Die Große Revolte

05.02.2016 - 27.02.2016
WeGallery is pleased to present in the cooperation with Assoziation A, the exhibition:

  Die Große Revolte

The revolution will start at the beginning of the February, with Nanni Balestrini and Andrea Salvino ahead. The language of the multitude will speak again – loud and clearly, reminding us about unbreakable circle of the history. Is the unseen individual of yesterday, the proletarian of today? What did the working-class movement mean then, and what does it mean today? Seeking confrontation, looking for consensus, bursting through traditional class barriers – ‘70s movement brings us again feeling of revolting, fighting with old models, challenging the authoritarianism. WeGallery invites audience to the intellectual fight against hypocrisy and bigotry. We invite you to fierce criticism at the present and the past. Artists with their historical and symbolic works will remind us of great tragedies, developed from hierarchical, heteronymous, narrow-minded mentality, which resulted with violence and thousands of deaths.

Art is not the only medium that will be presented – we kindly invite public to take part in discussion panel between Nanni Balestrini, Toni Negri and Andrea Salvino, moderated by Freddy Paul Grunert, on the topic of the 1968-1978 period in Italy, called the big Revolution. The panel will take place on 04.02.2015. WeGallery also invites people to take part in the Balestrini’s books presentations that will be held on 4th and 5th of February. We hope that the exhibition will inspire broader audience to observe changes and connections in political art and literature. You can find program and books description below.

Nanni Balestrini – is an author, visual artist and investigator of the relations between words, texts and images. Since the sixties, Balestrini has participated in the most radical literary and political avant-garde movements. A member of the “Novissimi” group of poets, he was also one of the founders of “Gruppo 63”, a movement which brought together authors such as Renato Barilli, Achille Bonito Oliva, Furio Colombo and Umberto Eco from a desire for the renewal of Italian culture.
In 1963 Balestrini composed the first poem created by computer, identifying the key points of his future work of which Tristanoil is an ideal compendium: the exploration of the relation between creativity, intention and chance, with an analysis of computer languages and reflections on media and technology. In 1993 his works were exhibited at the 45th Venice Biennale. He also partecipated in exhibitions at La parola e l’arte, MaRT Rovereto; Italics, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; 1988 vent’anni prima vent’anni dopo, Center of Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci in Prato; Futurismo 1909-2009, Palazzo Reale in Milan; Mille e tre, Louvre, Paris. He realized the Underground Station Lala in Naples. He partecipated at dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel and had a solo exhibition at Fondazione Marconi di Milano, Galleria
Mazzoli in Modena, at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome), at Fondazione Morra in Napoli, and at Fondazione Mudima in Milan.

Andrea Salvino – born in Rome in 1969, where he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti. His works have been exhibited in many international institutions as Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan/Venice (G: 2004). In 2007 he participated to the Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana and in 2003 he took part with his work to the 50th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art. The artistic research of Andrea Salvino is strictly connected with the Italian XXth Century history and draws inspiration from the political, social and cinematographic iconography in Italy and Europe in that period until today. Political events, war, pornography, erotism, fashion and cinema shapes in Salvino’s drawing a sequence of fragments of a past world that return to the viewer a piece of its own identity.

Toni Negri – born in Padua in 1933 is an Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher, best known for his co-authorship of Empire, and secondarily for his work on Spinoza. He became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university. Negri founded the Potere Operaio (Worker Power) group in 1969 and was a leading member of Autonomia Operaia. As one of the most popular theorists of Autonomism, he has published hugely influential books urging “revolutionary consciousness.” He was accused in the late 1970s of various charges including being the mastermind of the left-wing urban guerrilla organization. Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse or BR), involved in the May 1978 kidnapping of Aldo Moro, two-time Prime Minister of Italy, and leader of the Christian-Democrat Party, among others. Voice evidence suggested Negri made a threatening phone call on behalf of the BR, but the court was unable to conclusively prove his ties. The question of Negri’s complicity with left-wing extremism is a controversial subject. He was indicted on a number of charges, including “association and insurrection against the state” (a charge which was later dropped), and sentenced for involvement in two murders. Negri fled to France where he taught at the Université de Vincennes (Paris-VIII) and the Collège international de philosophie, along with Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. In 1997, after a plea-bargain that reduced his prison time from 30 to13 years, he returned to Italy to serve the end of his sentence. Many of his most influential books were published while he was behind bars. He now lives in Venice and Paris.

Uliano Lucas – born in Milan in 1942. He grew up during the civil and intellectual reconstruction that characterized Italy and especiallly Lombardy during the post-world war. He started to mix with artists, photographers, and journalists who all lived within the area of Brera. During his endless discussions with graphic designers, intellectuals and artisans of the old Milan-at Genis or Giamaica bars- as well as talking to the photographers Ugo Mulas, Mario Dondero and Alfa Castaldi, he decided to attempt photo-journalism. At this point, Uliano saw in photo-journalism a mean of civil commitment as well as an independent profession. During the beginning of his career he depicts working-class moments of his town, i.e. the life and presence of his fellow writers and painters – Enrico Castellani, Costantino Guenzi, Piero Manzoni and Arturo Vermi. Later he becomes involved in political movements stirred by the new Italy of the 60s and his commitment towards a long campaign that documents historical processes at the basis of a cultural debate of his time: immigration in Italy and abroad, the destruction of the territory due to industrialization, the student and antiauthoritarian movement throughout Europe and Italy with its street protests during the years ’68-’75. During the 60s and 70s, Uliano Lucas, cultural and visionary man, is part of that journalism based on common passion, strong friendship and deep impulse that tries to oppose the usual information of that time (characterized by a lack of enhancement for photography but attentive towards the gossip column and political events) with a civil inquiry press. He gave life to reportage, exhibitions, editorial projects such as Azimut (trade-union magazine), the periodical Illustrazione Italiana or the Idea Editions series ” The fact, the photograph”. His style is typical of those who depict indignation towards abuse and social inequalities.
Curator – Davide Di Maggio
Co-curator – Karolina Zawiślak
Discussion Moderator – Freddy Paul Grunert – ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
Organization & Press – Aleksandra Wasiluk



