SMACH.2021 - Constellation of art, culture & history in the Dolomites

  • When:   July 10, 2021 - September 12, 2021
  • this event is ended

Contemporary artArt Exhibitions in Bolzano

SMACH.2021 -  Constellation of art, culture & history in the Dolomites
Xinge Zhang & Jiaqi Qiu, “Fragile as a Rainbow”, 2021, installazione ambientale, location Chi Jus

The 5th edition of SMACH - Constellation of art, culture & history in the Dolomites - opened to the public on 10 July. The works, set up during the residences between May 31 and June 4, will be exhibited until September 12, 2021. The winning artists are: Sara Ambrosini & Giorgia Marchetti, Atelier Poem: Alice Cecchini & Roman Joliy, Nicoletta Aveni & Elisabetta Trussoni , Jose Antonio Barrientos de Oria, Notta Caflisch, Dimitri Khramov, Arturs Punte & Jekabs Volatovskis, Giacomo Savio, VAZ: Andrea Ventimiglia & Alessandro Zotta, Xinge Zhang & Jiaqi Qiu. The works were selected by an international jury assisted by Guus van den Hout and composed of: Julia Bornefeld, Gehard Demetz, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, Giulia Ferracci.
The works are installed in pristine locations in Val Badia, in the Dolomites, a UNESCO heritage site.

The event aims to put in contact, through the artistic discipline of Land Art, the beauty of art with that of nature. To fully immerse yourself in this vision of green art, a three-day trekking excursion has been organized, a real "experience" in which to breathe art deeply.
SMACH's projects are specifically designed for the chosen sites. The works are selected both for their correspondence to the proposed theme - "Fragile" is the word chosen for this edition - and for the extent to which they trigger a dialogue between current social issues and the culture of the Dolomite territory, rich in traditions, history and architecture. A "glocal" project that combines local realities with common themes at an international level. SMACH's ambition is to promote, through art, a vision of a shared and sustainable future.
Finally, in Val dl'Ert (in Ladin: Valle dell'Arte) it will be possible to discover the works of the Art Park, a permanent collection that is enriched, from time to time, by the acquisitions of some of the most significant works that have participated in the previous editions of SMACH.

The works of SMACH 2021:

The theme of the 2021 edition of SMACH is the word "Fragile", a subject closely linked to the historical moment of the pandemic. Participants ventured freely on the topic, offering their contribution without limits of technique and content, but always maintaining attention to the landscape and cultural context in which they intervene.
The works were selected from 1061 projects sent from 72 countries around the world.

Each work was designed specifically for one of the sites selected by the SMACH Biennale.

Sara Ambrosini & Giorgia Marchetti | "Metaphysics of the occasion" | Milan, Italy
"Metaphysics of the occasion", the work of the artists Sara Ambrosini and Giorgia Marchetti, precisely reflects the fragility of the heterogeneous whole in which it is placed and, within it, the precariousness of an encounter. A bubble that becomes a guest and observer, an area of pure coincidence, an opportunity. The possibility of recognition emerges at a first elementary glance; at the same time, the impossibility - the absurdity - of a correspondence between an act of the language and a natural fact, an unthinkable curvature of space. Bubble as an episode, precarious and provisional. Surface of circulation, of resonance and repercussion, ultimately: the resumption of meaning. A sense of the outside that multiplies indefinitely, that multiplies us infinitely.

Atelier Poem: Alice Cecchini & Roman Joliy, “The house of fiction” | Urbino, Italy
A house stands out like a chapel among the peaks. A clear symbol of a safe place and refuge, up close, however, it is not the traditional living space that one imagines, but only a silhouette, a double-pitched wooden facade that dissolves its forms fragmenting into an incalculable number of possible windows, each of which it has been opened or can still be opened. The window is the point where the gaze crosses the private dimension and crosses the outside, the public dimension. The pandemic has made the concept of home as a private sphere fragile, transforming it into an individual microcosm in constant search for a new condition and form, where everything happens. Never satisfactory for all the needs of a free individual but also the only possible solution. Alice Cecchini and Roman Joliy in the work "The house of narrative" tell the dispersion of the sense of nest and domestic refuge, inviting the visitor to reflect on current conditions and on the concept of transformation as an opportunity.

