Paolo Chiasera

29.10 – 12.11

REVENANT: Don’t Expect Anything
a séance mediated by Paolo Chiasera

October 29 – November 12, 2015

Opening: Thursday, October 29, 6–9 pm

with an evocation between 7 pm and 8 pm

spirits in order of apparition:
Robert Barry
Ian Wilson
Tino Sehgal

necromancer in order of appearance:
Francesco Gori
Luca Cerizza

Finissage: Thursday, November 12, 6–9 pm

with a 2nd evocation at 6:30 pm

Jean-Luc Godard

Ory Dessau


Revenant means “to return”. Generally the term relates to necromancy, a form of divination, used by practitioners such as wizards to evoke or bring spirits back to life. Active spirits give the necromancer divinatory powers, protection and wisdom. The revenant or living dead, evoked by the necromancer, has strong magical powers, sometimes even stronger than the wizard himself, even if it depends on the wizard’s energy to be able to live.
“Revenant” is the title of an ongoing project by Paolo Chiasera; a temporary theater on canvas, the reconfiguration of an exhibition and its own space within a host space. The temporary theater is both architecture and illusion: a physical and mental space that embraces the viewer formally and conceptually.
The “revenant” reactivates the narration of a historical exhibition or event, through multiple collaborations. The collaborative agents, such as curators and performers, will be invited to develop the potential of the public future resurrecting of past exhibitions as a specter that, quoting Derrida, talks about future as “always to come, it presents itself only as that which could come or come back”.

Don’t Expect Anything

Held at Massimo Minini gallery between March and April 2004 and curated by Luca Cerizza, the exhibition Don’t Expect Anything presented works by Robert Barry, Tino Sehgal and Ian Wilson. The show was introduced by a guided tour conceived and conducted by the curator who discussed the works and the positions within the “dematerialization” of art object. Highly popular in contemporary art discourse at the end of the 1960s and re-launched and radicalized then by the work of Sehgal and other “discursive” practices in the early 2000s, the “dematerialization of the art object” aimed to redefine the status of the art object and to encourage alternatives modes of production, commodification and fruition of the art object and the aesthetic experience.
Urged by the nature of Sehgal’s work, the show was experienced through a guided tour conceived and written by the curator which included Sehgal’s piece execution. This discursive format created a sort of ephemeral and “verbal” architecture within the physical architecture of the gallery. The presence of the artworks functioned as vehicle for a narrative and oral form of exhibiting and, at the same time, were part of a dialectical relationship between objective and verbal forms.

Revenant: Don’t Expect Anything

Revenant: Don’t Expect Anything brings back to life the 2004 exhibition, throughout a new mise-en-scene in form of a “soft” and nomadic architecture. Such new space will consist of three large canvases representing the scene of the original exhibition. The canvases will be superimposed to different locations/exhibition spaces and will function as a scenography unto which a series of activities will take place. These activities will consist in art-works, performances and lectures interpreted by different collaborative agents invited by the necromancer/curator. These different activities will aim to reconsider and re-discuss the topics raised by the original exhibition about 10 years ago, thus increasing the oral and dialectical nature of the exhibition format, already present in Don’t Expect Anything.


Paolo Chiasera (1978 Bologna) is an artist, writer and curator. In 2013, he founded ‘Secondo Stile: a nomadic canvas-based artist-run exhibition-space’, which focuses on the production, presentation, and discourse of contemporary art and culture.
Chiasera is the author of the essays: “Painting 1: analysis and convergences” (2011, Oslo University), “The horizon after commodity: notes on perversion” (2011, Oslo University), “Secondo Stile” (2015, upcoming).
Among his solo exhibitions are: GAM (Torino, 2002), MAMBO (Bologna, 2006), MACRO (Rome, 2008), MARTa Herford (Herford, 2009), SMAK (Gent, 2010), galleria Massimo Minini (Brescia, 2003, 2008, and 2011), PSM ( Berlin, 2009, 2012, 2014) Francesca Minini (Milano, 2006, 2009, 2012) MAN (Nuoro, 2014), De Vleeshal (Middelburg, 2014).