Mahony at Villa delle Rose

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Artists: Mahony

Exhibition title: Ghosts and the Self

Curated by: Giulia Pezzoli

Venue: Villa delle Rose, Bologna, Italy

Date:  June 9 – July 31, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Villa delle Rose

Promoting and nurturing young international art is the objective of the ROSE residence program conceived by the director of the Istituzione Bologna Musei Laura Carlini Fanfogna that the MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna has organized for the year 2016-2017. The project, curated by Giulia Pezzoli, involves the Sandra Natali Residence for Artists and the exhibition area of Villa delle Rose, so that artists can reside and produce new works, arriving at the point of staging and opening a showing of their art. Moments of preparation and elaboration involve specialists and the general public during project execution.

The first residence period welcomes to Bologna from May 2016 the Mahony Collective, which will present to the public a project entitled Ghosts and the Self, chosen for its ability to use ironic language to give shape to an image of a contemporary European society in which the elements of a colonial past and a history of domination and cultural expansion reemerge, apparently sugarcoated by a simple, subtle esthetic, consistent with the themes presented. The exhibition, which will be visible at Villa delle Rose from 9 June to 31 July, is part of CONCIVES 1116–2016 Ninth centennial of the Comune of Bologna and includes 15 works that, through a combination of different media, analyze illustrative episodes of the contradictions that characterized the colonial history of the West, considered in conjunction with the more current aspects of contemporary culture, still visible today in political debates and social conflicts of the moment.

The Mahony Collective, founded in 2002, is composed of Stephan Kobatsch from Austria, and Jenny Wolka and Clemens Leuschner from Germany. The foundation of the group’s research is an extensive epistemological analysis of the various ways of producing knowledge. Their approach has always been focused on process: information and objects go through various mediations and operations over time, both material and conceptual, and are subjected to transpositions and decontextualizations. The focus of the research regards transformations and unexpected results that occur during this process, both erratic and unpredictable.

Making use of a wide range of media (video, photography, print collage, sculpture, performance, installations), the Mahony Collective considers the preliminary research as a part of their artistic work, refusing any static and inactive view of the artwork.

Ghosts and the Self reflects the conflicted relationship between the contemporary image of European society and its colonial past, still visible today in political and social debates, highlighting how much of this past is spoken about, remembered, and made visible, and how much, on the other hand, has been forgotten, marginalized, and removed.

The exhibit seeks to correlate the formation of European states with their colonial expansion and occupation projects and the rise of anthropological and anthropometrical studies for the definition of racial standards. In these respects the artists have visited and were inspired by the collections of the Anthropology Museum of the University of Bologna, which will make it possible for the artists to acquire detailed knowledge of the collection of plaster reproductions from the Anthropology Institute of Florence.

The Mahony Collective’s analysis brings us to a crucial question: can human knowledge and the understanding of our own past accept an interpretation that has not been formed, crystalized, and detached from the present and relegated to museums, archives, and history books?

The Ghosts and the Self project brings together the artists in the collective with a specialized public: a group of students from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna who, thanks to support from the Education department at MAMbo, have worked with them to develop guided tours of the exhibit (every Wednesday at 6:30 pm), providing visitors with more information about the collective’s work. Cultural mediation tools for the public will also be produced thanks to this collaboration.

During the exhibition the Istituzione Bologna Musei | MAMbo will publish a catalog featuring a rich selection of photographs of the exhibition at Villa delle Rose, as well as critical contributions from Roberto Pinto and Giulia Grechi.

The Sandra Natali Residence for Artists was established in 2010 in Bologna, in a building at Via Filippo Turati 41, bequeathed by Professor Sandra Natali. It has already been home to various artists since its opening, including Mariana Xavier, Caroline Challal Belval, and Amir Parsa.

As part of the ROSE program, the second period of residency between November 2016 and January 2017 will feature Roberto Pugliese who, with the [boˈloɲɲa] project, will analyze socio-cultural and architectural aspects of the city, recomposing them in musical scores for instruments and electronics.

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Mahony,12 stones, 5 sticks, 2 reincarnation-boxes
Shell limestone, wooden boxes, paint, branches, grey foam, 103 x 240 x 20, 100 x 240 x 23, 114 x 240 x 26 cm

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Mahony,12 stones, 5 sticks, 2 reincarnation-boxes
Shell limestone, wooden boxes, paint, branches, grey foam, 103 x 240 x 20, 100 x 240 x 23, 114 x 240 x 26 cm

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Mahony, Fantastic invasion
Refrigerator, object out of clay, wooden transport box, 142 x 65 x 63cm

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Mahony, Fantastic invasion
Refrigerator, object out of clay, wooden transport box, 142 x 65 x 63cm

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Mahony, Feather hat variations
Video loop (6,12 min.), Tyrolean hat with pheasant feather, 99 x 99 x 50cm

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Mahony, La veritè sur les colonies
Silkscreen paint, gesso, canvas on aluminium, 48 x 68cm

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Mahony, La veritè sur les colonies
Silkscreen paint, gesso, canvas on aluminium, 48 x 68cm

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Mahony, Untitled (the many happenings)
Cork granules, 105 x 76 x 3 cm

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Mahony, Untitled (the many happenings)
Cork granules, 105 x 76 x 3 cm

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Mahony, Descaled record #1
2 plaster forms, each 46 x 25 x 14 cm

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Mahony, Descaled record #2
2 plaster forms, each 75 x 42 x 6 cm

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Mahony, Bad faith makeup
5 glass panels, acrylic paint, each 100 x 100 x 0,5 cm

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Mahony, Bad faith makeup
5 glass panels, acrylic paint, each 100 x 100 x 0,5 cm

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Mahony, Save harbour (European spectacle #1)
White painted socket, 3 army blankets with embroideries, metal object, 300 x 300 x 67,5 cm

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Mahony, Save harbour (European spectacle #1)
White painted socket, 3 army blankets with embroideries, metal object, 300 x 300 x 67,5 cm

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Mahony, Save harbour (European spectacle #1)
White painted socket, 3 army blankets with embroideries, metal object, 300 x 300 x 67,5 cm

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Mahony, Save harbour (European spectacle #1)
White painted socket, 3 army blankets with embroideries, metal object, 300 x 300 x 67,5 cm

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Mahony, Structured amnesia
Black wire, nylon, dimensions variable

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Mahony, Structured amnesia
Black wire, nylon, dimensions variable

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Mahony, The gathering
Shelf out of painted wood and metal, 120 figures out of dental plaster, 251 x 91 cm

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Mahony, The gathering
Shelf out of painted wood and metal, 120 figures out of dental plaster, 251 x 91 cm

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Mahony, The remarkable absence of violet
8 African violets, Flowerpots, metal holds, 210 x 21 x 27 cm

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Mahony, The remarkable absence of violet
8 African violets, Flowerpots, metal holds, 210 x 21 x 27 cm

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Mahony, The remarkable absence of violet
6 African violets, Flowerpots, metal holds, 173 x 26 x 28cm

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Mahony, Untitled (writings)

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Mahony, Untitled (writings)

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