Venice 2013 - Arsenale: 55th International Art Biennale; National Pavilions – Italy. The Italian Pavilion presents Vice Versa, an ideal journey through Italian art of today, an itinerary that tells of identities, history and landscapes, real and imaginary, exploring the complexity and layers that characterize the country's artistic vicissitudes. The Italian Pavilion, is curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, who describes the exhibition as, "A portrait of recent art, read as an atlas of themes and attitudes in dialogue with the historical legacy and current affairs, with both a local and international dimension. A cross-dialogue of correspondences, derivations and differences between acclaimed maestros and artists of later generations. An unusual topography, that permits a reevaluation of some basic trajectories in recent Italian art, a vice versa 1 retracing of forgotten paths, the healing of cultural amnesia and gives new visibility to solitary authors." In a dialogue between artist and artist, room and room, the exhibition presents works that have mostly been created specifically for the occasion, twelve out of fourteen, and is proposed as a platform for reflection on the characteristics and contradictions of Italian culture, returning that vital complexity to our recent art which is created out of intuitions and contradictions in which the game of vice versa is one of its fundamental elements, thus asserting the status of originality and international importance that it deserves.
Italian Pavilion: Francesco Arena – Massa Sepolta, 2013. Francesco Arena begins with social and political episodes that have characterized the Italian news for the last decades. The fact, which are too often concealed or hidden, are reinterpreted through a sculptural approach using synthetic forms.
Seen inside the Italian Pavilion archistar Alessandro Mendini.
Italian Pavilion: Massimo Bartolini – Due, 2013. The artist's poetic is developed through different languages, giving life to works that are always closely connected to their settings. Through the use of diverse elements, Bartolini acts on the space, destroying the classic space-time coordinates and creating new and unexpected dimensions. The viewer, with his senses and his perceptions, plays a determining role in these works. He explores new points of view and acquires a different sensibility in front of objects and spaces, reinterpreting them through new forms where the individual embraces the entire world.
Italian Pavilion: Francesca Grilli – Fe2, O3’, Ossido Ferrico, 2013. Grilli’s experimentation explores the realm of sound, in its multiple expressive and perceptive implications. Opting to utilize the language of performance, her works move from private and personal elements into spectators' space of action, drawing them into an ambiguous and unsettling territory. In fact, two central aspects can be traced in her research: sound processing in all its forms and registers, and the spectators' space of action. If the first is a linguistic element with infinite possibilities of expressive modes, the second is a boundless space of physical and emotional involvement for the viewer.
Seen inside the Italian Pavilion Vittorio Sgarbi and artist Luca Vitone.
Italian Pavilion: Elisabetta Benassi - The Dry Salvages, 2013. Making references to cultural, political and artistic traditions of the Twentieth Century as well as to controversial contemporary themes, Elisabetta Benassi's work dwells in the difficult space of our present. Her work has recurrent forms such as the use of installation, video and photography that together as devices create strong emotional suggestions and a different moral focus in the viewer. Underlying her work, we can always find a question about the contemporary condition and identity, specifically their relationship to the historic past, and a cue to reconsider it, looking at it against the light. Reconstructing a different way of reading reality and broadening the field of consciousness are thus the fundamental operations of her work.
Italian Pavilion: Flavio Favelli – La Cupola, 2013 and Rome Bone China, 2013. Falvio Favelli’s work is marked by continuous shifts between personal and collective memory, and poetic adaptation of autobiographical elements. La Cupola is a monumental installation that originated from a liberal interpretation of a familiar element and the re-assemblage of its parts, inspired by the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The architecture assumes an important role in the artist’s memories, as a destination of cultural trips taken during his childhood that provided an escape from everyday routines. He also intervenes on twelve vintage plates, applying to them the profile of the dome, transforming it into a new image, thus concretely reflecting the process that underlies the development of memory and its cancellation.
Italian Pavilion: Giulio Paolini – Quadri di un Esposizione, 2013. His artistic efforts deal with themes that question the concept, manifestation and vision of the artwork. From his first investigations surrounding the constituent elements of painting, his attention has been oriented toward the act of exhibition, the consideration of the work as a catalogue of his own possibilities, as well as the figure of the author and his lack of contact with the work, which preexists and transcends it.
Seen inside the Italian Pavilion Olle Granath.
Seen outside the Italian Pavilion photographer Maria Mulas.