Zerynthia. Metamorphosis

Curators: Louise Déry, Anne Philippon, Mario Pieroni / Dora Stiefelmeier, Claudio Libero Pisano

Artists: Jean-Pierre Aubé, Patrick Bernatchez, Iginio De Luca, Jimmie Durham, Maria Thereza Alves, Yona Friedman, Alberto Garutti, Geronimo Inutiq, Myriam Laplante, Alanis Obomsawin, Marina Paris, Cesare Pietroiusti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jonida Prifti, Annie Ratti, Michael Snow

May 20, 2022 - June 23, 2022

Opening: May 19, 2022, 5:30 pm

Galerie de l’UQAM concludes its 2021–2022 season with Zerynthia. Metamorphosis, a fascinating group exhibition focusing on the art of listening, poetry and shifting worlds. Resulting from a close collaboration between Galerie de l’UQAM, Zerynthia, Contemporary Art Association, and RAM radioartemobile, the project brings together the works of artists from Italy and Canada.

The Exhibition

For more than two decades, Galerie de l’UQAM’s director, Louise Déry, has nourished a rich dialog between artists, gallerists, curators, and art critics from Rome, particularly Mario Pieroni and Dora Stiefelmeier, founders of Zerynthia and RAM radioartmobile. In the latter venue, Louise Déry presented in 2015 a solo exhibition, Electrosmog, of Montreal artist Jean-Pierre Aubé at the Venice Biennale. Drawing from more than three years of work, the five curators responsible for Zerynthia. Metamorphosis aim to highlight Galerie de l’UQAM’s long-term relationship with Italy by presenting a selection of Italian and Canadian works to be brought into resonance.

For this exhibition, the curatorial team has entrusted the realisation of a vast photographic fresco to Jean-Pierre Aubé, who wanted to create a boreal landscape illuminated by a drone flying in the night sky. In front of the photograph are displayed ten sound installations, inviting the audience to listen to the intense yet fragile words of Yona Friedman, the poignant lament of Alanis Obomsawin, the enchanting poetry of Jonida Prifti, a Bach variation performed by Patrick Bernatchez on a modified piano, chirping birds recorded by Jimmie Durham and Maria Thereza Alves, a speech by Michael Snow, a new musical creation by Geronimo Inutiq, etc. These are only a few examples of the works with astonishing sounds that merge with other elements of the exhibition, such as Myriam Laplante’s and Annie Ratti’s video pieces, a library full of mirrors by famous artist Michelangelo Pistletto, and a stone placed on the ground by Alberto Garutti, engraved with the words: “Every step that I have taken in my life has brought me here, now.”

“Faithful to artists whose work is aligned with our respective projects, we have decided to embrace the idea of the metamorphosis embodied in the very meaning of the Latin word ‘Zerynthia,’ which defines a family of butterflies of the Lepidoptera order,” explain the curators. Therefore, material and auditory works, archives, documents, and publications from this exhibition interact and undergo further mutations as a result of their coexistence in Galerie de l’UQAM.

To Discover

As part of the exhibition, the public will have access to the audio recording of La Libellule by Amelia Rosselli (1930-1996), a text translated and recorded by Ypsilon Éditeur in Paris. Read by the actress Anne Alvaro, the work is presented for the first time at Galerie de l’UQAM, in collaboration with Ypsilon Éditeur and l’Istituto di Cultura de Montreal.

About the Curators

Louise Déry holds a PhD in art history, is the director of Galerie de l’UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) and an associate professor for the Department of Art History, UQAM. She has curated many projects featuring artists such as Giuseppe Penone, Rober Racine, Sarkis, Nancy Spero, Dominique Blain, Françoise Sullivan, Michael Snow, Donatella Landi, Raphaëlle de Groot and Aude Moreau, amongst others. Curator of some thirty exhibitions abroad, including a dozen in Italy where she has collaborated with Il Ponte, Sala Uno, La Nube di Ort, and RAM radioartemobile, she was curator of the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007, with a David Altmejd exhibition. At the 2013 and 2015 Venice Biennale she curated performances by Raphaëlle de Groot and Jean-Pierre Aubé.

Anne Philippon holds a master’s degree in art studies from l’UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). Since 2016, she has been working as assistant curator at Galerie de l’UQAM, where she manages the collection, the presentation and circulation of the exhibitions, and the production of publications. As a curator, she directed exhibitions at the Maison de la culture de Longueil (Denis Rousseau, 2019), Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe (Karine Payette, 2017), Salle Alfred-Pellan de la Maison des arts de Laval (Nicolas Fleming and Sonia Habertisch, 2015), and at Galerie de l’UQAM (exhibitions dedicated to UQAM’s art collection, 2013 and 2019). She regularly contributes to various contemporary art publications.

Mario Pieroni was born in Rome. In 1971, in Pescara, he created large-scale prototypes of works by artists for the domestic space as part of the project Dal mondo delle idee (From the World of Ideas). From 1975 to 1978, he directed Il Bagno Borbonico (The Bourbon Bath), a gallery also located in Pescara, and from 1979 to 1991, the Pieroni Gallery in Rome. He is co-founder and president of Zerynthia, Contemporary Art Association, in addition to being the artistic director of RAM radioartmobile, a platform devoted to sound research. In 2017, together with Zerynthia and RAM, he established the No Man’s Land Foundation, of which he is now president.

Dora Stiefelmeier was born in Zurich. Since January 1979, she has collaborated with the Pieroni Gallery of which she became co-owner in 1988. She is the artistic director of Zerynthia, Contemporary Art Association since its genesis in 1991 and is also the president of RAM radioartmobile. From 1998 to 2002, she worked with Mario Pieroni as a consultant for contemporary art at the French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici). Since 2017, Dora Stiefelmeier has been  serving on the board of the No Man’s Land Foundation.

Claudio Libero Pisano has been working in the field of contemporary art since 2006. For ten years, he directed the CIAC museum in Genazzano, where he actively supported the work of young artists and organized numerous individual and collective exhibitions. He was responsible for the contemporary component of the ABC project in the Lazio region, which aimed to highlight the territory through the works of artists. He currently works on curatorial projects in various institutions and teaches museology of contemporary art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.

About Zerynthia, Contemporary Art Association

Zerynthia, Contemporary Art Association is a nonprofit organization based in Rome, where it was founded in 1991. Zerynthia promotes and organizes contemporary art events in Italy as well and abroad with the aim of pushing the boundaries toward the fruition of art, always experimenting with new methods. It presents itself as a light and flexible structure capable of collaborating with public and private companies interested in contemporary art. Zerynthia has created a worldwide network and also carries out an intense didactic activity at both national and international levels, with Academies and Universities. It maintains a steady collaboration with RAM radioartemobile and No Man’s Land Foundation.


About RAM radioartmobile

RAM radioartemobile, founded by Dora Stiefelmeier and Mario Pieroni in 2003, is a platform for contemporary art dedicated to sound research and exhibitive activity. RAM realizes exhibitions and art projects in collaboration with both public and private spaces all over the world, juxtaposing visual and sound art. In 2004, RAM founded the SoundArtMuseum in Rome, a physical space with a permanent archive of sound artworks that can be accessed on site and online via the MPDS audio archive (https://www.mpdsaudioarchive.org/). All of RAM’s activities are documented on its website.