To meet the challenge of exploring new ways of relating to each other, as well as our relation to the digital realm, MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art of Bologna has come up with a more traditional medium, that of postal delivery, with the Dear You project curated by Caterina Molteni. Six invited artists – Hamja Ahsan (London, 1981), Giulia Crispiani (Ancona, 1986), Dora García (Valladolid, 1965), Allison Grimaldi Donahue (Middletown, 1984), David Horvitz (Los Angeles, 1982) and Ingo Niermann (Biefeled, 1969) – share a work practice strongly linked to poetry, writing and performance.
Conceived as poems, short stories, instructions for performance and as relational devices, the works to be produced will interact with the creative dimension of language, exploring reading as a transformative experience.
Dear You stems from a reflection on the boundaries and potential of intimate space. Considering the current conditions of semi-isolation which the world’s population is subjected to, the project focuses on intimacy not only as painful solitude, but as a place of possible and vital self-determination.
The project focuses on observing introspective enquiry and its practice as a space for transformation, conceiving identity as a dimension in the making, a possible source not only of important political and social revolution but also of emotional and sentimental ones.
Dear You aims to re-evaluate emotional conditions and experiences, such as fragility and emotion, highlighting their generative elements. The project prompts new forms of love, eroticism, friendship and loyalty, reflecting on possible emotional and physical resources capable of broadening our spectrum of self-representation and desire, both personal and collective.
At the same time, the artists reflect on issues of fundamental relevance to our contemporary world, such as the loss of physical contact and its repercussions on emotional life, the decrease in shared social interaction and the need to create new strategies for relationships and care that go beyond the digital experience.
Dear You explicitly evokes love correspondence to accentuate the strong intimacy triggered by receiving a letter. In particular, the project aims to underline how paper correspondence by post is able to nurture the dynamics of care thanks to its ability to transform a distant voice into something tangible and close.
The project also enables the communication and fruition of physical works of art beyond the national geographical boundaries that are currently closed and heavily regulated by the restrictions imposed by the global pandemic, thus encouraging the exchange of ideas and gestures of attention.
MAMbo invites the public to participate and become the “you” recipient of this artistic correspondence. For each entry, Dear You will send six letters, one for each artist involved. Each envelope will contain a work in the form of a letter and an accompanying text about the project. A letter will be sent every 2 weeks, approximately between March and May 2021.
Dear You, MAMbo Museum, curated by Caterina Molteni, Bologna (Italy), 19.02 – 14.03.2021
To take part in the Dear You project, you must register online on the MAMbo website from 19 February to 14 March 2021. Included in the membership fee is a ticket for access to the MAMbo collections to be used before the end of 2021.
During the registration process you will be asked for the delivery address to which the letters will be sent. Differentiated purchasing arrangements are in place based on the tax residence of the person making the payment
images: Alexa Karolinski e Ingo Niermann, «Oceano de amor», 2019. Video still (2) Giulia Crispiani, «Ossesso», 2020, exhibition view at Il Colorificio, Milano. Courtesy l’artista and Il Colorificio, Milan, ph: Claudio Giordano (3) David Horvitz, Letters sent by David Horvitz to Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt. Courtesy the Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin (4) Dora García, «EXILE», 2014 – ongoing. Exhibition view at Witte de With Art Center (ora Melly Art Center), Rotterdam. Ph: Dora García (5) Hamja Ahsan, «Shy Radicals», 2020. Video still (6) Dora García, «THE PLAGUE», 2018. ProjecteSD, Barcelona. Photo Roberto Ruiz