Fondazione Merz



Giorni Felici? quello che accade, quello che può accadere (Happy Days? what happens, what can happen)

The exhibition Giorni Felici? (Happy Days?) evolves and paintings by Francesco De Grandi are added to those by Chen Zhen, Yuri Ancarani, Per Barclay, Joanna Piotrowska, Silvia Giambrone and Genuardi Ruta 


21 March – 12 May 2024


curated by Agata Polizzi


ZACentrale, Cantieri culturali alla Zisa, Palermo

Fondazione Merz presents, from 21 March to 12 May 2024, an evolution of the exhibition Happy Days? curated by Agata Polizzi, currently running in the spaces of the ZAC Pavilion at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa in Palermo.

The new exhibition project is entitled Giorni felici? quello che succede, quello che può accadere (Happy Days? What Happens, What Can Happen) and connects to the creative languages deployed by Yuri Ancarani, Per Barclay, Joanna Piotrowska, Genuardi/Ruta and Chen Zhen in the exhibition Giorni Felici?, producing an evolution that opens up new reflections and experimentation.
The exhibition project continues by expanding and activating a transit entrusted to the Palermo artist Francesco De Grandi and the sacredness of his painting.
In addition, the exhibition presents an exchange of works by Silvia Giambrone

Francesco DeGrandi presents Come creatura (2015-2018), Medea nel giardino del regno di Colchide (2023), and Inizianti (2021), a trilogy that celebrates a magnificent, controversial and/or soothing Nature, an ‘earthly paradise’ that offers itself in its immense ambiguous beauty, a place where everything has happened and everything can still happen, a universe in which the eternal déja vu of existence is staged, dominated by a round time that neutralises everything, where everything finds reason in the profound sense of belonging to something greater and transcendent.
In this imagined and at the same time perceived time, in this dimension balanced between fiction and experience, awareness makes us solid, becomes confidence and can finally translate itself into solemnity of action and thought.

Curator Agata Polizzi explains “In the complexity of its dynamics Happy Days? has triggered the hyperbole of doubt, prompting a broadening of the gaze on collective reality and individual existences, extending an invitation to let oneself be invaded by necessary if conflicting feelings, to explore the infinite ways in which the idea of happiness is declined. If a path is ever found, the only one capable of germinating appears to be the one that values awareness of oneself, of others and of the things of the world.
Just as it happens when one experiences something profoundly relevant, the power unleashed by the works on show and the languages used by Chen Zhen, Yuri Ancarani, Per Barclay, Joanna Piotrowska, Silvia Giambrone and Genuardi Ruta, prophets of the infinite, suggest the need to move forward, to go beyond.
Happy Days? generates an evolution that opens up new levels of analysis, an exodus from the comfort zone that projects towards a renewed pacification.”

The exhibition continues with works by the five artists already featured in the previous exhibition Happy Days?
Yuri Ancarani’s work, Séance, is a visual journey into a rarefied domestic environment, guardian of life and death. A reassuring situation only in appearance.
Per Barclay materialises the idea of home as a pristine and pure place, Untitled, 1992 is an inert box, transparent and full of light.
With her photographs, Johanna Piotrowska reinterprets the domestic dimension who evokes the projection in the present of the fragility of childhood to an old, traditional game called “capanna”.
Genuardi/Ruta’s allegory, exploding in colour, with Vestita di color fiamma viva winds along one of the long sides of the ZACentrale and invades it with a joyous procession of forms, while the short circuits that characterise Chen Zhen’s research, here with the work Jardin Lavoir (2020), grant a “second life” to objects that symbolise the contradictions of contemporary society and history.

The monologue taken from Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days, here interpreted by Nicoletta Braschi for the Teatro Stabile di Torino, completes the exhibition.