Alva Noto, Laura Grisi, Luigi Serafini, Stefano Tamburini at MACRO

2024 programme of MACRO continues with four new protagonists, with different ties to Rome. On March 21, they entered my spaces for the final chapters of some of the sections of Museum for Preventive Imagination, under the artistic direction of Luca Lo Pinto.

Artist and musician Carsten Nicolai (Karl-Marx-Stadt, 1965), also known as Alva Noto, provides ideal closure for my focus on sound experimentation, with his research that mixes and blurs the boundaries between art and music.

He presents HYbr:ID (March 21–August 25), a project that began in 2021, partially based on the spacetime model of Hermann Minkowski.

HYbr:ID is marked by the simultaneous presence of heterogeneous compositional methods that converge in a set of tracks in which Noto generates sonic cosmogonies that recombine geometries and dystopias in an alternation between more stylized, dilated rhythms and dreamy atmospheres induced by low frequencies. The soundscape, dense with a combination of meditative and resonant tones, emanates an extensive vibration that suggests cosmic expanses. HYbr:ID Vol. 1 (2021) gathers the music commissioned for Oval, a choreographic piece directed by Richard Siegal and performed by the Staatsballett Berlin. HYbr:ID Vol. 2 (2023) instead brings together compositions created for the ballet Ectopia, also directed by Richard Siegal and staged by the Tanztheater Pina Bausch.

For the exhibition, Alva Noto presents the preview of the third unreleased chapter of the HYbr:ID series. This narrative is completed by a series of graphic notations developed on the basis of the acoustic and sonic imaginary of HYbr:ID. Combining technical drawing and the visualization of compositional principles with more strictly poetic signs, the notations bear witness to the constant aim of getting beyond the limits imposed by classic musical scores.

Laura Grisi (Rhodes, 1939–Rome, 2017) is an artist who has always operated outside the categories of her time. The exhibition Cosmogonie (March 21–August 25) contextualizes her work in relation to that of other artists, such as Leonor AntunesNancy Holt and Liliane Lijn.

The artistic approach of Grisi has been related to multiple artistic currents but it escapes from the categories and currents that have been assigned to her. Her work conserves a proximity to the optical research of Kinetic Art, to the conformity with the society of consumption typical of Pop Art, to the industrial materials and geometry of American Minimal Art and the attitude of dematerialization of Arte Povera, but it nevertheless embodies an autonomous and unusual position inside art history. The artist embraced a nomadic existence, defying politics of identity, the singularity of representation, and the linear construct of time.

Seven large works by the artist, in various media—sound, painting, video and light installations—offer a new opportunity to enter her reflections on image perception, and her explorations of the tensions between nature and artifice. The exhibition includes an installation by Leonor Antunes (1972) that assembles horse bridles to create a fluid, suspended presence in the space, focusing on the materials and techniques of craftsmanship, in contrast with the solidity of the surrounding architecture. The show also features a photography by Nancy Holt (1938–2014) portraying the mutable conditions of light and shadow of the installation Sun Tunnels located in desert of Utah across a long summer day, and a sculpture by Liliane Lijn (1939), which stems from her 1980s research on organic forms and the sensations perceived by holding natural materials in the hand, like a wet stone just taken from a riverbed.

Luigi Serafini (Rome, 1949) is an artist, architect, author and designer whose research has always developed outside the more conventional art contexts.

Una casa ontologica (March 21–August 25) is conceived as an expanded work, a space in which Serafini has created a meta-portrait that transports his imaginative attitude into the museum through the reworking of the interiors of his Roman house. Made like an enormous three-dimensional Codex Seraphinianus and suspended between an oneiric set design in an undecipherable language and a work of geometric, cataloguing architecture, the artist’s home bears witness to almost 40 years of life and work, evidence that now runs the risk of vanishing due to eviction.

The Codex is his best-known editorial work, containing over 1000 drawings made from 1976 to 1978 and published in 1981 by Franco Maria Ricci Editore: a visual encyclopaedia where every object or image reproduces or imagines an item of zoological, mechanical, botanical, mineralogical, technological and alien knowledge, in constant metamorphosis.
The exhibition brings together a selection of Serafini’s eclectic output, ranging from sculpture to the design of everyday objects, freehand drawing to photography, publications to the invention of languages.

Stefano Tamburini (Rome, 1955–86) was a prophetic “media engineer” whose diverse graphic output—ranging from design to music by way of fashion, publishing and advertising—can be reinterpreted through the lens of the concept of acceleration, the cornerstone of his poetics and a crucial theme in today’s debate on automation, mechanical evolution, technological singularity and the techno-capitalistic utopia/dystopia.

Mainly known in the world of comics as the inventor of the character Ranxerox—the ultra-violent cyborg inspired by the uproar of Italian Settantasette and a forerunner of characters like the Terminator—Stefano Tamburini was actually an all-around interpreter of the epochal passage from the red-hot climate of the long Italian ’68 to the hypermedia reality of the 1980s.

The exhibition Accelerazione (March 21–August 25), curated in collaboration with Valerio Mattioli, reflects the attitude of plunder and mixing of images typical of his work, presenting a visual apparatus that abandons the concept of originality to dismantle the display of the fetish in favour of a reformulation that highlights the transformations of his research in the period 1980–86.

The exhibition is accompanied by writings commissioned for the occasion to the philosopher Franco “Bifo” Berardi, the theorist Amy Ireland, the DJ and musician Steve Goodman and the designer Silvio Lorusso, who from the momentum of Tamburini himself expand the concept of acceleration, linking it to the most urgent questions of the hypercapitalist contemporary world.