Home Magazine Cremona Contemporanea: an itinerant journey through contemporary art and the historical - artistic heritage of the wonderful pearl city of Cremona

The city of Cremona is involved in an initiative that is expanding each year more, thanks to the collaboration with the artists and the unity of the community of Cremona involved in the beauty and the power that the universal language of contemporary arts entails. 

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We have all seen the wonderful movie entitled “Narnia,” in which through a closet, a group of teens access a fantastic world full of surprises. The city of Cremona, from the 18th to 26th of May is the “Narnia” of contemporary artistic initiatives. The city hosts the second edition of Cremona Contemporary | Art Week, which after last year’s first edition success, comes back with even more exciting and ambitious proposals. This year, the artistic itinerary includes 27 places that have to be discovered and visited, twice as many as in 2023. The itinerary includes 19 important artists from the contemporary art scene. Under the artistic direction of the curator Rossella Farinotti and the coordination of CF Agency, with the collaboration of the Province of Cremona, the Chamber of Commerce of Cremona and Confcommercio province of Cremona and the support of Fondazione Arvedi Buschini.

During the press review on Friday, May 17, Cremona Contemporary is described as an event able to bring ideas, which are the driving forces behind the city's art and culture. Cremona is the sum of all creative and cultural expressions. Culture Councillor Luca Borgazzi says, “The aim is to enhance our cultural heritage and make sure that, in the international environment, dialogues with contemporary art. This city is ready to do what it wants, to provoke and be provoked, keeping a very strong community together.” He continued, “artists through their arts help us reflect. These artistic events are means for us to collaborate and think how to improve together.” Gian Domenico Auricchio, representative of the Cremona Chamber of Commerce quotes journalist Tommaso Labate, “The magic of contemporary art lies not so much in the noun art but in the adjective contemporary.” This week, Cremona is transformed into a place of knowledge and discovery to stimulate a dialogue between the art of the present and the historical and artistic heritage preserved by the city. Leonardo Caldonazzo, owner of Triangolo Gallery tells us, “Being here is a very strong emotion, a year ago we were here without knowing where we were going. Cremona has been a blank canvas on which we have been able to do many things. We are a small reality, but we want to achieve big goals.

Claire Fontaine. Installation view, Cremona Contemporanea | Art Week 2024. Ph. Chico/Ercoli/Rossetti

The city hosts site-specific installations, large-scale paintings, sculpture, video art, ceramics and textile productions. “The dialogue with the artists, coming from all over the world, has been intense and fruitful, to elaborate images able to create small and large narratives everywhere”, explains Rossella Farinotti curator of Cremona Contemporary. Another addition of the 2024 edition, are the “Faville projects”, ideated with the collaboration of important Italian and international realities. The aim is to expand and enrich the exhibition itinerary. The artists involved this year are: Thomas Berra, Federico Cantale, Victoria Colmegna, Lucia Cristiani, Luca De Angelis, Luca De Leva, Jeremy Deller, Roberto Fassone, Claire Fontaine, Francesco Gennari, Judith Hopf, Michele Lombardelli, Nevine Mahmoud, Jonas Mekas, Daniele Milvio, Ornaghi & Prestinari, Emma Talbot, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Zoe Williams.

The Itinerary takes place in different locations around the city. The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore opens the contemporary art week with a work by the renowned duo Claire Fontaine “LIBER* TUTT*,” a red LED representing a provocation to the status quo and an invite to see the world with new eyes. Another exhibition space is the Teatro Ponchielli, where artist Emma Talbot has created a site-specific installation entitled “The Tragedies.” She uses metal, fabric, silk, acrylic and synthetic hair, going beyond boundaries by creating a work charged with meaning inspired by the Greek tragedies of Medea. The work compares our tragic times, trying to warn us about the aggressiveness of our times and help us reflect. In Cremona's cathedral square, Patrick Tuttofuoco, has created a work ad hoc depicting Hercules, an important figure of the city. The artist has decided to represent him as a hybrid figure, rather than a manly one, capable of embracing every man's vulnerabilities and emotions, breaking the stereotype of the heroic strong figure.

Thomas Berra. Installation view, Cremona Contemporanea | Art Week 2024. Ph. Chico/Ercoli/Rossetti

Lucia Cristiani’s work is held in Palazzo del Comune, where other installations are held. The artist recreates eel-sized landscapes, inspired by their European migratory flow. With the use of bio- plastics she recreates ocean waters. Lucia Cristiani invites us to reflect on surfaces in a context where looking to the future is complicated. She wants to reweave the link between who we have been, who we are, and who we will become. A number of performers walk around the installation, wearing long metal-colored canines. They are “fragile fangs” giving visibility to the parts that are not accepted by society; he explains, “the performers, as in many of my works, remind us that there is a temporary star that will potentially unite us all together. 

Triangolo Gallery is an important contemporary art gallery based in Cremona. During the Contemporary Art Week is exhibiting the works of Federico Cantale, class of 1996, almost the same age as Gallery promoter Leonardo Caldonazzo, class of 2000. Entitled “Free Works,” the works are geometric sculptures that remind us of the hangers we see daily in our closets. The works are free, spontaneous and imaginative like children's drawings. Triangolo Gallery gives us a vision of young actors already active in the art world and the innovative and revolutionary ideas they bring into the contemporary world. They try to leave a mark of inspiration and positivity towards the future during this period of  the unknown of the present times. The Gallery also has two works by Francesco Gennari exhibited. 

Luca de Angelis & Zoe Williams. Installation view, Cremona Contemporanea | Art Week 2024. Ph. Chico/Ercoli/Rossetti

Thyself Agency, idealized by Luca de Leva, is a travel agency that offers services to exchange lives with another person for a set period of time. It helps to “lose the fear of being forgotten,” as illustrated by the agency's flyers that the artist gives out to the people walking near the agency. At Palazzo Affaiati, we find the installation “Fai bene finché hai tempo” by Thomas Berra, who uses hand-decorated tiles, different from one another, to recreate the memory of a bathroom, with an open faucet and water running. In another room of the building, we see on display a work by Luca de Angelis, depicting a mythical creature, in dialogue with a work by Zoe Williams. Algol's Mistress ceramic depicts a creature with a head adorned with snakes, like jellyfish, to recall the theme of food and consumption. 

These are just the beginning of all the installations and initiatives that are going on in Cremona during this week. Once again this year there will be a lot of initiatives such as talks, lectures, screenings and concerts open to all to flank the exhibition route that can be followed using the Cremona Contemporary map, which is essential to discover every side, even the most hidden, of this week that is bound to amaze its visitors.

Cover Image: Le Tragedie. Courtesy of Cremona Contemporanea

Written by Kooness

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