• Curatorial text

    What Can Smoke do to Iron?

    Bruna Esposito


    Bruna Esposito is one of the most prominent voices in Italian contemporary art, with vast international repercussions, and is among the most eclectic ones in the use of language and media. Diverse disciplines – music, dance and literature – intervene in her artistic production converging in harmonic compositions, often complemented by olfactory and sound elements. The titles of her installations (Allegro non troppoWinds of revolt or Revolt of the winds, Ultramar) underline these contaminations between related languages and introduce conceptual allusions that expand her semantic universe. What Can Smoke do to Iron? is her first individual exhibition in Argentina, for which the MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Naturaleza has been configured as a succession of autonomous and interconnected spaces. The approach to the concept of nature that defines each environment is poetic: organic materials are combined with everyday objects, giving them new meaning. Nature as an artificial construction – minuscule straw balls patiently assembled by beach beetles – and the artifice as a natural act of rattlesnakes clinging to chairs like molluscs to wet rocks – establish a fluid exchange and questions the rigidity of dichotomous categorization. At the same time, affective resonances and sensory qualities accentuate the intimate and personal character of the works that challenge the viewer in an exclusive dialogue.

    Reflecting on the future of the species, Bruna mentions “crossbreeding” as the only possibility of survival: perhaps this concept is valid when thinking about the horizon of the arts as well. The combination of opposites expresses the need to rethink what is taken for granted, to establish a new “unbalanced balance”, such as the one revealed in the link between the delicacy of a pearl and the roughness of a plummet, between the rusticity of bamboo brooms and the preciousness of the marble bases that support them. In the wefts of Bruna Esposito’s works it is possible to perceive a militant sensibility, a radical softness that vindicates fragility, subtlety, melancholy and pause as necessary moments that precede a transformation. In that sense, Stones, chairs and bells, which consists of two half-faced and empty chairs that receive the public at the entrance of the museum suggesting the possibility of infinite silent dialogues, can be apprehended. Behind these assumptions, the opacity of the title of the exhibition is clarified and the rhetorical question that constitutes it ends up suggesting an unexpected and affirmative answer.


    Benedetta Casini


  • Rector text

    The MUNTREF, which was founded in 2002, is a social and political outreach project of the UNTREF from an artistic and cultural perspective. As such, at every moment it reports on problems such as the gender issues today, in order to contribute positively to the process of accelerating equality.  

    Once again, for this reason, we started the year by dedicating ourselves to putting on stage the work of women artists who have not yet had a monographic exhibition in our country. We did this, for example, with the Brazilian Anna Bella Geiger (2018), the French-Moroccan Leila Alaoui (2018), the Polish Angelika Markul (2018), the Peruvian Claudia Coca (2018), the Argentinian Marina De Caro (2018), the Brazilian-Argentinean Carla Zaccagnini (2019) and the American Martha Rosler (2019).

    We also dedicate our efforts to focus on the work of artists to whom an exposition would not have been dedicated, or have been absent for many years, as was the case with Gertrudis Chale’s (2007) anthological exhibitions, Marcia Schwarz (2008), Raquel Forner (2013), Graciela Sacco (2014 and a tribute in 2018), and Annemarie Heinrich (2014). All of them were the result of long research and management projects. On the other hand, the research and production of collective exhibitions such as Migrations (in) Contemporary Art (2015), among others, led us to reinforce this path presenting mostly female artists works.

    Today, in 2020, we choose to continue this tradition by presenting Constellations. A Selection of Works rom the FRAC Collections at the MUNTREF Museo de Artes Visuales. A project organized from a series of micronarrations linked to aesthetics and contemporary works by Estefanía Peñafiel, Ymane Fakir and

    Kapwani Kiwanga. Meanwhile, at the MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Naturaleza, we present works by Bruna Esposito, an Italian artist whose work is centered on the four elements; furthermore, at the MUNTREF Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, the halls are occupied by the works of Italian conceptual artist forerunner of relational art Maria Lai, the outstanding Chilean photographer Julia Toro and the powerful artist from Tucuman Carlota Beltrame. In all cases – and continuing with our “art for all” – it is the first time that an exhibition dedicated to each of them is displayed in the varied public eye of Buenos Aires.

    I would like to thank the MAXXI-Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo of Rome for their joint efforts and the Italian Council’s and the Italian Embassy in Argentina’s support as well. I also thank the collaboration of the FRAC, the French Institute and the French Embassy in Argentina and the collaboration of the House of the Province of Tucumán in Buenos Aires. 

    Finally, I would like to acknowledge the enormous work of the MUNTREF team led by Dr. Diana Wechsler, artistic director of the MUNTREF and BIENALSUR, which allows to move forward with these ambitious projects. This sum of effort allows us to enjoy the experience offered by these wonderful artists.


    Aníbal Y. Jozami

    Rector UNTREF

    General Director MUNTREF

  • Bio

    Bruna Esposito was born in 1960 in Rome, where she lives today. She graduated in 1979 at the Liceum of Fine Arts in Rome. She lived in New York, awarded by ISP Whitney Museum and by P.S.1. She lived in West Berlin, supported twice by I.B.A. Berlin. Some remarkable exhibitions are: Rome Quadriennale (1996-2008), Documenta X Kassel, Germany (1997), Venice Biennial (1999-2005), Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2003), Gwanjiu Biennial, South Korea (2004), New Orleans Biennial, USA (2008), Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (2016), Cuba Biennial (2019). She won the Venice Biennial’s Golden Lion prize in 1999.

  • List of works

    Allegro non troppo


    Installation. Hammocks (tied up), orange tissue paper, white tissue paper, blue plastic,

    pine needles, cold mix asphalt, two trays, hula hop

    Variable measures

    Courtesy: Studio Stefania Miscetti and the artist


    Oltremare / Overseas


    Photography. Lambda print on aluminum

    125 x 187 cm

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist


    Untitled / Untitled


    5 bamboo brooms on marble base

    Variable measures

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist


    Occhi / Eyes


    Photography. Lambda print on aluminum

    Variable measures

    Courtesy: Marval Collection, Berlin; Private Collection, Milan, Italy; Bordoli Collection, Como, Italy; Private collection, Switzerland; Private collection, Caracas, Venezuela.


    In teca / In box


    Wood, hooks, onion skin, acrylic

    58 x 58 x 6 cm

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist


    Due cipolle / Two onions


    Wooden frame, onion skin

    65 x 65 x 10,5 cm

    Courtesy: Edoardo Conti


    Tre cipolle rosse / Three red onions


    Wooden frame, onion skin

    64 x 64 x 11 cm

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist


    One cipolla / One onion


    Wooden frame, onion skin

    64 x 64 x 11 cm

    Courtesy: Wizard Gallery, London


    L’infinito di Leopardi nella Lingua dei segni Italiana / Leopardi’s infinity in the language of Italian signatures


    Video mp4, loop, black and white, mute 

    Courtesy: the artist


    Venti di rivolta o Rivolta dei venti / Winds of revolt or Revolt of the winds


    Installation. Fans, galvanized iron pipes, electrical installation, balls

    made by beetles Geotrupes stercorarius

    Variable measures

    Courtesy: the artist


    Sassi, seggiole e sonagli / Stones, chairs and bells


    Pebbles, chairs and bells

    150 x 150 cm approx.

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist


    Castelli di Sabbia / Sand Castles


    Sand, old shoes, incense

    Variable measures

    Courtesy: the artist


    Perla a Piombo / Plumb with pearl


    Plummet, cotton thread, white pearl

    4 x 9 cm

    Courtesy: Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) and the artist

  • Works