Curated by Simone Menegoi
January 20 to March 8, 2014
Opening Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 7:00 pm
Drawings-instructions: Marco Mazzoni
Works activated by FOSCA
The exhibition, Le statue calde. Scultura – corpo – azione, 1945-2013 (The Warm Statues. Sculpture - Body - Action, 1945-2013) opens at the Marino Marini Museum on Saturday, January 18, 2014. It is curated by Simone Menegoi, assisted by Barbara Meneghel. This exhibition is part of the EARLY ONE MORNING cycle, an exhibition program dedicated to sculpture and its interpretation from the Sixties to today, curated by Alberto Salvadori, artistic director of the Museum.
Focusing mainly on Italy, Le Statue Calde investigates the relationship between sculpture, body, and action in post-war art, pursuing two ideas that complement each other: sculpture as an extension of the body, and the body as sculpture. It brings together works realized in a time span of almost seventy years, by artists from three generations: Alis/Filliol, Monica Bonvicini, Claudia Castellucci, Gianni Colombo, Gabriele Devecchi, Ugo La Pietra, Eva Marisaldi, Marcello Maloberti, Piero Manzoni, Giovanni Morbin, Bruno Munari, Gianni Pettena, Marinella Pirelli, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Franz Erhard Walther, Gilberto Zorio, and Italo Zuffi. These works were created to be handled, walked on and sat on, to be grasped and lifted, to be worn or even kicked. The spectator is confronted with unassuming objects, often made with ordinary materials: a wooden platform, a bent brass tube, a small construction made with concrete blocks. They invite contact with a body, to which they offer themselves as supports, prostheses, and utensils. The platform then becomes a pedestal that “magically” turns anyone who climbs up on it into a sculpture (Piero Manzoni, Base magica, 1961); the tube reveals itself to be a unique tool - complete with instructions for use - for talking to oneself (Giovanni Morbin, Strumento a perdifiato, 1995); the block construction can be used to show the act of doing pushups (Marcello Maloberti, Messe en français, 2013). While performing the planned actions, the body itself becomes sculpture, or rather, a statue: an animated statue, a “warm statue” (as Claudia Castellucci writes in one of her poems), in an ideal dialogue with the figurative sculptures by Marini.
The works on display seem to invoke a disciplinary field in its own right. The active participation of the viewer challenges the traditional idea of sculpture as a self-sufficient object offered for contemplation. The persistence of the object-sculpture challenges the volatility of the performing arts. An aesthetic and recreational purpose challenges the utilitarian nature of the design. Definitions and categories tend to overlap and blur: of Bruno Munari, as comfortable in the role of designer as in that of an artist, a chair will be exhibited. But the chair’s seat is leaning very strongly forward, making it impossible to sit on it for more than a few seconds. (The title, wickedly ironic, is Sedia per visite brevissime – [Chair for very brief visits]; the year, ingeniously ahead of its time, is 1945).
The aim of the exhibition is not to give a complete overview of artists and their works that are relevant to this idea of ”performative sculpture.” The decision was made to proceed with sampling, with examples, with essential points. The journey begins chronologically with three artists associated with the brief and dazzling experience of the Milan gallery Azimut (1959), divided between neo-Dadaist provocation (Piero Manzoni) and an almost scientific approach to the problem of including the viewer in the work, with his/her perceptive and motor faculties (Gianni Colombo, Gabriele Devecchi). Two of the original group of Arte Povera artists (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio) exemplify the attention to the body and gestures (including everyday gestures) of the movement baptised by Germano Celant; Luciano Fabro, a third artist from the Arte Povera movement, and Carla Lonzi, art critic and feminist theorist, are the protagonists of a sculptural performance piece, filmed and reworked in video by Marinella Pirelli. Ugo La Pietra and Gianni Pettena are called upon to represent the fascinating experience of the so-called “radical architecture” of the Sixties and Seventies, in which architecture, liberated from building, gave life to ephemeral situations and hybrid and portable objects, garment-cockpits. From the galaxy of recent experiences, difficult to summarize and classify, the exhibition presents four particularly significant examples. In an aggressive and almost brash way, Monica Bonvicini sets up the relationship between the body, always connoted in terms of gender, and what contains and imprisons it in the first place: architecture. Marcello Maloberti poetically reworks gestures, images and materials taken from daily life in any city in the Western world. Eva Marisaldi cultivates unique and delicate insights on the relationship between the artist, the work and the viewer. Italo Zuffi creates objects that lie at the centre of subtly cruel athletic performance. Giovanni Morbin (1956) provides an ideal bridge between the generation in its forties and the previous one. His work consciously communicates with the experiences of the Sixties through minimal sculptures/instruments whose uses are paradoxical.
