Kunsthalle Bern Press release, 17 November 2014 Kunsthalle Bern is

Kunsthalle Bern
Press release, 17 November 2014
Kunsthalle Bern is pleased to announce that guest curator Donatella Bernardi, an artist
of international renown, will organize its first exhibition in 2015. Since 2010,
Bernardi holds a professorship in the field of digital media at the Royal Institute of
Art in Stockholm. Highly experienced in all areas concerning the creation and
exhibition of contemporary art, Bernardi is in contact with artists, curators and
institutions dedicated to contemporary art all around the world. Most recently, she
published the volume In pursuit of unlimited hospitality (Geneva: aparté, Les presses
du réel, 2014) in collaboration with Jacqueline Burckhardt.
For her engagement at Kunsthalle Bern, Bernardi, a 38-year-old native of Geneva, has
conceived a site-specific and highly personal exhibition project, which clearly draws
on local and national, almost prototypically Swiss myths: the heyday of alpinism and
the romanticization of the Swiss mountain landscape in 19th century art are contrasted
with (and hence contextualized through) works by a Lebanese artist which have
recently engendered a vigorous debate. A feminist perspective on Arabic modernism
and an interest in antique and contemporary ruins in war-torn Syria will serve as
points of reference. From the middle east, the project’s journey leads to the snowcapped five-thousand-meter high peaks of the Himalaya, following a route that was
completed in 1976 by a now legendary relative of Bernardi’s – the ascent to the
summit serving as a metaphor for the excursion into one’s own self, for the
exploration of the artist’s supposedly familiar and firm biographical roots. Both
elusive and fascinating, such biographical sediments play a role in all our lives – and
they highlight the timeless quality of historic and familial occurrences.
Hence, Donatella Bernardi is not planning a conventional exhibition, but rather – in
cooperation with other local institutions – a series of events. Additionally, the project
will be accompanied by the creation of a monumental yet ephemeral work reflecting
on and visualizing the process of artistic production.
We would be happy to welcome you to the exhibition opening on the 29th of January,
2015. Further details will be communicated during the press conference on the
morning of the 29th of January, to which you are also cordially invited.
With our kindest regards,
Kunsthalle Bern
For the board: Christian Gossweiler, president of the Verein Kunsthalle Bern.
For further information, please contact our press liaison Luise Baumgartner:
[email protected]
031 350 00 45
(available on Monday, Thursday and Friday)
For Donatella Bernardi’s CV and more information on her artistic and curatorial
activities, please consult the following resources:
For detailed biographical information, please see the enclosed CV.
Addendum to the press release of 17 November 2014
Donatella Bernardi’s CV / list of exhibitions and publications
As a transdisciplinary artist, Donatella Bernardi has developed an artistic practice that
comprises installation-based works, films, the curation of exhibitions as well as
essayistic pieces and book publications. Emphasizing a social inequality and a
forceful critique of capitalism, she addresses various distinct discourses such as
gender, colonialism and racial discrimination. She is involved in numerous artistic
and curatorial projects, such as the independent exhibition space Forde in Geneva (codirected by Bernardi from 2002 to 2004), the collective Zorro & Bernardo (2001 to
2006, with Andrea Lapzeson) or the award-winning nomadic festival Eternal Tour.
At present, Bernardi lives in Stockholm, where she holds a professorship in digital
media at the Royal Institute of Art. Since January 2014, she has been working on a
dissertation project on the contemporary art system in the context of globalization
(supervised by Denise Ferreira da Silva, School of Business and Management, Queen
Mary University, London). Research and teaching, then, are part and parcel of
Bernardi’s artistic practice, as exemplified in her most recent project Smoking Up
Ambition! (in cooperation with Fabienne Bideaud, Geneva, Pavillon Sicli, 2014).
*1976, Geneva
2001-2004: Studies at the Ecole supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Geneva, and the
Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg (M. A. in Fine Arts and visual
communication, postgraduate studies in film and video).
2006: M. A. in art history, philosophy and Spanish, University of Geneva.
Since 2014: PhD-studies at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary
University, London (supervisor: Denise Ferreira da Silva).
Important exhibitions: 2006: Retourner sa veste III, Centre Culturel Suisse,
Paris 2007: Wunder Stanza, Bâtiment d'art contemporain, Geneva 2010: Eternal Tour
2010 Jerusalem - Ramallah (co-curator and administrative direction) 2014:
Barbabietole e meringue, Istituto Svizzero, Rome
Selected publications: "Shahryar Nashat. La qualité humide et molle du béton", in:
Kunstbulletin June 2008, S. 54 - 57. The Hacker Grail, with Charlie Stern, Geneva:
Boabooks 2014.
"Lettres de Suède", in: La couleur des jours 7 - 10, 2013 - 2014. In pursuit of
unlimited hospitality, with Jacqueline Burckhardt, Geneva: aparté, Les presses du réel
Awards and grants (selection): 2006 - 2008: Artist in Residence, Istituto Svizzero,
Rome 2008 - 2009: Fine Art Researcher, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht 2013:
Picker Award for In pursuit of unlimited hospitality (see above).