Nicoletta Aveni & Elisabetta Trussoni | "sup-Portare" | Aosta, Italy
Fragility is not only an intimate and solitary human condition. The artists Elisabetta Trussoni and Nicoletta Aveni investigate its meaning from the other side of the coin, or from the point of view of those who - indirectly - support the frailties of others. In the quest to establish a dialogue with a familiar context linked to memories of their youth, the Dolomites, with new awareness, the work "SUP-BRING" aspires to merge with the environment of the forest while maintaining a foreign visual impact. The visitor is in fact confronted with a group of trees whose trunks are tied with stones. The laces are evident, the colored ratchet straps tighten the trunk embodying the intense relationship of dependence between the one who "supports" and "who is supported". Bark and boulder will change over time. The proximity cannot leave them unscathed, without visible signs, without memories. However perceived or not, the action of adapting to relationships modifies both the deep and external structure of the participants, binding them. Being fragile is a resource.

Jose Antonio Barrientos de Oria | "Vial" | Malaga, Spain
A syringe, on a giant scale, stuck directly into the lawn. The work "Vial" is a totem that tells - with an image that is now both daily and perennially shocking - a fairly simple and "literal" concept: fragile is the health of the human being and the earth. This year, billions of people will be vaccinated in an attempt to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and return to normal. The syringe is the chosen tool to bring us back to life, it scares us and at the same time helps us. Can it work the same way when the disease affects nature and the planet and the balance of the ecosystem is compromised by extracting oil and raw materials and injecting fertilizers? In this context, vaccines will not help. The message that the artist Jose Antonio Barrientos de Oria launches is that the responsibility is never in the device chosen in itself, but in the use made of it.

Notta Caflisch | “Nation State or State of a Nation" | Chur, Switzerland
A series of flags are hoisted on the lawn, in clear contrast to the environment that hosts them. They will prove to be fragile objects, designed to vanish over time: the cotton fibers of which they are composed will disappear in the wind and, being completely biodegradable, will recompose themselves with the nature that they apparently dominate. The work "Nation State or State of a Nation" in the title is a play on words that emphasizes the contemporary meaning of state and nation: what is the "state" of nations today? The common rhetoric that describes belonging to a nation, the identity of a nation, the claim of the land, does not always coincide with reality. They are concepts that represent strong powers but are in reality fragile because they are defined by man. What if the world knows no borders? Especially in times like these we realize how arbitrary borders are and despite everything, how important a collective organization is. Flags are the emblem of these superstructures and the artist Notta Caflisch questions us about the meaning they can have today.

Dimitri Khramov | "MAMA" | Samara, Russia
Four cubic structures placed on the lawn, within which suspended ribbons are tied, form the word "MAMA". The work composed by the wind, when it blows the threads move and make the letters legible or not. When the wind is there, the word reveals itself, like life when there is air in the lungs. A truly intimate and personal dedication by Russian artists Dimitrii Khramov and Maria Khramova to their mother who passed away recently due to Covid-19. An action dictated by the urgency to materialize the image of the loss of a loved one, the letters represent a sculpture, an image of corporeality. The meaning of the installation lies in the passage of this corporeality into the ephemeral, its disappearance. Life is fragile and its transition into death takes place when there is not enough air. This summer Dimitrii and his mother would spend their holidays in the mountains, the presentation of the project ends with the message: "But still, Mom, I'll show you the Alps".

Arturs Punte & Jekabs Volatovskis | “Fragile silence” | Riga, Latvia
Two large acoustic cones are placed one in front of the other, in the center a space where the visitor can take a seat. By performing this action, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the amplified and previously imperceptible noises that nature can offer, in contrast to the apparent silence of the landscape. Anyone who is at the center of this large installation can feel - in that moment - their own fragility, while at the same time feeling greater than life itself. "Fragile silence" is able, in a certain sense, to give wings to the human being, to give voice to what usually does not have it because it is perceived earlier with sight than with hearing. The shape of the work of Arturs Punte and Jekabs Volatovskis is a recognizable reference to an acoustic locator invented for the early detection of aircraft during the First World War. It therefore also represents a warning to man to be vigilant in the face of processes that are greater than himself: even in apparent peace the danger of conflict can arise. It is up to the responsible choice of those who sit down to make good use of it.

Giacomo Savio | “Blue of the Dolomites” | Nola, Italy
A beach cabin embellished with blue and white stripes and equipped with fixed spoked wheels stops by the lake, accompanying an imaginary walk by the artist Giacomo Savio under the "Blue of the Dolomites" in search of his father, perhaps among the trees . Like a foreign body. At first the estrangement, the illusion that a "bath machine" can be real even in the mountains: the memory of the sea, the beach, the water. The common element that immediately afterwards suggests a more ordinary little house for swans or a wooden shed, so widespread in these parts, and actually looks quite similar to us. A playful memory, the cabin preserves in awareness of the fleetingness of life, its silence, an image of the artist's fragility.

