You can use a church to exhibit very contemporary art works with big success!

I don’t know about you, but most of the shows lately leave me uninspired. Works of art on white walls in big white rooms leaves me bored and tired. The fashion of our times; It must be white, it must be a big cavernous room and cement floors and that’s it. Well, maybe people should start thinking about more interesting spaces to show works of art.

My story does not begin here, but it does take inspiration from that observation along the way. About two years ago, sitting al fresco during lunch on a beautiful day, I realized no one was talking to each other; everyone staring at their phones. All of a sudden, the normal contact between humans was gone and no one was really connecting with each other, In addition, what is with all these surveillance cameras everywhere? Not good! As it happens, that same day, I saw Duvier Del Dago’s installation work in a gallery in Zurich. There were Adam and Eve lying silently being observed by drones. “Adam and Eve under watch”! Inspiration hit! INTERFERENCE. We are all now being watched by drones on highways and with mapping; watching us in our instant superficial connectivity on the internet with social apps which interfere more and more with ads and suggestions tailored for us. It is becoming our new normal. Food for thought!

I visited a de-consecrated church in Como (hearkening back to the place where people would all get together and connect to one another “the old fashioned way”). Now, where once the Church watched over everyone now technology does the same. Here is where I truly believe we are all connected: by pure twist of fate, my future production organizer was there and asked me if I wanted to make a show there and use the Church’s space inside… fate intervened as two minutes later, he wouldn’t have been there and our story would not be the same. When you are on the right path things fall into place. Within a short time, my associate Delphine DeSoutter and I came up with deep thinking artists who were already working on this theme. I always tell people if you keep working on a project and it doesn’t flow; drop it, or, as the hippies use to say: go with the flow.

(L-R) Nicholas Berdysheff, Fabrizio Bellanca, Hongtao Zhou,
Duvier del Dago, Sheila Elias, Julio Figueroa Beltran

One idea after another took over, and everything lined up. They don’t teach this in Curating schools, but important shows come from deep in one’s mind and then you know somehow how it should look. My vision exhibiting in this space came to me: the church would be lit as twilight; cover the windows and hang black curtains at the entrance to change the experience and cutting off the bright lights of the outside world. Like a child you must push aside curtains at the entrance and have the wonders inside revealed to you while a melodic soundtrack of human and technological sounds fill the air. You have now slipped into another world slowing you down to really look at the works of art. One important secret I learned and will share with you is this one: the art world uses all the same lighting…but there is another form of lighting- theatrical lighting. It is used for the theater… all those wonderful effects they use to help make a story evoke emotions and add dramatic effects. Why hasn’t anybody used them before in exhibitions? I was not sure, so I did. I used them for my show; the frame of the paintings glowed around the edges. Yes! Glowed! People kept looking to see if they were back lit. No they weren’t. There weren’t any tapes or strings of lights at the edges either. My secret of course, were the most talented Italian lighting technicians. This makes all the difference. Below in my photos, you will see that I took a photo of the lighting without the paintings. Quite beautiful! To end this, I will say one thing that you hear from no one. It is not enough to have a tech work that is interesting or a painting well-painted, you also need the ability to create beauty and wonder in your work and that is very very hard to do. Very few artists throughout history have been able to do that.

Entrance to the Church
Inside of the church with the art and the lighting. Lighting by: CD’C illuminotècnica

Everything that I have mentioned here led up to a very captivating show… for more information:

“Interference” was held at the Church San Pietro in Atrio in Como, Italy
July to August 2019


Hongtao Zho, Duvier Del Dago, Julio Figueroa Beltran, Nicholas Berdysheff, Fabrizio Bellanca, Sheila Elias, Andres & Luis Levin – Soundscape

Special thanks: the City of Como for the use of their church;

ArteMorfosis  Galeria for their collaboration;

Paolo Coduri – CD’C illuminotècnica 

We would also like to thank the over 8,000 visitors who visited our show and came back a second and third time.We thank the artists that through the ages painted the magnificent ceiling of the Church. We hope they were looking down enjoying our show…!

*We will be putting on our video of the show in the next few weeks and we will notify you when it is on.

Share This:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.