Riccardo Benassi
Photo of a young woman framed by a silver heart with the lettering »Morestalgia«.
06.01.2020 – 19.01.2020

With his project »Morestalgia« Riccardo Benassi explores nostalgia and its social implications in an age where the internet is encroaching into our lives. It will take the form of a multimedia and multi-sensory work, a »hyper-designed object«, which consists of a LED curtain, that is traversable by the human body and combines image, text and sound with the object's novel technical properties.

With the invention of the word »Morestalgia« Riccardo Benassi intends to update the concept of nostalgia after the Internet, investigating and cross-referencing different thematic fields such as memory and affects, migration and homesickness, phenomenology and interface design, history and futurology. The project started with the artists study of specific trends in contemporary electronic and rap music, to then further evolve into a study of the polarization of contemporary politics with reference to the use of the concept of »belonging« to new types of populist movements and terrorist organizations.

According to Riccardo Benassi, the neologism »morestalgia« can be defined as »augmented nostalgia«. This is a specific kind of homesickness, whose sense of pain is similar to that caused by the feeling of envy, a feeling of lack – self-translated as loss – whose direct reference is experienced by others. Morestalgic human beings are those who have the desire to live an experience they have previously understood as a plausible one but who, instead of recalling it from their own past, supplant it with an immersive navigation experience offered by the Web.

The artist hereby poses the question how social networks and online communities have contributed to the unification and normalization of subjective past. Can digital empathy become a useful tool to remodel the future rather than creating an alliance around an apparently shared past? In other words, how can we transform a subjective feeling of belonging into a collective future?

»Morestalgia« continues the series of Benassi’s latest video essays. Over the last five years, the artist, who was born in 1982 in Cremona and lives in Berlin, has created text-based media sculptures and a series of video essays (»Techno Casa« (2013-2015) and »Phonemenologie» (2015-2018)), which focus on the impact of technology in our daily relation to space, mostly reflecting on how technological devices have radically altered the structures for living and organizing the real, from architecture to politics, to cultural production and consumption.

»Morestalgia« was produced by Xing and is one of the winning projects of the 5th edition of the Italian Council (2019) competition.

Exhibition partners: 

Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, October 10 – December 22, 2019
Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Melbourne, December 5, 2019 – February 28, 2020
Live Arts Week/Art City Bologna 2020, Bologna Centrale, Hall Alta Velocità,  January 23–27, 2020
Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, February 2020
Live Arts Week, Bologna, March 26 – April 2020

Project supported by the Italian Council (5th Edition, 2019) program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity and Urban Regeneration of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.



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