The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914–2014

The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914–2014

Mart Rovereto

November 2, 2014

The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914–2014
October 4, 2014–September 20, 2015

Mart Museum Rovereto Bettini 43, 38068 
Rovereto TN 

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The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914–2014 exhibition, realized under the patronage of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and in collaboration with leading Italian cultural institutions, constitutes the main part of a major project called Mart/Great War 1914–2014.

The exhibition is a project directed by Cristiana Collu, and curated by Nicoletta Boschiero, Saretto Cincinelli, Gustavo Corni, Gabi Scardi and Camillo Zadra, with the collaboration of experts in history and contemporary art. The exhibition draws a distance from a simple reflection about history and offers a more complex overview regarding the topicality of the conflict, which is still today at the centre of debate. The First World War being remembered now was one of the most dramatic and significant events in history, and here represents the starting point for a broader investigation running through 20th-century history to the conflicts of the present day. The exhibition takes as its starting point Bertolt Brecht’s famous poem “The war which is coming is not the first one.” The museum tries to tell a story from which emerges an intense voyage rooted in that war and leading to the most tragic recent history.

The project develops the theme by adopting a variety of viewpoints, presenting a view of the event as the result of a narrative composition in which art meets history, politics and anthropology. Making use of a sort of complex thematic and temporary assemblage, the exhibition avoids following a precise chronological order, demonstrating—through new semantic combinations and short-cuts—how all wars are the same and at the same time how each war is different. Installations, drawings, photographs, paintings, posters, postcards, letters, diaries share the over 3,000 square meters of the top floor of the Mart, where they meet recent artistic experimentations, sound installations and film narratives: original documents, videos and films.Also on display are many war relics from the First World War. The layout, designed by the Catalan Martí Guixé, translates the two souls of the exhibition—historic and contemporary—building a palimpsest binding together folly, disorder, rhythm, light and hope. What emerges is a transverse vision that takes into account points of view of history, art and contemporary thinking to contextualize the past. 

The exhibition presents some historic masterpieces from the Mart’s own collections, including works by Giacomo Balla, Anselmo Bucci, Fortunato Depero and Gino Severini. There are also works by artists who lived through the horror of the First World War; on top of the exponents of Italian avant-garde movements mentioned above, this list includes Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Albin Egger-Lienz, Adolf Helmberger, Osvaldo Licini, Arturo Martini, Pietro Morando and Mario Sironi, and is joined by the work of directors of the time, like Filippo Butera, Segundo de Chomón and Abel Gance. Among the artists involved directly in the conflict, there will be a section dedicated to the Czechoslovakian photographer Josef Sudek. On display will be not just war as a personal experience but also as a recurrent thought in the work of many artists, including Lida Abdul, Enrico Baj, Yael Bartana, Alberto Burri, Alighiero Boetti, Pascal Convert, Gohar Dashti, Berlinde De Bruyeckere, Paola De Pietri, Harun Farocki, Yervant Gianikian e Angela Ricci Lucchi, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Mateo Maté, Adi Nes, ORLAN, Sophie Ristelhueber, Thomas Ruff, Anri Sala and Artur Żmijewski.

The project Mart/Great War 1914–2014 involves all the sites of the Museum and includes a collateral program of events, meetings, conferences and appointments. In addition to The war which is coming is not the first one there are other two exhibitions: Step on war at Casa Depero and Afterimage. Images of conflict at the Civic Gallery in Trento.

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Mart Rovereto
November 2, 2014

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