Geneva (Switzerland) From the 18th of November until the 25th of February, Atvera’s Gallery will open vast new horizons for experimental art. It will become a Red Desert, a place where activism becomes attitude. This exhibition curated by Flaminia Scauso will focus on the legacy of Monte Verità, one of the most artistically prolific places in the History of Switzerland. Wim Delvoye, Olafur Eliasson, Carmen Perrin, Ryan Mendoza, John Isaacs, Scoli Acosta, Pietro Ruffo, Barthélémy Toguo, Aron Demetz, Hans Op de Beeck, Benedetto Marcucci and Miguel Chevalier will take part in this project by thoroughly researching the theme of activism.

Red Desert aims to explore the legacy of Monte Verità on the contemporary art scene through the following: Politics, Environment, Technology and Art.

Art is not a simple representation of reality. On the contrary, it makes it truly visible and understandable. As such, Red Desert will immerse the viewer in thought provoking political debates pertaining to mobility, emigration and racism. Artists are indeed gradually becoming spokesmen for the public, especially concerning the environment. They bring forth questions about greenhouse gas emissions, our ephemeral lifestyles and our growing ecological awareness. On the other hand, technological art is taking hold of media, dematerializing artworks in the middle of this digital era. Finally, art is an act of contemplation. It makes us introspective and subtly turns our attention towards what lies beyond the surface of our world, making us strongly question the absurdity of our existence.


Video –  Art has a valuable and relevant contribution to the construction of our society. Therefore, this exhibition can be seen as demystification of the artwork. It shows the real problems of our contemporary societies. Red Desert does not intend to bring answers to our questions, but to further develop them and contribute to the construction of a new world.

Sofia Komarova, director of Artvera’s Gallery: ‘‘This exhibition represents an opportunity to celebrate the exceptionally prolific place of Monte Verità that built the cultural panorama of the 20th century and inspired contemporary artists in many ways.’’

Nathalie Heinich, sociologist and research director at the CNRS: ‘‘Monte Verità seems to be a real laboratory researching a variety of values. Artists interested in the glorious past of Monte Verità share a common inspiration from an alternate world with the founders of this place.’’

Flaminia Scauso, curator of the exhibition: ‘‘The legacy of the mountain is emphasized by the work of the artists and activists. They are particularly sensible to the fact that Humanity is becoming aware of its current issues and that it seeks a new beginning.’’

Andreas Schwab, curator of the Monte Verità Foundation, Ascona: ‘‘Monte Verità is a thorough school of life. Every one of its students gather and develop knowledge. They experiment with expanding their conscious and feed it the rays of the sun originating from their own will.’’

Scoli Acosta, artist: ‘‘Instead of criticizing, I am interested in making the beauty of every day life visible to all. I also want to explore alternative ways to produce energy, to live by being conscious of our own existence and by being grateful for what we have and the ways in which we acquired the things we own.’’

Utopia Today

In 1981, Harald Szeeman wanted to create a Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (pavilion of contemporary art) on the Monte Verità. Following his idea, a polyvalent construction had to be built to house temporary exhibitions. His project failed, but in 2016 the artist Scoli Acosta was asked to fulfill Szeeman’s utopian vision in Genius Loci. He came to live on the mountain and he immersed himself in the historical past to rekindle its once intense potential. The idyllic setting became the muse of the artist who built installations using local materials such as steel from abandoned railway tracks. Scoli Acosta’s work during his stay at Ascona represents historical concepts in a contemporary mindset.


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