Moth­er­hood ex­hi­bi­tion opens on Expo side­lines

The China Post - - ARTS -

They called it “The Great Mother,” but or­ga­niz­ers of an ex­hibit fo­cus­ing on moth­er­hood open­ing this week on the side­lines of the Mi­lan Expo world’s fair may just as well have been called “Mamma mia.”

Cu­ra­tor Mas­si­m­il­iano Gioni said there was some irony in the choice of theme “be­cause moth­er­hood and the mamma is part of the Ital­ian stereo­type, and we wanted to play with that.”

“The more you dig into the idea of moth­er­hood in the 20th cen­tury, it is the place where many bat­tles have been fought,” Gioni, who is artis­tic di­rec­tor at the Ni­cola Trus­sardi Foun­da­tion that or­ga­nized the show as well as the New Mu­seum in New York, said by tele­phone from New York.

The ex­hibit, which pre­viewed Tues­day, fea­tures 400 works by 139 artists, in­clud­ing Cindy Sher­man and Yoko Ono, and fo­cuses on moth­er­hood as a form of nour­ish­ment to ac­com­pany the Expo theme of feed­ing the planet. Gioni said the show con­tains many ex­am­ples of women play­ing with the im­age of what moth­er­hood is sup­posed to pro­ject.

“It is not a gallery of beau­ti­ful Madon­nas and stereo­typ­i­cal moth­ers, but a much more com­plete history of the 20th cen­tury,” he said.

The ex­hibit at Palazzo Reale fol­lows the block­buster Leonardo ex­hibit that closed in July with more than 230,000 visi­tors and is Gioni’s first big group show in Italy since he cu­rated the 55th Venice Bi­en­nale con­tem­po­rary art show in 2013. “The Great Mother” closes Nov. 15.

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