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2018 Visual Resident Artist: Damiano Bertoli

Through his multi-disciplinary practice, Damiano Bertoli challenges ideas of authorship, influence, and the inscribed flow of art-historical time, often bringing together artworks, historical events and cultural material to examine their form and language by means of recontextualisation. Bertoli’s methodology explores the principles of assemblage and montage across sculpture, installation, photography, drawing, video and performance. Articulating an ongoing investigation into how artists negotiate the past, present and future through their ideas and objects, Bertoli’s work interrogates the narrative of time, critically positioning his own and other artists’ work in a continuum in order to question the nature of art-making itself. 

Travelling to Prato, Damiano Bertoli has proposed to undertake two projects, each one relating to cultural movements in Northern Italy. The first continues a series of works exploring the relationships between design and radical politics in Italy, with specific reference to influential ‘80s Milan design group “Memphis” and material on student and worker movements curated at the Centro Documentazione Pistoia. Bertoli’s second project is being conducted in collaboration with MADA lecturer Warren Taylor, and aims to curate an exhibition and catalogue of the work of Fluxus designer Gianni Sassi.                         

Bertoli received a PhD in Fine Art from Monash University in 2014, and is currently a lecturer at Monash University and the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. His work is the subject of a new monograph, ‘Damiano Bertoli – Continuous Moment’, published by Surpllus.

During his residency in Prato, Bertoli actively participated in the Design and Fine Arts program, as a guest artist. He was  also invited to be guest lecturer in the Italian Intensive Introductory unit run by Samuele Grassi (Faculty of Arts). He explained his work and practice to the students and showed an overview of his artworks. He also participated as audience in the local anthropologist Mr Massimo Bressan’s guest lecture on the Chinese community in Prato, organized by teaching staff Samuele Grassi. During the past few months Damiano visited some galleries in Milan, Bologna and Florence and he opened his studio to students and visitors showing his most recent artworks.