30 Jun                     29 Jul 2021

Face Fear

Esper Postma

You and your friends are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition on Wednesday, 30 June, at 7 pm.

Introduction: Carmen Belmonte, Research Fellow at the Art History Institute in Florence, Max Planck Institute, in conversation with Esper Postma

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 2 to 6 pm and on appointment

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exhibition view

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Esper Postma, Genius of Fascism Sport, 2021, bronze

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Esper Postma, Memory Games, 2021, digital photographs on dibond

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Romano Romanelli, Pugile Ferito, 1931, plaster

photos: Ela Bialkowska /OKNOstudio

Foro Italico used to be called Foro Mussolini. The entrance, made to convey the greatness of the Italian Empire, is now used as a playground. Next to a marble block announcing the attack on Abyssinia, lies a football and a pile of clothes. Children are running on top of black and white mosaics. Shadowy figures of athletes and soldiers, surrounded by fascist slogans. Do the children know what these messages mean? What do they feel when they see the word Duce repeated on the ground?

A stone's throw away, people are exercising in the Stadio dei Marmi. Joggers are doing their rounds on the track. Looking on are giant statues of mythical athletes. Although many of them have their genitals covered with a fig leaf, they are not ashamed of displaying a fasces. On the grandstand, a fitness class is in session. The instructor demonstrates movements on a lower step. The participants are neatly arranged on the steps above. Are they motivated by the presence of the statues? Is the instructor referring to them? Does she tell her class to make more effort if they want their abs to be as stone-hard as the ones on the statues?

Esper Postma (Amsterdam, 1988) received a research fellowship of Villa Romana and the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut. He is a graduate of the Städelschule (2015) and was a participant of the BPA// Berlin program for artists (2020). Recent solo exhibitions include Salome at Westfälischer Kunstverein and Rebis at Stadtmuseum Lindau. He took part in group exhibitions at Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Hotel Maria Kapel Hoorn, PS120 Berlin, Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) Frankfurt on the Main a.o. Postma is based in Deventer and Berlin.