Dear Betty: run fast, bite hard! at GAMeC in Bergamo

Franco Vaccari, I cani lenti, 1971


GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo presents Dear Betty: run fast, bite hard!, curated by Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti. It is the first of the two winning projects of the “curatorial school,” created for the eighth edition of the Lorenzo Bonaldi Award for Art, whereby students or ex-students acknowledged by major Italian curatorial schools have had the opportunity to present an exhibition project designed for the Spazio Caleidoscopio at the GAMeC, that foresaw the linking of one or more works on display in the museum’s collection with works by other contemporary artists.

The starting point of the exhibition is the painting La cara Betty (1909) by Umberto Boccioni exhibited in the rooms of the Permanent Collection of GAMeC, which depicts the artist’s beloved little dog curled up on a sofa. The subject and the style of the portrait are distant form the Futurist Manifesto, and reveal a different and overlooked Boccioni.

Umberto Boccioni, La cara betty, 1909


Building upon the philosophical theories that see in the co-evolution between humans and animals an example to rethink our action in  techno-contemporary culture, the exhibition Dear Betty: run fast, bite hard! is the arbitrary reconstruction, in the Spazio Caleidoscopio GAMeC, of the the hypothetical relationship between Umberto Boccioni and his dog. The characters of the two voices alternate and overlap in a timed video installation, building a Kinematic complex organism, an almost autonomous brain that touches a point of singularity, that is the moment when artificial intelligence exceeds human capacity – so that animal, humans and technology come together in an unconscious and immersive tecnoanimismo.

Notwithstanding its futurist credo, ”Run fast, bite hard” (run fast, hit-strong) is a expression which Donna Haraway – philosopher of contemporary techno-science and cyber-feminist theories – borrows from the canine sport Schutzhund as a new slogan when living on the brink of global war: the proposal is to look at the Intra-action of men and dogs as an ethical and political manifesto to rethink the relationship between culture and nature, technology and animality, power and dominant “significant otherness.”

The exhibition project consists of 10 video works offering dialectical narratives, flawed exasperation of historic and political gender clichés and species, but ready to eradicate the ecosystems in which they have evolved, from Futurism to new forms of colonialism. The achievements and contradictions of these narratives are intertwined and confused, past the myth of cultural supremacy as the dictate of biological reductionism, in search of an alliance and a strategy of resistance among the species excluded from the dominant technoculture.

GAMeCGalleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo – Via San Tomaso, 53 Bergamo
Opening Friday 13 May 2016, 7pm
14 May – 24 July 2016