The Italian research holds a dialogue with international research: affinities, affiliations, the bonds between one and the other are very dense. As an example of these relationships, some seminal works by Franz Erhard Walther, a German artist born in 1939, were included in the exhibition. His work as a sculptor (in recent years, the object of a truly international rediscovery) is based around the relationship between body, space and gesture. Again it is Walther who tells us how, in the early 1960s, in a radical revision of the very idea of sculpture he had undertaken in solitude, Manzoni appeared to him as one of the few possible international references.
Wherever possible, all the works that are intended for use can effectively be handled by the viewers. For some historical and especially fragile pieces (Devecchi, Manzoni, Pistoletto, Walther) exhibition copies have been provided, their use authorized by the artists or their archives. Only in certain cases are the works exhibited as “normal” sculptures, possibly accompanied by the documentation relating to their use. A simple “user’s guide” for the sculptures, with drawings of dancer and artist Marco Mazzoni, will be available for the visitors. In addition, on certain occasions, the works will be activated by performers from the artist collective FOSCA.
The exhibition was introduced by an evening of performance (December 13, 2013 ) by Alis/Filliol, Claudia Castellucci and Italo Zuffi, centred on the idea of body becoming sculpture.
The opening on January 18 will also be accompanied by a performance: Franz Erhard Walther will show how to interact with two historical pieces from his repertoire, an element from 1.Werksatz (1963-69) and Schreitsockel (1975).
photo credits Dario Lasagni
curated by Giovanna Uzzani and Alberto Salvadori
Centro Di, 50 years of publishing
the avant-garde that
provided the world with a model
Approximately one hundred works exhibited in the Ente Cassa Exhibition Space and the Museo Marino Marini
Centro Di helped to tell the world, particularly between 1960 and 1980, about the glorious years of avant-garde art. It also managed to bring innovation to the concept of the art catalogue, and was the most authoritative voice on national and international artistic research, interacting with the most important specialized publishers and playing a major role in the growth and understanding of contemporary culture in Tuscany and Italy. This is the publishing house Centro Di, and the exhibition “A misura di libro. 50 anni di edizioni Centro Di 1964/2014 (The dimension of the book. 50 years of editions by Centro Di 1964/2014)". The exhibition runs from February19 to April 23 at the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Exhibition Space (Via Bufalini 6) and from March 1 to April 26 at the Museo Marino Marini (Piazza San Pancrazio).
This event does not simply celebrate a Florentine publishing house that has attracted international attention, a publisher that has provided a model with its high quality publications, that has honoured and still honours Florence today. It also takes us on a journey through an extraordinary season in our recent history. For two decades, it made the Tuscan capital, moreover quite oblivious and indifferent to all of it (and it is certainly not the only case), the crossroads of the greatest innovations beating in the heart of international art.
The selected artists include: Archizoom and Superstudio, Riccardo Guarneri, Paolo Masi, the collective Zona non profit art space, Mario Mariotti, Luciano Ori, Daniele Lombardi, Daniela De Lorenzo, Carlo Bertocci. In the exhibition room is a video presenting some testimonials of experimental music related to Centro Di editions, with exhibitions or works in video by Pietro Grossi, Giuseppe Chiari, Daniele Lombardi, Sylvano Bussotti, and Giancarlo Cardini.
For the opening at Museo Marino Marini, Friday, February 28 at 7:00 pm, Daniele Lombardi will perform the world premiere of ‘Miroirs’, a concerto for grand piano, percussion, two violins, bass flute, toy piano, and video. During the period of the opening of the two exhibitions, several panels will be held featuring important speakers in regard to this work. These will include Achille Bonito Oliva, Enrico Crispolti and Maurizio Nannucci.
The Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Exhibition Space
Via Bufalini 6 – Open from February 19 to April 23
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 1 pm; 3 pm to 7 pm
No admission fee - Telephone 055 5384001
Museo Marino Marini
Piazza San Pancrazio, Florence – Open from March 1 to April 26
Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm, closed Tuesdays, Sundays and holidays
Admission: full price: € 6, reduced € 4, students € 3
Telephone 055 219432 - email@example.com - www.museomarinomarini.it