Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro

Exhibition DAMA LIBRE

Margherita Morgantin


25 September-21 November 2021
Venice, Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna


Presentation of Margherita Morgantin’s work VIP = Violation of the Pauli exclusion principle UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, ABOVE THE MOUNTAIN, winner of the 8th edition-2020 of the Italian Council

With the project VIP = Violation of the Pauli exclusion principle UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, ABOVE THE MOUNTAIN by Margherita Morgantin, the International Gallery of Modern Art of Ca’ Pesaro has won the VIII 2020 edition of the prestigious Italian Council, a program for the promotion of art contemporary Italian in the world of the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture.
Produced by Xing and realized thanks to the support of the Italian Council, the project is today presented to the public for the first time in the DAMA LIBRE exhibition and the VIP work, the result of the long work carried out by the artist between 2020 and 2021, becomes part of Ca’ Pesaro’s collections.

In VIP = Violation of the Pauli exclusion principle UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, ABOVE THE
MOUNTAIN Margherita Morgantin has been observing images of subnuclear and astroparticle physics in relation to artistic imagination, to personal sensitivity as a form of scientific data.
The title derives from one of the particle physics experiments in progress for years in the underground laboratories of the Gran Sasso National Institute of Nuclear Physics: VIP is the acronym that names one of the experimentation projects on ‘impossible atoms’, whose appearance would represent a violation of Pauli’s principle of exclusion, still considered today among the cornerstones of our scientific understanding of the universe and matter.
Margherita Morgantin’s VIP project, symbolically linked to the Gran Sasso Mountain, was developed in 2020 and 2021. The research process took place UNDER THE MOUNTAIN, in the largest underground laboratory in the world dedicated to the detection of rare phenomena and nuclear physical events, thanks to the ‘cosmic silence’ guaranteed by a massive layer of rocks that separates it from the atmosphere; and ABOVE THE MOUNTAIN, on the Gran Sasso National Park, an important area for its high altitude biodiversity.
The two places, UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and ABOVE THE MOUNTAIN, were the ‘base camps’ for research: the first, lonely, underground; the second, shared by the artist with a series of guests, invited outdoors and exposed to climatic events. The underground field (in the Gran Sasso National Laboratories) is devoid of radiation like an open window on the depth of matter. Here the artist looked at the limits of knowledge and the forms of ‘reticence’ of matter, observation practices and direct or indirect methods of exploration. The open field (in Campo Imperatore in the Abruzzo national park, also known as Little Tibet) collects atmospheric events through meteorological instruments, refining a process of tuning and sensory listening in presence. Up there Margherita Morgantin has involved in dialogue different figures with an extra-scientific multidisciplinary background, from live arts, to sound, to philosophy. The camps were followed by ‘moments’ of study, dissemination, comparison, in a cycle of installation, dialoguing, performative and sound presentations organized in collaboration with Italian and foreign institutions.

The title of the exhibition, DAMA LIBRE, refers to the detection of an energy signal compatible with dark matter, which has been involved in the DAMA (DArk MAtter) experiments at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories for years and in various variants.
DAMA LIBRE is divided between the video installation CAMPO BASE, a kind of wind: the beginning of the climatic and performative monitoring of the VIP project returned in a visual and sound field recording (like “a long-lasting climatic gaze over the mountain“), and a second room that houses the VIP work, a long sheet of watermarked paper that collects an abstract flow of signs and marks, rolled up and then carried out on a horizontal display that integrates light and sound into the design. A PMT photon sensor extracted from the black box in which it would operate, lies among the artist’s notes as a technical sculpture in relation to the environment. In the same space hangs a silk windsock – a symbolic element that has accompanied the artist’s research for years – to signal the invisible movements of the air.
The numerical data of the VIP experiment were processed in the sound tracks created by the electronic music composer Ilaria Lemmo and by Beatrice Goldoni for the surface sounds.
The writing accompanying the project has merged into the publication Sotto la Montagna Sopra la Montagna published by nottetempo: a collection of texts and drawings that represent an exercise in critical thinking, and which constitute a further key to reading the work-parchment.

After a year of exchanges and listening between Sopra and Sotto la Montagna, all the scientific data and observations collected by the measuring instruments become an intimate and personal fact as a story of the feeling of a body and its relationships.” (M.M.)


Margherita Morgantin a visual artist based in Milan, was born in Venice where she graduated in Architecture at the I.U.A.V., researching on systems for forecasting natural light. Her work is articulated through different languages, ranging from drawing and installation to performance, moving on a thread that connects language, philosophy, mathematics and visual culture. Contact and cohabitation, observation and imagination, are the open intervals that characterize the work of Morgantin. She has participated in contemporary art exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and carried out special actions and projects in different contexts including: Museion (Bolzano), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano), Villa Croce (Genoa), La Biennale di Venezia Danza, MAMbo and Xing (Bologna). She has published books of short texts and drawings: Titolo variabile (Quodlibet 2009), Agenti autonomi e sistemi multiagente (with Michele Di Stefano) (Quodibet 2012), Wittgenstein (nottetempo 2016), Lo spazio dentro (with Maddalena Buri) (nottetempo e-pub 2020), Sotto la montagna Sopra la montagna (nottetempo 2021). Since 2013 she also works as Pawel und Pavel, a collaborative project on writing and performance with Italo Zuffi. She has collaborated with visual and sound artists, choreographers including Michele Di Stefano/mk, Roberta Mosca, Richard Crow, Mattin, Alice Guareschi, and with the Diotima women philosophical collective. She teaches artistic anatomy, scientific illustration, and performance techniques at Accademy of Fine Arts in L’Aquila.



VIP = Violation of the Pauli exclusion principle

Project by Margherita Morgantin

Produced and promoted by Xing

Realized thanks to the support by the Directorate-General for Contemporary
Creativity (DGCC) of the Italian Ministry of Cultural part of the program
Italian Council (2020)