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Publications / What Good Is the Moon? / Overview

WHAT GOOD IS THE MOON? THE EXHIBITIONS OF THE TRUSSARDI FOUNDATION
Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2010

What Good is the Moon? is the first major book to look back at the activities of Fondazione Nicola Trussardi: 368 pages long, with over 450 illustrations, it provides a full account of the initiatives through which Fondazione Nicola Trussardi has brought contemporary art into the heart of Milan.

The twelve solo shows and special projects organized from 2003 to 2010 spotlight the work of 128 artists who have collaborated with the foundation, invading historic Milanese landmarks such as Palazzo Litta and Palazzo Dugnani.

With a surreal title borrowed from a piece by Swiss artistic duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss, What Good is the Moon? uses pictures, texts, and never-before-published, behind-the-scenes material to describe the exhibitions and events through which the foundation has brought contemporary art back to the center of public debate.

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Maurizio Cattelan’s hanging children, Pawel Althamer’s giant floating self-portrait, Paola Pivi’s monochromatic zoo, Martin Creed’s objects gone mad, Darren Almond’s melancholy portraits, Anri Sala’s contemplative videos, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset’s car and trailer bursting through the mosaic floor of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, John Bock’s carnivalesque performances, Tino Sehgal’s living sculptures amid the masterpieces of Milan’s Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Tacita Dean’s endless journeys, Urs Fischer’s majestic tree and house of bread, Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s upside-down world, and the many other incursions through which Fondazione Nicola Trussardi has turned Milan into a stage for contemporary art are all collected in this volume.

What Good is the Moon? also sheds light on Fondazione Nicola Trussardi’s special projects, which in seven years have involved over one hundred voices in contemporary art, including Vito Acconci, Jeremy Deller, Mark Leckey, Pipilotti Rist and David Shrigley, as well as prominent young Italian artists such as Roberto Cuoghi, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Rä di Martino and Diego Perrone.

The book presents the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi exhibitions through a series of rich monographic texts dedicated to each artist; with its visual materials and in-depth essays, it reads like a new parallel encyclopedia of contemporary art.

What Good is the Moon? opens with a conversation between Foundation President Beatrice Trussardi and Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni, and continues with articles by writers, architects, critics and curators. Italian novelist Tiziano Scarpa, guides readers through the exhibition by Tino Sehgal; architect Stefano Boeri talks with Albanian artist Anri Sala; Daniel Birnbaum, director of the 53rd Venice Biennale, analyzes the work of Fischli and Weiss; the foundation meticulously reconstructs, minute by minute, the story of Maurizio Cattelan’s controversial installation of hanging children; and international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist pens the foreword, in which he describes Fondazione Trussardi as having shown "heroism by reinventing the idea of the solo show and transmuting artists’ dreams into reality”.

What Good is the Moon? closes with a timeline that retraces every step in the institution’s life to date.

With its rich photographic and historical content, What Good is the Moon? is also an exploration of the city through the eyes of artists: some of Milan’s most significant overlooked landmarks, such as Palazzo Litta, Palazzo Dugnani, Palazzo della Ragione, the converted warehouses of Porta Genova station, the Circolo Filologico Milanese and Istituto dei Ciechi buildings—restored to the city through the foundation’s efforts—reveal their forgotten histories, the ghosts hidden among their stuccoes and chandeliers, the personal stories lying dormant in the dusty cabinets of the city archives.


WHAT GOOD IS THE MOON?
THE EXHIBITIONS OF THE TRUSSARDI FOUNDATION
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Edited by MASSIMILIANO GIONI
With artist interviews and texts by DANIEL BIRNBAUM, STEFANO BOERI, FLAVIO DEL MONTE, TACITA DEAN, MASSIMILIANO GIONI, HANS ULRICH OBRIST, MICHELE ROBECCHI, BARBARA RONCARI, TIZIANO SCARPA, ROBERTA TENCONI, BEATRICE TRUSSARDI, and CATHERINE WOOD.
Art Direction and Design ONLAB, BERLIN
Published and distributed by HATJE CANTZ VERLAG, OSTFILDERN, 2010