ROME.- After the success of the last edition, the Italian capital welcomes the return of the international art fair ROMA - The Road to Contemporary Art, which runs from 2-5 April, 2009. This year, the event will not only be a great opportunity for art market professionals to meet and do business, but will also feature a series of events spread among Rome's most beautiful sites, with a program full of appointments for both experts in the field and the general public.
The core of this multi-faceted event is ROMA, the fair itself, where artists, galleries, museums, public and private foundations, collectors, critics, curators and art publishers all come together.
It is divided into three sections:
THE FAIR, situated between the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Palazzo Venezia, will offer visitors access to the crème de la crème of the international art market, from famous artists to renowned galleries;
STARGATE, also between the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Palazzo Venezia, will be reserved for galleries that have been in business for less than seven years – already well established but still driven by a spirit of experimentation and innovation;
STARTUP, located in the Santo Spirito in Sassia complex, will assemble the newcomers – that is, galleries on the art scene for less than three years, ROMA offering emerging artists and gallerists exposure and visibility on the international art fair circuit.
Alongside the fair will be a series of special cultural events, the first curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, another three coordinated by Danilo Eccher and several others by young, up-and-coming curators.
Five collateral events, organized and directly managed by ROMA, are:
Cose mai Viste, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva. Installed in Palazzo Barberini, this show will focus on works in the private collections of artists, examining the recondite choices of taste, meaning and sensibility that moves one artist to own works by another.
Solo al buio, curated by Cecilia Canziani and Andrea Viliani, at Trajan's Market, presents video and light box works installed in the spaces of Via Biberatica and the ancient hemicycle below. The exhibition brings together the most interesting experiments in the new language of video and backlit photography in a powerfully engaging setting.
Mediterranean, curated by Vasif Kortun and Elena Lydia Scipioni, at Palazzo Rospigliosi. This show is dedicated to young artists of the Mediterranean basin, with the aim of giving voice to new areas of enquiry and experimentation. Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt are represented, as well as Spain, Provence (France) and Southern Italy – all part of the same extremely complex and vital geographical area.
Senza Rete, curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and Caroline Corbetta, at Santo Spirito in Sassia, features the newest, youngest and boldest experimentation, with a focus on linguistic contaminations and formal randomness. In short, an invitation to overload one's curiosity in the most disparate and extreme areas of research at the outermost boundaries of art; a chance for young artists, young gallerists and collectors to test themselves against the uncertain limits and deformed perspectives of the untested.
Accademia delle Accademie at Hadrian's Temple brings together in one place all the foreign visual arts academies located in Rome that have artist-in-residence programs. This is a chance for the general public to see how important the work that these institutions do can be in promoting the artists of their home countries, as well as the degree to which Italy figures into the international contemporary art scene. A journey accompanied by films, information, installations, debates and atmospheres, all in the same place.
In addition to the aforementioned exhibitions that constitute the main directional lines of the overall event, three initiatives, also under the supervision of Danilo Eccher, coordinator of ROMA's various cultural events, will be presented:
Rolling Stones: Fifty young curators will switch places every hour for the entire duration of the fair, sharing their experience or talking about the topics they feel are most relevant to the present. A non-stop critical intervention on the themes and prospects of contemporary art.
A casa mia: at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Four encounters, each on a differentday of the fair, where a collector will invite an artist represented in his/her collection and a trusted gallerists to talk about issues surrounding the private acquisition of works of art.
Nel mio Museo: at Palazzo Venezia. Four encounters, each on a different day of the fair, where a director of an important international museum will talk with an artist and a journalist about the politics of public acquisitions. Among the guests: Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, GNAM, Roma; Vincente Todolí, Tate Modern, London; Armin Zweite, Museum of North Westphalia, Dusseldorf; Helmut Friedel, Lenbachhaus, Munich; Joao Fernandez, Serralves, Porto.