NAM – Not A Museum, Manifattura Tabacchi’s contemporary art programme, is happy to announce the winners of the international SUPERBLAST competition. SUPERBLAST winners will be invited to participate in an artist residency programme whose core values are to encourage artistic practice outside more ‘traditional’ locations by promoting the development of projects that are integrated with the ex-industrial spaces at Manifattura Tabacchi.
Over 700 candidates from 48 different countries applied, including 567 individual artists and 140 artist collectives. Of these, just six multidisciplinary artists were selected. We found their interpretations of our ‘call to arts’ to be remarkably creative and original: What does it mean to create art today? How can we rebuild a balance between humanity, urban centres and the natural world? Is a new ecological vision feasible?
Antonio Bermudéz Obregón (1991, Bogotà), Edoardo Aruta (1981, Rome), Federica di Pietrantonio (1996, Rome), Oliviero Fiorenzi (1992, Osimo), Violette Maillard (Bourg La Reine, 1984) e Iper-Collettivo (Prato, Pistoia, London) will create six installations for Manifattura Tabacchi’s spaces. These works will explore the relationship between humans and nature and experiment with hybrid languages in dialogue with the ex-industrial setting.
The project proposals were evaluated by an international, multidisciplinary scientific jury with authorities active in many different fields of research in the arts and sciences: Mario Cristiani, co founder of the Associazione Arte Continua and Galleria Continua; Stefano Mancuso, director of LINV and PNAT founder; Erica Petrillo, researcher, curator and 2050+ member; Lucia Pietroiusti, curator of General Ecology at Serpentine Galleries; and Caterina Taurelli Salimbeni, curator of NAM – Not a Museum.
The selected artists will explore multiple artforms, from installation to sound, sculpture to video, intervening on the pre-existing paradigms of Western thought in relation to nature, culture, humans and other living beings, the individual and the collective, drawing from a set of semantics that spans from an ecological standpoint, digital languages, colonialist practices, industry, to history and politics.
Each artist will receive €5000 to spend on production costs, a personal workspace, and €500 to cover travel expenses.
Antonio Bermúdez Obregon
Antonio Bermúdez Obregon, PESTBOSJES, 2020
Antonio Bermúdez Obregon was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1991, where he continues to live and work. His work has been displayed in exhibitions at the notable Espacio El Dorado and the SGR Galería (Bogotá). Obregon’s work has been exhibited internationally at the Humboldt Forum (Berlin) and the Jan Van Eyck Academie (Maastricht). Obregon is a visual researcher and architect, and his dual practice intertwines territory and its different meanings working within the intersection of culture and land. His work deals with topics such as orientation, geopolitics, toponymy, colonialism, exoticism and the imaginary of nations.
Antonio Bermúdez Obregon, TPPED, 2018
Edoardo Aruta, Indici di bilancio, 2016, performance
Edoardo Aruta was born in Rome in 1981. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in his native city and at the IUAV University in Venice. During his studies, he also worked as scenographer and stagehand for theatre and cinema productions. Since 2003, Aruta’s work has been displayed in exhibitions in Italy and abroad. In 2013, he founded the artist collective Gli Impresari in Venice, with Marco Di Giuseppe and Rosario Sorbello. Aruta’s artistic practice is based on the examination of the phenomena underlying the experience of daily life, from the interaction with places and the relationship between people and ‘objects’ to the possibilities of exploring the real and fictitious meanings that surround them.
Edoardo Aruta, Elephant in the room, 2019, video still
Federica Di Pietrantonio
Federica Di Pietrantonio, dreamland
Federica Di Pietrantonio was born in Rome in 1996, where she currently lives and works. She studied painting at the Rome University of Fine Arts. Di Pietrantonio graduated in 2019, and based her research on the thesis spending free time at KASK (Ghent), where she developed the project ‘Vacation Spot’. In 2017, Di Pietrantonio was selected for Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale and the following year she started working at Spazio In Situ as artist and web designer. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Las Palmas (Lisbon), Gouvernement (Ghent), and the Una Vetrina gallery and The Gallery Apart in Rome. Her work centres on the relationships and processes which arise from simulations, virtual reality, and social media platforms.
