CRRI / The Dena Archives

An exhibition dedicated to the activity of the Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art, organized by CRRI – Castello di Rivoli Research Institute

7 October 2019 – 23 February 2020

Opening 7 October 2019, 6 pm


Behind the artistic work and behind the exhibitions there is a complex and dynamic network of relationships. The experience of the Dena Foundation offers a perspective on this vital system of contemporary art and allows visitors a privileged look “behind the scenes”.


On the occasion of the entry of the Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art archives into the holdings of CRRI – Castello di Rivoli Research Institute, and to celebrate the eighteen years of activity of the Foundation (2001–2019), the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea presents this documentary exhibition about the Foundation chaired by Giuliana Setari Carusi.

The driving force that precedes the birth of the Foundation is the personal passion for contemporary art that Giuliana Carusi and her husband Tommaso Setari shared, and which has resulted, since 1980, in the creation of their important private collection. Over time, the Setari family has also gifted museums with artworks of significance.

The collection has been hosted in their different homes in New York, Rome, Paris, Milan and Brussels. Over the years, artists, curators and critics, museum directors, professionals from the world of art and culture have been welcomed here, and personal relationships were established which allowed the realization of numerous artistic projects.

The Foundation, starting from the objective of supporting young and emerging artists, as well as established ones, has differentiated its work in the field of contemporary art through the conception, promotion and realization of various routes.

At the centre of its activities, the Residency Program for artists and curators, at Centre International d’Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets in Paris and at Art Omi International Artists Residency – Omi International Arts Center in the State of New York, emerged from the sense of hospitality that has always characterized the approach of Giuliana and Tommaso Setari to the world of art. More than fifty artists participated in the program, including Meris Angioletti, Nico Angiuli, Paola Anziché, Dafne Boggeri, Alessandro Di Pietro, Cleo Fariselli, Matteo Fato, Michael Fliri, Linda Fregni Nagler, Chiara Fumai, Invernomuto, Francesco Jodice, Domenico Mangano, Diego Marcon, Richard Sympson, Marinella Senatore, Ester Sparatore and Donatella Spaziani.

In recent years the collaboration with NAC – National Art Council in Singapore brought to Paris the artists Debbie Ding, Bruce Quec, Hafiz B. Osman, Melissa Tan, Luke Heng, Stéphanie Jane Burt, Hilmi Johandi, Muhammad Izdi.

Established in 2001, the Dena Foundation Art Award, is the main award in the world dedicated to celebrating works of public art. It has been assigned to Fabien Verschaere (2001), Luca Vitone (2002), Michael Rakowitz (2003), Michael Sailstorfer (2005), Ryan Gander (2007), Renata Lucas (2009), thanks to a scientific committee composed of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Helmut Friedel, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Roberto Pinto and Dora Stiefelmeier.

The Dena Foundation promoted initiatives like, from 2006 to 2008, the Janus Summer Symposium, an annual appointment at the LeWitt Foundation in Praiano (Salerno), conceived by the interdisciplinary magazine Janus, directed by Nicola Setari since 2006, as well as the organization of meetings, round tables and open studios at Centre des Récollets (among others: Please, knock before entry, 2003; Ubiquity as a paradigm of contemporary culture and life, 2004; Jeune photographie italienne contemporaine: une géographie des talents naissants, 2008).

Over the years the Foundation has directly organized group shows, collaborating with many important international public and private institutions: Inhabituel, 2005 (La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan / Centre culturel français, Milan); Beyond the Dust – Artists’ Documents Today, 2010-11 (De Vleeshal, Middelburg / La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan / Centre culturel français, Milan / Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris); Les Associations Libres, 2012-13 (La Maison Rouge, Paris); The Yellow Side of Sociality – Italian Artists in Europe, 2014-15 (Bozar, Brussels).

Alongside the residency program, the Art Award and the international exhibitions, the Dena Foundation, from the beginning of its activity, through support in various fields and through financial support, has also made it possible to realiza exhibitions in museum institutions and on the occasion of international events of artists like  Carla Accardi, Rosa Barba, Davide Bertocchi, Anna Boghiguian, Jimmie Durham, Yona Friedman, Chiara Fumai, Ryan Gander, Pierre Huyghe, Marcos Lutyens, Michael Rakowitz, Gerhard Richter and Marinella Senatore.

The exhibition develops from these core aspects to give voice to artists, curators, personalities from the world of culture who, through their participation, have contributed to the tireless work and growth of the Dena Foundation.


CRRI activities program

Organized by CRRI – Castello di Rivoli Research Institute and curated by Giulia De Giorgi, The Dena Archives is, after the exhibitions Ottobre 1968. “arte povera più azioni povere” agli Arsenali di Amalfi and Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions, the third appointment of the exhibition activity of CRRI.

CRRI’s activities are supported by Regione Piemonte and by Compagnia di San Paolo. 

Thanks to Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art


Download the press release