VX30 CHAOTIC PASSION at Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa

Writing about collecting, Walter Benjamin maintains that “every passion borders on the chaotic” in a continuous tension between the poles of order and disorder. Does the same hold true for a museum’s collection? For the thirtieth anniversary of Villa Croce Museum, the exhibition Chaotic Passion intends to explore this dialectical relation by putting artworks from the collection in dialogue with works produced over the last ten years by a new generation of artists.

Located in the namesake villa, Villa Croce Museum opened to the public in 1985 as a venue mainly dedicated to contemporary art exhibitions. The permanent collection started with the acquisition of the Cernuschi Ghiringhelli collection by the City of Genova in 1990 and was increased mainly through gifts and donations over the following decades. Therefore, the historical core of the collection reflects Maria Cernuschi Ghiringhelli’s own passion for the developments of Italian abstraction and her personal sentiment that the purchase of an artwork was a means to sustain and support the artists themselves.

Chaotic Passion proceeds on the assumption that the museum’s permanent collection should not be locked up in a fixed aesthetic canon that speaks uniquely of a past more or less distant from our time. Challenging the works of the collection by re-positioning them into the present makes it possible to bring to the fore diverse aspects of their ongoing significance. It may shift the expectations of the public by prompting the renewed appraisal of the works’ valence and the renegotiation of their meaning.

Through a loose cross-reading of the collection, two lines of research were singled out for their relevance with regard to current artistic processes: abstraction and the verbo-visual research. Abstract paintings form the most outstanding part in the collection of Villa Croce Museum. For this occasion, they are related to contemporary practices that engage abstraction from a different angle in order to address economic, geopolitical and emotional issues. In the same way, works from the collection that explore the act of writing as an aesthetic gesture and language as a tool of artistic creation become the starting point for a broader reflection on the destructuring of language beyond its communicative function and on new modes of legibility and representation of the linguistic sign.


Museo d’arte Contemporanea Villa Croce – Via Ruffini 3 16126 Genova
Opening 16 December 2015 at 6pm
17 December 2015 – 20 March 2016