Grand Century


“Nativity” is the reenactment of a memory. This show tests the potential of
the exhibiting gesture—inherently assertive and factual—to return instead an 
absence, and thus explore the realm of the ghostly and unreal.

“Nativity” engages with the past through strategies like those of 
sampling in music. Indeed, unlike in reenacted exhibitions, in which the 
absence (of the original location, of the works) is configured as 
a ‘subtraction’ in the visitor’s experience (see “When Attitudes Become 
Form: Bern 1969/2013 Venice,” Fondazione Prada – Ca ‘Corner della 
Regina, Venice, 2013), music is exquisitely able to echo the past in the 
present. Tracks which are shaped by the sound of foregone days cannot 
simply be labeled as ‘re-processed memories’—i.e. reinterpretations, 
revisitations, remixes—; they are instead contemporary creations born with 
the purpose of stimulating anamnesis and regret: they transport the listener 
into a past which is extremely close to her own, while actually ‘mythical’ 
(see Burial, Rival Dealer, Hyperdub, 2013).

“Nativity” works like one of these music tracks: it doesn’t rebuild 
(reenact) a scenario through documentary sources, but creates a ‘folkloric’ 
one. In order to reach a compromise between the dichotomous factual and 
virtual, it makes use of the memory of a ‘somewhere’: a domestic space, a 
living room, in Italy. The living room is temporally situated between the 
second half of the 80s and the first half of the 90s. This chronology does not 
purport to indicate events that occurred at this juncture, but rather the 
identity of a lifestyle, and therefore an aesthetic understanding of the 

The space is furnished strictly according to the trends of Italian design 
from these years. Pastel colors dominate the space, especially cerulean, 
which is the color of the powder, and gray—or rather, greige, the hue that 
emerged out of Giorgio Armani’s creations. Traditional furniture and 
ceramic objects contrast with the icy and rationalist tones of the design 
objects. Ferns and other houseplants occupy the corners, while 
reproductions of Impressionists’ masterpieces hang on the walls. Natural 
light is never direct, but always filtered by thin curtains.

This living room belongs to a middle-class family, which here 
celebrates daily rituals, as well as rituals of great occasions. For example, 
during Christmas time, the room hosts a nativity scene: the sleek surface of 
the coffee table is hidden under a landscape of moss and papier-mâché, a 
blend of Middle Eastern pictorial clichés and a panorama of the Alps. The 
crib is installed in a corner, graciously watched over by the mother and 
father; gold, frankincense and myrrh are piously placed at its feet. A group
of pilgrims are set on their way to honor the new born.

Material Art Fair, Mexico City
NADA Miami Beach
NATIONAL GALLERY curated by Chewdays
RRBGGGRWW (polysemes) curated by Frankin Melendez
Peeling Wall curated by Dora Budor
Suppedaneum curated by James Michael Shaeffer, Jr.
Santal 26 / 33 curated by Tara Downs
911,000 B.C. curated by Agatha Wara




Alessandro AGUDIO
Giorgio ARMANI
Alessandro BAVA
Daniele MILVIO

curated by Michele D' Aurizio 

March 7-8