitably linking itself to its effects.
Fluxus frees the body and has no need of thoughts.
This is the founding dejection of Fluxus: evacuate specialist criticism!
Art must return to being understandable and enjoyable by all, and not only by an elite of experts who decree its meaning and value.
It is a direct and unmediated attack on the system/market of art.
Fluxus is a laxative. A revolutionary diarrhea.
Long live the health of the body and its concrete reality understandable by all.
The constipated art world rejected Fluxus, but many of the intuitions and provocations fermented in this fertile soil have been taken up and developed by numerous artists.
Although indigestible and soon expelled in the form of vomit (invective) or shit (denigration), the purge has nevertheless had a good effect on the organism of art, depositing healthy enzymes (Amylase = Fluxus / Protease = Concrete, Visual and Sound Poetry) that with their specific disruptive action are still able to accelerate and promote the digestion of many contemporary works.

The exhibition is open until November 16, 2021 with the following hours and formats:

Extraordinary openings in conjunction with ArtVerona 2021
Friday 15 October 2021 from 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday 16 October 2021 from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm
Sunday 17 October 2021 from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm
FREE ENTRANCE with Green Pass
advance booking required - BOOK YOUR VISIT

18 October - 16 November 2021
Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm
FREE ENTRANCE with Green Pass

Tuesday 19 OCTOBER 2021 at 5 pm - 6.30 pm - 8 pm
A film by Roberto Delvoi. Produced by Ipnose Studio

Cinema K2, Verona
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A presentation ceremony precedes the screening at 20:00.
Participants: the director Roberto Delvoi, the President of the Academy, Marco Giaracuni, the Director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Verona, Francesco Ronzon, and the Director of the Bonotto Foundation, Patrizio Peterlini.

The film tells the story of one of the most controversial figures in the history of art collecting, whose name continues to spark furious debate and controversy. Francesco Conz has tried to overcome the border that divides life from art. An entrepreneur from Veneto, in the mid 70's he decided to leave everything he had behind in order to devote himself with great determination to his all-consuming passion for the artistic avant-gardes of the second half of the twentieth century, which will turn into a real obsession until the unexpected epilogue.

The film was made with the collaboration of the writer Edgardo Franzosini and a soundtrack by musicians Giuseppe Cordaro and Corrado Nuccini.
Winner of the FILAF D'OR 2021 at the Festival International du Livre d'Art et du Film in Perpignan.

Year: 2021
Format: Color, HD 2K
Running time: 59 minutes

Thursday 28 OCTOBER 2021 11 am

The obscure foundations of contemporary art and their consequences.
Lectio magistralis by Gianni Emilio Simonetti

Aula Magna, Accademia di Belle Arti di Verona
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At the risk of seeming outdated, we will start with an exquisite corpse, that of the last international artistic avant-garde of the twentieth century, founded in July 1957 in a backroom in Cosio d'Arroscia, in the province of Imperia. An avant-garde that tore up the trodden paths and that will allow us to bring to light the hairline fractures that led to Fluxus sinking on the shore of an uninhabited island of the British Virgin Islands, and, further on, to mock the illusions of the aesthetics of the spectacle of wanting to recompose a world that now appears, despite the narrative efforts, in fragments, and that has become foreign to us precisely in each of its fragments. In the case in point, when the formal character of the work of art is orphaned of the praxis that legitimizes it, on the ontological level everything ends up holding together: a urinal, a wrapped Parisian bridge, the hand-wrapped candies, Madame Bordin's lacquered gloves - "You have to paint," the melancholic Bouvard pointed out to her.
This aesthetics of the spectacle is, in itself, a representation of the imaginary relationship of the "artists" with their metaphysical lures, with the dream of transforming the ontological character of the work of art from a material object to an ascetic icon, capable of reversing – for the purposes of profit – what Karl Marx called the enigma of the commodity. On this point – one day in the last century in New York – I agreed with George Maciunas: Fluxus was – and remains – a theoretically unrealizable project because it is not compatible with the aesthetic eschatology designed by the form of capital, although this fatal aspect always has something that lies and that flatters hope. In other words, Fluxus – this illusion of a Kunstgeschichte ohne Namen – would never become the temps des lys that succeeds the temps des roses, it would never have paracletic powers, even if where there is meaning there is also derision. The irony of the spectacle is to make protagonists of their time only those that its meaning escapes. It is one of the unconfessed reasons why this movement has never been loved, starting with that criticism that struggles to attribute a teleological perspective to works of art. That criticism that Arthur Danto dreamed of as an ethical shell, as the realization of a Tree of Jesse whose verisimilitude would have given meaning to the senseless and a truthfulness to poetics in their historical becoming. It is known that in art, innocence is a béance.

In the meantime, one leaves out the details and shakes the boundaries. Imagery belongs to the plots of the symbolic, imagination to the winds of revolt. In the twentieth century, artists shared ideologies, today they share complicity.

When the Beaufort scale resets, aesthetic greed appears as the new face of immaterial capitalism. Contemporary art, with the clumsiness of a modern power, has been reduced to being the universal currency for auction sales, transforming collections into the savings books of big capital and works into financial instruments. As if to say, the art form is today the financial birdseed for the oviparous offspring of capital, in whose embryo financial art has the particularity that it creates value without creating wealth.

The actuality of the primitive remains. The story of the historical avant-gardes, in spite of all the metamorphoses, needs to be re-written, this time privileging, instead of the twists and turns of the chronicle, the flame of the fires that the feminine and the insoumission started in defense of the zoé.

Gianni Emilio Simonetti
Artist and theorist, one of the few exponents of "situationism" in Italy, he was part of the Fluxus artistic/political experience, of the Cramps/Multipla adventure and, in the field of material cultures, he created the magazine "La Gola". He teaches at the European Institute of Design in Milan.