press release

Luogo e Segni
Punta della Dogana, Venice
24.03.2019 - 15.12.2019

Curated by Mouna Mekouar, Martin Bethenod

Luogo e Segni, conceived by Mouna Mekouar, independent curator, and Martin Bethenod, Director of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, is the seventh exhibition to be presented at Punta della Dogana from its opening as an exhibition space of the Pinault Collection, ten years ago, in 2009.

Named after an artwork by Carol Rama displayed in the exhibition, Luogo e Segni presents over 100 works by 36 artists, among whom 17 are presented for the first time in a Pinault Collection exhibition in Venice. Among those, three have taken part in the artist residency programme promoted by the Pinault Collection in Lens.

Luogo e Segni is an itinerary through some inner geography where nature, creation and poetry intertwine, and draws particular inspiration from the writings of the poet and artist Etel Adnan, with whom many artists on display share a very strong connection. Echoing Etel Adnan’s poetry, the exhibition evokes the seemingly elusive character of natural elements, staging the various atmospheric changes and the environmental transformations that pervade Punta della Dogana.

The memory of places is one of the leitmotivs of Luogo e Segni. The memory of past exhibitions, such as "Garden of Memory" that brought together in 2018 Etel Adnan, Simone Fattal and Robert Wilson at the musée Yves Saint Laurent marrakech. Memory of cities, Beirut, New York, Sarajevo. The memory of Venice and its many overlapping eras. The memory of Punta della Dogana, with its emblematic artworks that connect Luogo e Segni to the past exhibitions of the Pinault Collection.

Another theme is that of the special affinity that binds the artists, between them and to Etel Adnan in particular, be it of mutual esteem and inspiration or a more intimate bond, friendship or love. Roni Horn and Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Simone Fattal and Etel Adnan, Liz Deschenes and Berenice Abbott, Tacita Dean and Julie Mehretu, Philippe Parreno and Etel Adnan but also works resulting from the collaboration between Anri Sala and Ari Benjamin Meyers, or Charbel-joseph H. Boutros and Stéphanie Saadé… All these ‘conversations’ map the implicit geography of a cohesive way of thinking between individualities coming from different horizons but all inhabited by poetry.

Poetry stands at the heart of the exhibition, through the verses of poems chosen by the artists to converse with their works in the catalogue.