“Book collecting: collecting means seeding” is the theme of the 9th edition of the Artelibro Art Book Festival 2012, which, from the 21st to the 23rd of September 2012 will transform Bologna into a hive of cultural activity, located in more than 30 public and private spaces including Museums, Libraries and Art galleries, with over 50,000 visitors each year and more than 100 contemporary artists invited to present their contributions on paper, from Giulio Paolini and Emilio Isgrò to the youngest, such as Deborah Logorio, Flavio Favelli and Luca Trevisani.

The theme for the event is inspired by the inexhaustible desire of the collector to accumulate books according to highly personalized criteria. Exhibitions of antique books and artists’ books, reviews, professional meetings, conferences open to the public, workshops for the youngsters and the unmissable exhibition market, all of these events will examine the fundamental and vital role of collecting, not only within the private sphere, but also for its importance for the growth of public cultural heritage.

From the lectio magistralis at the inauguration (Thursday 20th September, 5.30 p.m., in Palazzo d’Accursio-Cappella Farnese) given by jurist and bibliophile, Guido Rossi, to the round table chaired by Umberto Eco and organised by ALAI [the Italian Antique Booksellers Association], there is also a new feature this year: the collection of self-published works, Fruit. Focus on contemporary art: a wide ranging investigation conducted by Artelibro, in collaboration with Associazione Culturale Crudo, into Italian and international self-publishing projects, culminating in a lively exhibition market inside Palazzo Re Enzo, where the public will be able to discover and purchase rare contemporary art publications and those only known within underground circles, with Art editions available for less than 100 euro, showing that collecting really is open to everyone, whatever the limits of their budget.

On view in the rooms of the Palazzo Re Enzo e dei Podestà, will be some genuine rarities from the world of books: antique volumes, limited print run publications, unique pieces created by artists, experimental publishing, specialized magazines, while the publishers will be gathered in the Libreria dell’Arte in Piazza Nettuno, open until 10p.m. from the 8th to the 23rd September 2012.

The cultural programme will be organised, as always, into different sections: exhibitions, professional meetings, presentations of books and projects, conferences for the wider public, and workshops and activities for young people.

Notable among the exhibitions is that of the “3 great cutting edge publishers: Sampietro – Geiger/Baobab – 3ViTre: from graphic experimentation to sound”, curated by Maurizio Osti and Enzo Minarelli in the rooms of the International Museum of Music, while the Bologna University Library will host “C_artelibro. The principle of the page”, an exhibition and publishing project by Danilo Montanari involving over 50 contemporary artists and the exhibition Art meets Poetry, where the artist Paolo Gubinelli will exhibit some of his watercolour washed engraved prints accompanied by some special, and as yet unseen, verses by poets such as Davide Rondoni, Roberto Roversi and Tonino Guerra. At Palazzo Re Enzo it will be possible to admire Lorenzo Perrone’s installation “The offended world”, curated by Eli Sassoli, “Cutter”, Cristian Chironi’s exhibition of artists’ books, Giovanni Bellavia’s “Spes/Speranza” with a text by Marco Bazzocchi on the future of knowledge, while at the Salaborsa Library will be “Nembrot” by Enzo Minarelli. At the Civic Medieval Museum two exemplary exhibitions of book collecting: “The Corals of San Sisto di Piacenza”, eight precious Benedictine corals reunited by a private collector following numerous travails and, to celebrate its re-publication by Electa Mondadori, “Jazz Matisse, the artist’s book from the Mingardi collection”.

On Saturday 22nd September the Evening Event promises to be a grand occasion, with the special opening of the Confcommercio-Ascom Bologna Art Gallery, which will present projects specifically dedicated to artists’ books.