04.02.2015 –  WeGallery – Berlin

  • 06:00 pm – Discussion themed: “From 1968 till 1978 in Italy and Germany”
                          with Tony Negri, Nanni Balestrini, Andrea Salvino, Davide Di Maggio,
                          Karolina Zawislak, Reinhard Sauer;
                          Contributor Freddy Paul Grunert, with images by Uliano Lucas
  • 07:00 pm – Opening of the exhibition


05.02.2015 – Rote Salon – Volksbühne Berlin

  • 08:00 pm – Nanni Balestrini in conversation with Thomas Atzert, Andreas Löhrer,
    Reinhard Sauer and Jürgen Schneider – books presentation: “Landschaften des Wortes”, “Blackout”, “Carbonia”


In his most recent novel, published in a German translation by bahoe books,
Vienna, Carbonia – Wir waren alle Kommunisten (Carbonia – We were all
communists), Nanni Balestrini tells the exemplary story of a worker from
the Sardinian mining town Carbonia. The book is about the worker’s fight
in the Italian Resistance, his time spent in the prison camps of Nazi Germany,
his emigration to Australia, his return to Sardinia and the massive
strikes in the coal mines of Carbonia during the 1950s and the squatting in
the 1970s. The worker’s conclusion is: “I have fought in my life over all
these years because they’re hardly willing to hand back what they’ve been
stealing from us very day for so long they’re hardly willing to hand it all
back to us just like that because we’ve got nice smiles and there’s no way
you can think about making a deal here it’s a matter of us or them and so it’s
about who wins and who loses it’s like in all wars the side that wins is the
one that fights the hardest that goes all the way that uses everything it has
got we’ve lost many struggles and we’ll lose others but we’ve also won
some and we will keep fighting on and on because it’s us we have to win in
the end.”

The long poem Blackout is a kind of collective swan song about the struggles,
the hopes and failures of the radical Italian left during the 1970s and
against its organized loss of memory and the silent suppression. Like in a
strong aleatoric patchwork the Italian avant-garde poet Nanni Balestrini is
combining and putting together various voices and fragments, from the 1977
New York blackout to the commemoration concert honouring the Italian
experimental singer Demetrio Stratos, from Toni Negri’s theses of the mass
worker and “social” worker to the indictment against the leaders of the
Italian Autonomia: “It was a collective throaty cry, when the lights went
out.” Thirty-six years after the 7th of April 1979, the date which marked
the peak of the repression directed at the great revolutionary wave of the 70s
and put it to an end, the German translation of Blackout was published by
Klever Verlag, Vienna, on the occasion of the author’s 80th birthday.

Die große Revolte
Nanni Balestrini’s great trilogy is a literary legacy of the revolution in
Italy. The novel “Wir wollen alles” (We want everything) is a homage to
the fight of Italian mass employees. This book was written in the middle
of workers fight, in which the FIAT-Concern (Turin, 1969) was in the
center of the revolt against factory-system. With his story of rebellious
employees from the south, Balestrini became, with one beat, a novelist
of Operaismus. The title of the book represented more than Italian slogan
of working-class movement.
Protagonist of the novel “Die Unsichtbaren” (The invisibles) is from
1977’s base-militant generation, whose country’s government transformed
new life plan into the huge laboratory. This experiment imitated massive
and powerful demonstrations, consociate left-winged culture centers and
activated propaganda media. Forced movement of youth and bourgeoisie
to unprecedented, ruthlessness acts of creativity.
The novel “Der Verleger” (The Publisher) describes in retrospective view
an aggravation of the battle between guerrillas’ tradition and the rise of
Guerilla-factory in ravishing, concentrated prose. In March 1972 legendary
publisher Giangiacomo loses his life in a bomb attack on the power pole.
His death highlights the breakthrough in the history of after-war left-wing.
The novel is composed of tessellated images creating multidimensional
and complex historical contour.

Landschaften des Worters
The anthology Landschaften des Wortes (published by Assoziation A, Berlin/
Hamburg) was edited by Andreas Löhrer, Thomas Atzert, Reinhard
Sauer and Jürgen Schneider on the occasion of Nanni Balestrini’s 80th
birthday in July 2015. The texts collected in this volume range from poems
and prose by Nanni Balestrini published in German for the first time to
a set of essays offering stimulating thoughts on the relevance of his writing,
his art and his manifold activities as well as contributions by friends and
fellow writers such as e. g. Franco Berardi Bifo, Jörg Burkhard, Peter O.
Chotjewitz, Bert Papenfuß, Jürgen Ploog, Paul Virilio and Michael