Exhibition opening

Esper Postma: Face Fear

Esper Postma, Memory Games, 2021, detail, printed photograph mounted on dibond; courtesy: the artist

Carmen Belmonte, Research Fellow at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut, in conversation with Esper Postma.

Foro Italico used to be called Foro Mussolini. The entrance, made to convey the greatness of the Italian Empire, is now used as a playground. Next to a marble block announcing the attack on Abyssinia, lies a football and a pile of clothes. Children are running on top of black and white mosaics. Shadowy figures of athletes and soldiers, surrounded by fascist slogans. Do the children know what these messages mean? What do they feel when they see the word Duce repeated on the ground?
A stone cast away, people are exercising in the Stadio dei Marmi. Joggers are doing their rounds on the track. They are looked on by giant statues of mythical athletes. Although many of them have their genitals covered with a fig leaf, they are not ashamed of displaying a fasces. On the grandstand, a fitness class is in session. The instructor demonstrates movements on a lower step, the participants are neatly arranged on the steps above. Are they motivated by the presence of the statues? Does the instructor refer to them? Does she tell her followers to give more effort, if they want their abs to be as stone-hard as the ones on the statue?

Esper Postma (Amsterdam, 1988) received a research fellowship of Villa Romana and the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. He is a graduate of the Städelschule (2015) and was a participant of the BPA// Berlin program for artists (2020). Recent solo exhibitions include Salome at the Westfälischer Kunstverein and Rebis at Stadtmuseum Lindau. He took part in group exhibitions at Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Hotel Maria Kapel Hoorn, PS120 Berlin, Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) Frankfurt am Main a.o. Postma is based in Deventer and Berlin.


in cooperation with

30 June 2021, 7:00pm

Villa Romana

Via Senese 68
50124 Firenze


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