Sep 1, 2015 - Nov 1, 2015


Imago Mundi


In the current climate of arrested utopias, attacks on cultural heritage, assaults on imagination and knowledge, Imago Mundi, Luciano Benetton’s global art project, comes to Venice to propose an art without borders that breaks the silence, goes beyond differences, pushes forward civilization. The exhibition MAP OF THE NEW ART includes collections from more than 40 nations and native peoples representing the five continents: 10x12 cm artworks by 6930 artists. On exhibition, Imago Mundi collections of Algeria, the Kalahari Bushmen, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda/Rwanda/Burundi (AFRICA); Brazil, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States and Indigenous Native Americans (AMERICAS); Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Jordan, North Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Tibet (ASIA); Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (EUROPE); the Aboriginal artists of Australia (OCEANIA). Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Foto ©Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

Five continents, 38 collections, 6930 artists with 10x12 cm artworks

«This exhibition at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini has a very special significance», says Luciano Benetton. «In a certain sense, the vast numbers of artists present reproduce the world I would ideally like. A world without borders and without political, ideological or religious barriers. Where people work for beauty. And where diversity and freedom of expression are seen as a great wealth. I often say that if it were up to artists, there would be no wars. This is why every new artist, collection, people and nation of Imago Mundi adds a creative and impassioned piece to that map of the new art which we hope will come to include the lands of Utopia, of hope and of peace».

So, if these are utopian thoughts, our Map of the New Art is a global catalogue of visions that also includes the country of Utopia, where art and reflections on art coexist. Opposing worlds and views. Anticipations of the future that form the future.

That is why, in composing the artistic map of the exhibition, we thought it was necessary to convey, among the many inspirations, numerous languages and multiple techniques, an ideal that would be a perfect trait d’union. That would bring everything together; envelope in hope the undoubted difficulties the world is experiencing today.

I hope that among the works of the 6,930 artists represented in this exhibition, visitors can create their own personal path. Keeping in mind that art – in opposition to barbarism, to conformity, hypocrisy, banality – is a stranger to no land.

Artwork created for Imago Mundi by eighty artists from the embroidery department of the Mansudae Art Studio (Pyongyang, North Korea), under the direction of Ji Jong Yol, Jon Yong Bok, Kim Mi Ran.

The deep political and cultural isolation of the country has preserved traditions, techniques, themes and materials, as well as extraordinary artistic skills and craftsmanship, which can also be seen in the Imago Mundi North Korea collection.

Outside the Foundation, visitors are greeted by an installation designed by Tobia Scarpa formed of five flags (4 metres high), each displaying a work representing one of the five continents in a symbolic welcome to the global and creative territory of Imago Mundi. The architect Tobia Scarpa was also responsible for the special exhibition structure, designed as a welcoming space, which, in a long sequence of images presented by country, emphasizes the richness of the collections and, at the same time ensures visibility of the individual paintings. Thanks to the exhibition stands that close like the pages of a book, the structure is also easy to transport and install, supporting the itinerant aims of the collections.

Luciano Benetton meets Dario Franceschini, Ministro dei Beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, at the opening of Imago Mundi "Map of the New Art" exhibition at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy

Luciano Benetton and Jennifer Karch Verzè at the opening of Imago Mundi "Map of the New Art" exhibition at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy

Credits: Story

In collaboration with
Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche

Luciano Benetton

Curated by
Afghanistan - Amanullah Mojadidi
Algeria - Emanuele Benedetti
Australia, Aboriginal art - John Ioannou
Austria - Peter Noever
Brazil - Andrea de Carvalho
Bulgaria - Claudio Scorretti
Bushmen of the Kalahari - Feisal Osman, Karin le Roux,
Oriano Mabellini
Caribbean - Sofia Reeser del Rio, El Museo del Barrio
Chile - Stefania and Simoné Malacchini
Colombia - Maria Laura Mascelloni
Croatia - Mara Rondi
Cuba - Maricel Nápoles González
Denmark - Sophus Gether
Germany - Peter Noever
Greece - Polina Kosmadaki, Anastasia Karangelou
Hungary - Claudio Scorretti
Iran - Bita Fayyazi
Israel - Naomi Aviv, Daniel S. Milo
Italy - Luca Beatrice
Jordan - Dina Daboub
Latvia - Baiba Morkane
Mexico - Ariadna Ramonetti, Bárbara Perea, Iñaki Herranz, Octavio Avendaño Trujillo
Natives of North America - Jennifer Karch Verzè
Nigeria - Ayo Adewunmi, Moataz El-Safty, Oriano Mabellini North Korea - Pierluigi Cecioni
Philippines - Young Joo Ko, PSP (Project Space Pilipinas) Saudi Arabia - Maryam Beydoun
Spain - Fernando Francés
South Africa - Nadja Daehnke
Sweden - Paula von Seth
Switzerland - Francine Mury, Guido Magnaguagno, Sabina Straccia Syria - Donatella della Ratta
Thailand - Neeraj Ajmani
Tibet - Paola Vanzo
Tunisia - Leila Souissi Uganda/Rwanda/Burundi - Feisal Osman United States - Diego Cortez

Exhibition design
Tobia Scarpa

Visual communication
Fabrica / Namyoung An, Marcello Piccinini, Daniele Tonon

Diana Gentili, Valentina Granzotto

Luciano Alban, Massimo Zambon

Exhibition texts
Pietro Valdatta

Emma Cole

External relations
Martina Fornasaro

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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