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Trento | Mart : “The war which is coming is not the first one”


Until 20 September 2015, the Mart – the Museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto presents “The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914-2014”.
Through the development of a series of complementary contributions, 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 of the modern era, and here represents the starting point for a broader investigation running through 20th-century history to the conflicts of the present day.


Left: Peschiera, Summer 1915. Bucci, Marinetti, Boccioni, 1915.
Private collection. Courtesy Galleria Antologia, Monza
Right:Anselmo Bucci in divisa da V.C.A. 1915
Private collection. Courtesy Galleria Antologia, Monza

In the exhibition, art comes into contact with everyday life: the masterpieces of the avant-garde movements maintain a dialogue with the propaganda, with the format of the whole exhibition, and renews the value of the documents, reports and accounts on display. Installations, drawings, prints, photographs, paintings, posters, postcards, letters, diaries share the over 3000 square meters of the top floor of the Mart, where they meet recent artistic experimentations, sound installations and filmed narratives: original documents, videos and films. Also on display are many war relics used in the First World War: every object has its own story to tell, and their finding is the most recent chapter in an event that is still topical. The layout, designed by Martí Guixé, translates the two souls of the exhibition – historic and contemporary – building a palimpsest binding together folly, disorder, rhythm, light and hope.


Giacomo Balla, La guerra,(the war) 1916. Unicredit Art Collection.

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 numerous works by artists who lived through the horror of the Great 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.  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.


Christian Boltanski. Autel Lycée Chases, 1989. Mart, Deposito Collezione privata.

All images Courtesy of Mart.

Cover image: Berlinde de Bruyckere, In Flanders Field, 2000
Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA)

The war which is coming is not the first one. Great War 1914-2014
exhibition, until 20, September 2015
MART – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto
Corso Bettini 43, 38068 Rovereto (TN)

Director of the project: Cristiana Collu
Project curated by: Nicoletta Boschiero, Saretto Cincinelli, Gustavo Corni, Gabi Scardi, Camillo Zadra.
Exhibition layout: Martí Guixé

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