10 May - 30 August 2000
The exhibition inaugurated the space called S8ZERO located on the basement floor of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and divided into two project areas: the Project Room and the Melting Pot. The initiative, created and curated by Maria Grazia Tolomeo, turned a state cultural institution into a patron of contemporary art, commissioning important works. Indeed, in the space called the Project Room, artists would be asked to exhibit brand-new projects designed for the space itself. "The Palazzo delle Esposizioni," wrote Renato Nicolini, then president of the Axienda Speciale Palaexpo, introducing S8ZERO's first initiative, "would like to become known as an institution that is devoted to artists and the art world above all, a place to meet, debate, imagine and compare notes." To that end a series of initiatives included in the Melting Pot project would be dedicated to stage productions, performance art, and exhibitions that reflected the great variety of styles that contemporary art has made its own.
As Maria Grazia Tolomeo explained, the name ‘S8ZERO' referred to the location of the area inside the building, and at the same time alluded to the temperature of "a place in which ideas, experiments, and events appear, only to melt on contact with the public."
The Project Room series began with a work by Sol LeWitt (Hartford 1928), the well-known artist who has experimented the longest and the most successfully with the idea of the work of art in relation to the space that is meant to exhibit it. The leading exponent of conceptual art, he designed two wall drawings for the Palazzo delle Esposizioni itself, working a transformation on two large rooms, their walls and their ceilings with his colours, and injecting them with new life, thanks to the rigour and the clarity of his design.
Exhibition curated by Maria Grazia Tolomeo and Valentina Bonomo.
Catalogue edited by Maria Grazia Tolomeo and Valentina Bonomo, with essays by Maria Grazia Tolomeo and Adachiara Zevi, an interview with the artist by Valentina Bonomo, and critical apparatus by Graziella Gnozzi; published by Palazzo delle Esposizioni PdE Edizioni in collaboration with Castelvecchi Arte, Rome 2000.