Federica Di Pietrantonio, i’m all poor drawings and bad decisions, tenderly basic
Oliviero Fiorenzi, Numana, 2019, Segnali
Oliviero Fiorenzi was born in Osimo in 1992. For the past ten years, he has lived and worked in Milano. With one foot in his hometown and the other in the vibrant urban hub, Fiorenzi has developed a unique sensibility for the theme of natural landscapes. His personal life experience has inspired him to build complex figurative sign apparati, thanks to which he enters into a relationship with the context in which he works, producing pictorial and sculptural installations. Fiorenzi’s work has been displayed in many galleries, foundations, and museums, including The Address (Brescia), Sonnenstube (Lugano), Fondazione Feltrinelli and La Triennale (Milano), Ex-Dogana (Roma) and La Mole (Ancona).
Oliviero Fiorenzi, Sonnenstube Crashtest
Violette Maillard, No name, installation view at Arsenale, ph RBanfi, 2009
Violette Maillard was born in Bourg la Reine in 1984. She is a French-Italian artist who works in the field of contemporary art. She has exhibited internationally in several experimental and institutional spaces such as the National Art Museum of China (Beijing), the ex-showroom Gavina and the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, the Museum fur Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt am Main), Palazzina dei Bagni Misteriosi and Fondazione Feltrinelli (Milan). Among other prizes she was awarded in 2016, Maillard won the XIII edition of the New York Prize and has been artist-in-residence at ISCP, International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York. In 2019 she won the first edition of the Italy-China Prize and has been artist-in-residence at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing.
Violette Maillard, Immortal Game, in collaboration with LCalori, installation view at IIC NewYork, 2016. ph JKendi
Nursery Floating Garden, 2017, Vannucci Nursery Cultural Centre Pistoia, ph Antonio Troise
Iper-Collettivo (Giulia Landini, Prato, 1992; Lorenzo Romaniello, Pistoia, 1988; Lorenzo Vacirca, Prato, 1988; Marco Conti, Prato, 1988) is a multidisciplinary artist collective formed by four young professionals with different backgrounds. Iper-Collettivo is united by an interest for experimentation, sustainability, and interactive forms of expression. The group shares a vision for art, architecture and ecology and explores the relationship between the territory and its communities through the realisation of socially inclusive projects that invite community participation.
Iper-Collettivo, Plastic Landscape, 2021, Installation selected 2nd Art Biennale Countless Cities 2021, Favara
SUPERBLAST will begin with a series of workshops (5, 6, and 7 May 2021) which will serve as a meeting space in which the participating resident artists will get to know the space and the Manifattura Tabacchi community. The installations will be created during the months of June and July and will activate new dynamics within the ex-factory. The workshops will provide opportunities to delve into relevant topics in contemporary art alongside notable guests: Andreco (visual artist and founder of the Climate Art Project), Antonio Perazzi (landscape architect, writer and academic), Stefano Giuri (artist and founder of the TOAST Project Space), Luca Lo Pinto (artistic director of MACRO in Rome) and Lorenzo Gigotti (NERO). They will guide the artists-in-residence as they tackle transversal themes that are particularly relevant to the SUPERBLAST programme, such as: the collaboration between artists and scientists; the opportunities available to young artists today (inside and outside the system); and rethinking the museum as a performative, editorial, and temporary space.
During the workshop, six curators will be chosen to mentor each artist during their stay, with the aim of developing a written contribution for the publication of the final catalogue that will be printed at the end of the residency.
The final works will be shown in a group exhibition during the month of Septembre, as part of Manifattura Tabacchi’s broader mission: to help Firenze become a true centre for contemporary art, dedicating space to artistic experimentation and opening a discussion for the urgent themes of our times, such as sustainability.