Fondazione Merz

BAM Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo, Palermo

Since its first edition, the Fondazione has participated in the ambitious intersectional cultural programme of the BAM biennale, which is packed with events from the world of theatre, music, literature and the visual arts.

The first edition saw the Fondazione propose the works of Wael Shawky, winner of the first edition of the Mario Merz Prize, in two distinct and strongly characteristic spaces: the small confraternity of SS. Euno e Giuliano in Piazza Magione, closed for some time and opened to the public for the first time after a major restoration by the city, and the extraordinary space of the former Monte di Santa Rosalia at Palazzo Branciforte, headquarters of the Fondazione Sicilia.

At the second edition, the role of the Fondazione was that of curator and organiser, especially for the contents of visual art, in collaboration with European Alternatives and the City of Palermo – Department of Cultures.

In this edition, entitled ÜberMauer, the Fondazione proposed an exhibition spread throughout the city, bringing together historical and unpublished works by established international artists, by Italian artists or artists resident in the country and by Palermitans who opened their studios to a series of visits, performances and public meetings.

In the year that saw the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings and the thirtieth anniversary of the Tienanmen uprising and the fall of the Berlin Wall, ÜberMauer proposed an analysis and testimony on the possible declinations of ‘wall’, seen as a symbolic, political, historical and psychological element. Extending between the sea, the Kalsa and the Cassaro, the installations and projects involved numerous public and private spaces scattered through the city between the popular Arab quarter of the Kalsa and as far as the Cassaro.

The artists invited to participate in the Biennales also interpret the role as ambassadors of a city that has succeeded in making the theme of hospitality and integration the centre of its administrative and cultural thrust, in line with the more than millennial tradition of a territory