Artelibro professional will include the presentation of an investigation by the AIE-Association of Italian Publishers into art publishing and into the transformations of the last decade. The congress of IBACN Emilia-Romagna Region and ALAI on the fundamental contribution of private collection to institutional collections and those of the public archives, coordinated by Rosaria Campioni, with the participation of General Mariano Mossa and the president of ALAI, Fabrizio Govi. Book collecting retains the centre stage at a round table organised by ALAI, the Association of Italian Antique Booksellers, chaired by Umberto Eco in which Franco Maria Ricci, Angela Nuovo, Werner Oechslin, Oliviero Diliberto and Guido Guerzoni will take turns to recount their own experiences as collectors. At the conference promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Gramsci Foundation, coordinated by Antonella Agnolo, on the occasion of the exhibition of the “Collana del Canguro”, Chiara Daniele, Carlo Ginzburg, Paolo Mencarelli will discuss the theme of the divulgation of knowledge and literature.

There are also exciting themes for the Artelibro conference sessions which are open to the public, “Arte&libro-Four meetings between pen and brush”, Stefano Zuffi, together with Cristina Acidini, Jadranka Bentini Anna Ottani Cavina, will examine the close relationship between books and artistic iconography, while Marco Carminati, in the session “Italy’s Great Libraries” will reveal, together with Mauro Giancaspro and Gianantonio Borgonovo, some of the secrets of the Naples National Library and the Ambrosian Library in Milan. “Biblio-folly” the title of the sessions curated by Andrea Kerbaker and Stefano Salis, will conduct a short journey into some lesser known aspects of book collection, featuring discussions with Mauro Chiabrando, Giorgio Lucini, Hans Tuzzi, Silvio Fiechter and Filippo Rotundo. Marco Vallora and the actress Anna Nogara will look at the relationship between art, music and literature in the session “Journey from the page to painting (and back again)”.

There are also numerous initiatives from the citizens’ institutions, which confirm the reputation that the city of Bologna and its surrounding territory has earned over the years as a Library of art. Bologna will offer the best of its book-related heritage through the Libraries, Museums and cultural institutions of the city: the Bologna Academy of Fine Art, the National Academy of Agriculture, the Alliance Française, The Bologna University Library, the Women’s Library and documentation centre, CERB University of Bologna, the Regional Department for Cultural Heritage and the Landscape of Emilia–Romagna, The Cineteca Foundation, the Giacomo Lercaro Foundation, the Emilia-Romagna Gramsci Foundation, the Del Monte Foundation, the Religious Science Foundation, the Federico Zeri Foundation, the Furla Foundation, the Genus-Bononiae Museums of the City, the IBC Library “Giuseppe Guglielmi”, the Institution of Libraries and the Civic Museums Institution of Bologna, MAMbo-Museum of Modern Art Bologna, the San Lazzaro Mediateca, the OHM Museum (the Opening Here Museum), the Palazzo Poggi Museum, University of Bologna, the Jewish Museum, Palazzo Magnani-Unicredit, the Ateneo and Xing Library system. A connecting theme throughout the event is that of collecting and the reconstruction of history through books, prints, documents and film. Among these is the exhibition “In the footsteps of Dickens” organised by the Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio [Archiginnasio Public Library] to mark the bicentenary of the author’s birth and “Collezionar collane”, an exhibition and conference promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Gramsci Foundation on the 199 volumes published by the Colip-Cooperativa Libraria Popolare which was later to become the ‘Universale Economica’.

Among the events in the programme for Artelibro 2012 there will also be workshops for young people dedicated to the artistic creation and design of books, organised and produced by: Accipicchiadesign, Mus-e Association, Casa Morandi, Cooperativa Giannino Stoppani, MAMbo Education Department, Le Magnifiche Editrici, Start, Unoquasidue. The conclusive exhibition event of the second edition of “Accademie Eventuali. Workshops for young creativity,” is dedicated to the students of the Italian academies, planned by the Furla Foundation and the Carisbo Foundation, in collaboration with MAMbo-Museum of Modern Art Bologna and Xing. The workshop with Michele Di Stefano/MK and Margherita Morgantin entitled “Autonomous agents and multi-agent systems” will analyse words and thought and their relationship to the body through the recital of texts and guided by a special “text book” created by two artists.

For further informations and the complete program visit: www.artelibro.it