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Marco Mendeni

I am Niko Bellic
2'53'' 2010

6'59'' 2012

5'11'' 2013

Breno (BS), 1979
Born in Brescia in 1979 and living between Milan and Berlin, Marco Mendeni is one of the leading exponents of Video Art and Game Art in the European scene. Today the Italian artist is internationally represented by Theca Gallery, Lugano. Marco Mendeni develops an advanced research for which he uses the videogame as an expressive medium to start a critical reflection among real and digital, simulation and dissimulation. Since he was a teenager, Marco Mendeni has been an enthusiastic of visual arts and new medias. During his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in Milan, he combines and weaves his interests in a stronger way. At the Accademia he takes painting classes, he gains expertise in decoration and restoration and improves his relation with the material. He graduates with a dissertation about the influence of the videogames universe on the art, and he specializes in the interactive and performative multimedia arts at the Department of New Technologies for the Art. Virtuality and reality, presence and absence, tradition and innovation apparently are some of the antinomy couples on which the work of Mendeni is based. In fact, as Matteo Bittanti explains in his critical writings, the artist calls upon to play their value in an act of deconstruction and decoding of the videogame that waives to the imperative of representation in order to take on new communicative and dis-simulating possibilities. The virtually real world of the videogame loses its artificial character of playable simulation and becomes a middle ground to be explored and to be revealed through different media. The works the artist develops range from the ethereal digital of the machinima, like I am Niko Bellic or FOV02, alienating extract of videogames modified by the rewriting of their code-genome, to the materiality of the graphic work on wood or concrete of the series Game Over, SimCity or Avatar, where volatile screenshots of 80s videogames arcade, urban isometric landscapes and humanoid characters programmed by the artist are trapped with savoir faire in the texture of the concrete. Marco Mendeni’s artworks approach and weave the unsubstantial digital constructions of the videogames with the physical medium and places that gather them. This dichotomy becomes vector of their potential of meaning. Following important exhibitions in Europe and America, as the recent solo show Kennell Game Over in Lugano (Theca Gallery) and various site specific installations in Berlin (Impossible Backgrounds), Milan (Playing the game, I am Nico Bellic), and San Francisco (FOV02), Marco Mendeni has recently won the MOVIN’UP 2013 prize and participated at the renown File | Electronic Language International Festival in Brazil, that is a crucial achievement for the best contemporary new media artists.

Laurea in “Nuove tecnologie per l’arte” biennio laurea specialistica, dipartimento di multimediale, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. Argomento di tesi: “ Videogame e simulazione “ la tesi analizza l’influenza del medium videoludico sulla società contemporanea. Relatore di tesi: Domenico Quaranta. (110elode)

-Deceptive Perceptions, Museo Civico, Campione d’Italia, curator Matteo Bittanti, Switzerland Personal Exhibitions -Premio Fondazione Fabbri/ villa Brandolini Pieve di Soligo/ Treviso_Italy -ROBOT Festival 06, curated by Marcella Loconte, Bologna, Italy -File Electronic Language International Festival, curator Paola Perisinnotto end RicardoBaretto, San Paolo, Brasil -Artificialia. Un mondo dis-simulato, Camero di Commercio dell’Uruguay Saronno, Theca Gallery, curator Luca Avanzini, Italy Personal Exhibitions -Wander WEB TV, Cultural Center of Novi Sad, curated by Andrej Tisma, Novi Sad, SERBIA -I’m not playing. (For hacked videogame and real-time sampler), [.BOX] Video Art Space, curator Alessandra Arnò, Milan, Italy Personal Exhibitions -MIA, The Armory Center for the Arts, Alanna Simone, MIA curator, California, U.S.A -I’m not Playing, RoBOt Festival 06, curator Marcella Loconte, Boulogne, Italy -ATHENS SLINGSHOT, Innovative ART AND Technology, curated by Eric Mart, Athens, Georgia,U.S.A -Kenell Game, Curated by Andrea Carlo Alpini,Theca Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland, Personal Exhibitions -NEVER ODD OR EVEN, gallery Team TITANIC, curated Team Titanic, Berlin, Germany -Playing The Game/2, Curated by Paolo VJ VISUALLOOP Branca, sponsored by Provincia di Milano and Camera di Commercio, Milano, Italy -NEW GAME DESIGNER 2013_CTU_university of Milan_curated by Debora Ferrari_Milano, Italy -NOVART, Festival Digital Art, Nova Milanese, Italy -I’m not playing, for hacked videogame and real- time sampler, curator Bob Meanza, Altes Finanzamt, Berlin, Germany -FOV001, Audiovisual_Performance, Start-schuss, Berlin, Germany -AA13 -Arte Accessibile MILAN, Curated by Andrea Carlo Alpini, Theca Gallery, Milano, Italy -GAME ART CAMP, Curated by Debora Ferrari and Luca Traini, Monza, Italy -CARNEN, Fabbrica del vapore, curated by Care of Docva, Milano, Italy -GAMES WEEK MILANO_2013, NEOLUDICA, Game : Art Gallery, Curated by Debora Ferrari, Milano, Italy -BYOB Milano, curated by Domenico Quaranta, Milano, Italy -PULSART, “INSIDE ME”, curated by Anna Z.Pezzin, Shio, Italy -ROBOT Festival 05, curated by Marcella Loconte, Bologna, Italy -Impossible Backgrounds, audiovisual performance, Sowieso, Berlin, Germany -GAMES WEEK MILANO_2012, NEOLUDICA, Game : Art Gallery, Curated by Debora Ferrari, Milano, Italy -Ti Racconto, Curated by CRAC CENTRO RICERCA ARTE CONTEMPORANEA, Cremona, Italy -WANDER WEB TV, video art & experimental reports, Curated by Tamara Lai -Boulding – GAMEC, curated by Gamec, Bergamo, Italy -Statment – Spazio in mostra, curated by Ivan Quaroni, Milano, Italy -I am Niko Bellic, interactive installation, ATM project curated by Ezio Cuoghi, Milano, Italy -Game Over , Video Installation, Tacheles, Berlin, Germany

Finalista, PREMIO FRANCESCO FABBRI PER LE ARTI CONTEMPORANEE, Treviso, dicembre 2013 Vincitore 1° premio Buildingart ,GAMeC (Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea), Bergamo, Italia, 2009 Vincitore sezione Video Arte 15a edizione di MOVIN’UP, programma di sostegno alla mobilità degli artisti italiani nel mondo, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Italia, 2013

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