img.0Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler, "The Right of Passage", 2013
The starting point of the exhibition “Confronting Comfort’s Continent” is the base of the foundation La Fabbrica del Cioccolato: a former factory. The discussion that ensues is about factories under workers’ control, where not only goods but also new social and economic models are “produced”.
The 3-channel video installation “Occupy, Resist, Produce” (2014/2015; with Dario Azzellini) focuses on three factories in Milan, Rome and Thessaloniki, where the purpose of factory occupations was to bring production under workers’ control. The workers take the initiative and become protagonists, building horizontal social relations on the production sites and adopting mechanisms of direct democracy and collective decision-making. The recuperated workplaces often reinvent themselves, building links with local communities and social movements.
On Friday 2nd September 2016 at 6pm a conference will take place about the exhibition’s themes and projects with: Federica Martini, Gerald Raunig, Marco Scotini and Oliver Ressler. Federica Martini, art historian and curator, worked at the contemporary art museum Castello di Rivoli in Turin and she works as curator at Museum of Post Digital Cultures. Gerald Raunig is a philosopher and art theorist; he teaches at the university of at the Zürich University of the Arts, and the EIPCP in Vienna and he is the author of Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century (2007). Marco Scotini, art critic and independent curator, is the director of the department of Visual Arts at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti) in Milan.
img.1Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler, “Occupy, Resist, Produce” 3-channel video installation, 2014-2015 Installation view: Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Sevilla, 2015)
Oliver Ressler, born 1970, lives and works in Vienna and produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Oliver Ressler has had solo exhibitions in major art spaces such as Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; The Cube Project Space, Taipei; Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – CAAC, Seville. Ressler has participated in more than 250 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía,
Madrid; SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven; MASSMoCA, North Adams, USA and at the biennials in Prague (2005), Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013), Athens (2013, 2015), and Quebec (2014). He is the director of 23 films. A retrospective of his films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève in 2013. For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated A World Where Many Worlds Fit. A traveling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, has been presented at nine venues since 2011. In collaboration with Ines Doujak he co-curated Utopian Pulse – Flares in the Darkroom at Secession in Vienna in 2014. He received the 1st Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016.
img.2Oliver Ressler, “Take The Square”, 3-channel video installation, 2012
The chocolate factory Cima Norma used to be the heart of industrial development of Blenio Valley, thanks to its growing activity from the beginning of XX century until 1968, when it closed; the factory was then used for different purposes. La Fabbrica del Cioccolato foundation is now in charge of managing the cultural activities to be held in the factory. Foreignness programme started in 2016; it is a cultural project created by the artistic director Franco Marinotti as an analysis of the interaction between art and the territory, meant as evolving cultural, social and political heritage.
The term Foreignness involves different ways of feeling stranger, different, not belonging to a particular, changing context.
Visit Foundation's website for further details