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MAMbo, Bologna announces Nuovo Forno del Pane, a new cross-disciplinary production center
Nuovo Forno del Pane. Photo: Valentina Cafarotti and Federico Landi.

BOLOGNA.- Our contemporary society, and museums as parts of it, are facing a totally unprecedented situation. The pandemic has upended long-established ways of living and working, including the very possibility of experiencing art. This necessarily requires to rethink the nature of the public museum institution, its function and role for the city and its target community. The board of Istituzione Bologna Musei, the Arts and City Promotion Council and the corresponding Department at the Comune di Bologna, have initiated an in-depth analysis of these essential issues, and museum artistic director Lorenzo Balbi, along with the staff of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, have responded by submitting a project that redefines the identity and strategy of the museum.

Nuovo Forno del Pane is a cross-disciplinary production center that transforms the spaces and function of MAMbo’s Sala delle Ciminiere: from an exhibition space to a production space, a creative community where art becomes "bread for thought" and the museum turns into a bakery, a creative incubator, a space that the city of Bologna offers to its artists to make a new start, to be born again after this global emergency.

Nuovo Forno del Pane takes a proactive stance, reclaiming its role as a social actor in supporting those categories that have been especially hit by the pandemic-induced crisis: artists, photographers, designers, film directors and creative artists in general, for whom the museum has always been a major reference point and source of debate as part of their practices, will find in it a space to work and form a true creative community. As well as hosting artist studios the project provides other facilities available to different users, a radio station in collaboration with NEU Radio radio station, a performance area, and another space for a self-educational reading group.

The chimneys of the old bakery have symbolically rekindled to seal the restart of the museum as a production center.The 12 artists selected for Nuovo Forno del Pane have settled in the spaces assigned to them in the MAMbo Ciminiere Hall and will work there until December 2020. They are: Ruth Beraha (1986, Milan), Paolo Bufalini (1994, Rome), Letizia Calori (1986, Bologna), Giuseppe De Mattia (1980, Bari), Allison Grimaldi Donahue (1984, Middletown, USA), Bekhbaatar Enkhtur (1994, UlaanBaatar, Mongolia), Eleonora Luccarini (1993, Bologna), Rachele Maistrello (1986, Vittorio Veneto), Francis Offman (1987, Butare, Rwanda), Mattia Pajè (1991, Melzo), Vincenzo Simone (1980, Seraing, Belgium), Filippo Tappi (1985, Cesena).

Artist Aldo Giannotti, who was going to be the protagonist of an exhibition, scheduled for June 2020 in the Sala delle Ciminiere, has rethought his own collaboration with the MAMbo, and has created a logo and a new visual identity that represents the new productive mission of the museum, emphasizing the formal and architectural elements that best epitomize its historical identity.

Important partners have responded positively to the project to rethink its propulsive identity as a museum of contemporary art proposed by MAMbo: Nuovo Forno del Pane was created thanks to the support of the main partner UniCredit and the partners Gruppo Hera, Gruppo Unipol and IMA.

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