Alessia, Camilla, Melania were waiting for me in the Meeting Room, to determine how they would collaborate during the training, with me.
We were in October, 2018: I remember like yesterday the encounter with those three faces full of curiosity, lively, that do not leave you the space to look elsewhere. They had, in fact, already decided that they would each follow a project, and so it was: simple, immediate. In those months of internship, Alessia did a patient job of reorganizing the work of Francesca Pasquali, building a dialogue with the artist and deepening her investigation, dealing with the continuous change with irony and punctuality; Camilla ventured into a historical archive, of a conceptual artist in the midst of his relaunch on the market world: Antonio Scaccabarozzi, working on newly minted exhibition projects and creating the social pages; Melania followed everything that boiled in the pot, with an incredible attention to detail and shape and a deep sensitivity to the relationship with the artists.
But it wasn’t just a matter of knowing how to do your homework. The girls, as I call them, wanted to do things according to their ideas: and ideas were not lacking.
This led to the creation of an exhibition project of their own, articulated in two spaces, which, starting from the scientific research for the degree theses, became a real event able to catalyze thousands – I say, thousands – of people, who poured into their exhibitions for a month and crowded social media: one was entitled Contaminazioni, and it was an immersive environment by Francesca Pasquali, curated by Alessia, at the Bunker in Brescia; one was a personal exhibition by Antonio Scaccabarozzi, of his most conceptual and least seen works, curated by Camilla, at Spazio contemporanea: it was entitled Transient because in those works you passed through, and they passed by, lightly, powerful; and always in this place, underground, in Brescia, Melania had curated a dialogue between Silvia Inselvini and Laura Renna, entitled Geminantis: it was a question of verifying how the creative process continued to advance in the exhibition space and modified the perception of the work in the public’s gaze/body. A success.
They put in urban performances, experimental concerts, ad hoc guided tours.
They made gadgets and backed up with crowdfunding.
They became ACME Art Lab. Alessia, Camilla, Melania, the initials of their names gave origin to the name of their collective.
I thought now, as I write, that the three exhibitions were done in environments all underground. In 1973, Achille Bonito Oliva curated Contemporanea in Rome: It was an exhibition that started from the basement of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, designed by Luigi Moretti, and went out, in the city, up to the river Tiber. From Abramovic to Christo, he rewrote the way of conceiving, and exposing, works.
In a way, in their own little way, the girls did the same. They have shown that contemporary art, made by very young curators, can be an event that overwhelms and involves. And they did it in Brescia. IN and FOR their city.
It was 2019, last spring. It seems an eternity has passed.
Since then, the girls have done many other things, continuing to work with rigor, passion, responsibility. They are the three words that I associate to them without thinking. And that’s why every time I have an important project, I call them on board. Because they really believe, they know where they are, they know what to do. They’ll never say anything they don’t think: the girls are for me an important interlocutor, I trust what they think. Sometimes I learn from them. And thank goodness. It means that the world goes on, if young people have the ability to enter/establish in the scene: and to want to make the scene a theater of life and art.
Photograph © Emilia Rombolà