7 ROOMS 14 ARTISTS
Francesco Arena » Massimo Bartolini » Elisabetta Benassi » Flavio Favelli » Luigi Ghirri » Piero Golia » Marcello Maloberti » Fabio Mauri » Giulio Paolini » Luca Vitone » Sislej Xhafa »
Exhibition: 1 Jun – 24 Nov 2013
Thu 30 May 10:30 - 12:30
Venice Biennale - ITALY
vice versa follows a concept introduced by philosopher Giorgio Agamben. In his book Categorie italiane. Studi di Poetica (1996), Agamben proposes that in order to interpret Italian culture we must identify ‘a series of diametrically linked concepts capable of describing its underlying characteristics.’ These coupled together concepts—such as tragedy/comedy, architecture/vagueness and speed/lightness—thus become key to understanding the fundamental works and thinking within Italian cultural history.
Artists such as Alighiero e Boetti, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luigi Ontani and Gino De Dominicis all experimented with the notion of duality: a characteristic also central to the approach of this exhibition. Divided into seven themed areas, vice versa will present an ideal journey through Italian art of past and present, exploring the complexity of the country’s changing artistic and anthropological circumstances. With the majority of works made specially for this exhibition, its installations, sculptures, paintings, performances, sound and ambient interventions can be read as an atlas of themes, derivations, dialogues and differences that may easily be traced back within Italian history and culture.
A dualistic way of looking at the landscape in which the meaning of a place is suspended between vision and memory emerges in the works of Ghirri and Vitone, while the troubled and contradictory relationship with history in its personal and collective dimensions comes to the fore in Mauri and Arena. Dialectic slipperiness and continual swerves between tragedy and comedy figure in works by Golia and Xhafa—hovering between lived and imagined life—while Maloberti and Favelli chip away at the boundaries between autobiography and collective imagination through references to culture and pop-folk traditions. Giulio Paolini will converse with Marco Tirelli on the theme of art as illusion, which will also appear in the juxtaposition of sound and silence, freedom of speech and censorship in the work of Massimo Bartolini and Francesca Grilli. Closing with the works of Baruchello and Benassi and the tension between fragment and system, in which the human desire to archive and classify clashes with the impossibility and failure of doing so, vice versa will express the vital complexity of recent Italian art, affirming both its originality and international significance.