VAZ: Andrea Ventimiglia & Alessandro Zotta | "2035" | St. Gallen, Switzerland
If we don't act now, 2035 will be too late. Fragile is synonymous with a reminder for survival, a common appointment, which no one can afford to miss. A large-scale timer activated on June 4, 2021 reminds us, by marking every single second, of the time that separates us from January 1, 2035. According to recent studies, this is the date that represents the point of no return for humanity, according to recent studies. in the absence of a radical energy revolution in the relationship between man and earth. If you do not move, it will no longer be possible to limit the increase in temperatures to a level below the survival threshold, nor to continue providing energy to the entire world population. The 2035 work by the artistic duo VAZ underlines the role of all, a memorandum in the eyes
of the visitor who meets her on her mountain journey. It is urgent to feel the fragility of the situation, it cannot be ignored.

Xinge Zhang & Jiaqi Qiu | “Fragile as a rainbow” | Beijing, China
A rainbow colors the panorama of the Dolomites, a sequence of aligned pipes that can be crossed, like a tunnel that acts as a metaphor for hope. A sort of path to happiness, each color represents an emotion, a nuance of the journey of everyone's life. The Chinese artists Xinge Zhang and Jiaqi Qiu, however, invite you to listen to your body, through an inner journey, where you can reflect on the preconceived beliefs that strong is beautiful and perfection synonymous with happiness. The body, however, reacts and pushes to express opposites, disturbances and frailties as well. Fragile if exposed it can become strong, like the rainbow. As you walk through the changing colors of this gallery, the art installation helps you explore emotions and be aware of your vulnerability. "Fragile as a rainbow" is a path of awareness that transforms our way of behaving from extroverted and "correct" to introverted, but genuine.

The use of art through trekking, SMACH's innovative proposal:

In line with its green philosophy and dealing, by choice, only with Land Art, SMACH offers a totally open-air exhibition environment. The biennial is located entirely in the protected areas of the Puez Odle and Fanes / Senes / Braies Natural Parks. Having eliminated the conventional containers for display use, SMACH proposes innovative visit methods. The sites of the works can only be reached by means permitted by the environmental protection regulations that host them, therefore various alternatives for trekking routes are suggested. The daily itineraries are ideal for those who plan to reach only certain locations, selecting in advance the works to be enjoyed; these destinations can be distributed over a longer holiday period that also includes other offers in the area. For those who want to visit the entire biennial and its 10 sites, they must consider a visit lasting a total of three days.

SMACH, together with the local tourist agencies and Holimites, organizes a dedicated three-day trekking proposal, which includes two nights accommodation in a refuge and which, in three stages, leads to the discovery of all 10 sites that host the biennial.
Breathtaking location able to give unique images and emotions that will transform the enjoyment of art into a real sensory experience.
The total journey is 72.5 km, for a total duration of over 25h, the sites are located between 1,100 and 2,300 meters. of altitude. The first stage is 14 km long and goes from the village of Rina to the Passo delle Erbe; the second reaches La Crusc covering 25 km; the last one descends to Pederü for 18.5 km. Overnight stays in the Refuge are included in the participation fee which can be with or without a guide (respectively 340 € and 610 €).

For more information:

SMACH - Constellation of art, culture & history in the Dolomites:

SMACH is the international biennial of Land Art born in 2012 from an idea of Michael Moling and assisted by Katharina Moling and Gustav Willeit. The international competition takes place every two years and with the 2021 edition has doubled the requests for participation with over 1000 projects sent from 72 countries around the world. The open-space exhibition of contemporary art takes place in Val Badia, in the landscape and cultural context of the Dolomites, Unesco heritage since 2009. For each edition, 10 artists are selected by a jury of professionals in the sector through an international competition. The works on display are in dialogue not only with the natural environment in which they are located, but also with the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of the Dolomite territories, in a constructive and profitable exchange of local, national and international values.
The SMACH project, conceived by Michael Moling and assisted by Katharina Moling and Gustav Willeit, has also been a cultural association of the same name since 2018. SMACH, in synergy with local and institutional supporters, works for the promotion of art, the territory and cultural tourism, activating a meeting channel between art lovers, nature lovers, tourists and professionals in the sector.

All the details of the event on the web site SMACH

Title: SMACH.2021 - Constellation of art, culture & history in the Dolomites

Opening: July 10, 2021

Ending: September 12, 2021

Organization: SMACH

Place: Diverse location in Val Badia, Dolomiti

Address: San Martin de Tor (BZ)

More info on this website:

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