May 9, 2015 - Nov 22, 2015


Italy - Biennale Arte 2015

Italian Pavilion, Biennale Arte 2015

Codice Italia
The exhibition – which features works especially created for this occasion – aims to emphasise the “Italian code”, and is divided into three chapters. The artists chosen, with various artistic backgrounds, embody the “genetic code” of Italian style, thought of as a combination between the need to experiment and the desire to relive moments in some cases marginal of art history, drawing from the immense deposit of memory. The artists have been asked to produce original works with a high symbolic value, which may be read as poetry manifestos. The artists have also been invited to create, together with their works, an Archive of Memory, inspired by Aby Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas, a project developed in the late 1920s. Installations where each artist has collected heterogeneous fragments, where underlying echoes of the artistic adventure come to the surface.

Form is generated from matter: the polyurethane is
poured into a negative mold made of earth. We then
witness the revelation of Jir, where the dialogue
between the invisible and the visible is staged.

An original reinterpretation of equestrian statuary,
which conceals musical echoes in particular as
suggested by the Archive of Memory.

Reflecting on the ambiguous relationship between reality and representation, Andrea Aquilanti experiments by combining traditional techniques and analogue and digital technologies.

An image from an engraving by Piranesi, modified by the artist with drawing, is projected on the walls of the room. A camera intercepts the shadows of the visitors who attend this dramaturgical work.

Barocco urges shapes to become something
different, to move towards a formless dimension. In his three studies where he works on the idea of heads, he reflects on
the longevity of certain “timeless” images.

He selects three classical icons and disfigures them, placing them on traditional studio ”pedestals”.

The Archive of Memory completes this intervention: this is a collection of photographs that reveals heterogeneous
historical, artistic and cultural sources.

Vanessa Beecroft goes back to the classical language of sculpture – in a conceptual perspective – and leads us towards territories inhabited by timeless statuary.

She presents us with a scene that is visible
only at a distance, where the viewer must look through a crevice carved out of two marble walls.

The Archive of Memory is displayed inside cases: some altered negatives of his father photographer.

Drawing, fresco and painting on glass are
some of the techniques Giuseppe Caccavale experiments with.

The artist intervenes with manual skill on the walls magnifying some details of Pisanello’s Codex Vallardi, on which he “deposits” the lines of the poem
Sul molo di Civitanova by Massimo Gezzi.

The Archive of Memory is placed inside a structure containing a monitor, on the screen a sequence of heterogeneous moments of art history.

In Thorax by Paolo Gioli, we encounter figures captured by the photosensitive emulsions, they are broken up and violated by light.

The Archive of Memory houses a wide selection of
voices and cultural echoes, as in Aby Warburg’s Atlas.

Jannis Kounellis presents an installation where coats, sacks and iron girders form a relationship.

Rich in philosophical and literary references, the
shape/non-shape of the coat is caged inside the
rigid “tracks”: the result is a kind of tragic frieze.

The Archive of Memory
is in fact a classical
sculpture of a head wrapped in a coat and
placed on a plain chair: both a tribute and
an act of rejection of the sources that
inspire the work.

Nino Longobardi presents a colonnade, which combines painting and sculpture.

Seven solemn pilasters on which a sign moves rapidly, suggesting figures that are barely sketched: heroes emerge escaping from an imminent disaster.

The Archive of Memory consists of a metal shelf on which layers of drawings are arranged, inhabited by an ample repertoire of faces, skulls and fragments.

Marzia Migliora’s installation aims to rethink the genre of still life with an original and poetic strength.

Unexpected echoes are triggered. The environment created – only visible in the reflection of a mirror – is the reenactment of a photograph taken by the artist in her father's farmstead some years ago.

The access to it is through a cupboard, which
houses the Archive of Memory: the sources which
inspire the work are revealed by optical devices.

Transforms the architectural archetype
of the column into a sculptural element, and
creates a dialogue between this
form and the walls
that enclose the space.

The torsion, the sensuality of matter and the
dynamism recall Medardo Rosso’s shocking
with formless matter.

The references to Baroque statuary art are evident, as suggested by the Archive of Memory, where we also
find the reproduction of Estasi di Santa Teresa by
Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

At the centre, between the walls that have
been drawn on, stands a solitary human figure.
A statuesque presence bearing natural elements, mysterious
shapes and numbers.

Mimmo Paladino conceived an entrancing installation,
where the rhythm is set by speedy graphics, and by protruding, volumetric and two-dimensional shapes.

The Archive of Memory is kept in a monitor which displays a sequence of black and white images and frames which continuously combine literary, historical and artistic references.

In an ideal continuity with the painting The Sea of Ice by Caspar David Friedrich, Claudio Parmiggiani presents a composition that combines monumentality and fragility.

In the middle of the wall is a huge anchor:
suspended and stranded.
This “appearance”
causes an explosion. Before us, countless fragments of a mirror.
The balance is violated.

Set up as a chapel, Nicola Samorì’s room displays
works where some icons – from the Renaissance and Baroque period – undergo a process of violent deformation.

On the opposite side of the room – a kind of majestic altarpiece, inspired
by Aby Warburg’s Atlas – is the Archive of Memory: paintings, sculptures and a private photographic collection.

Aldo Tambellini digitally rearranges a series of special slides and excerpts from his experimental films
realized in the sixties,
guiding the visitor through a vortex of visions.

His work – as revealed by his extensive Archive of
Memory – combines references to Leonardo da
Vinci's studies on human anatomy, references to
Abstract Expressionism and suggestions of Bruno
Munari’s “projected painting”.

Omaggio all'Italia (Tribute to Italy)
Some of the most significant voices of the international art scene have been invited to take part. For the occasion these artists have created original works to pay tribute to the history of Italian art. They move beyond anachronism and nostalgia, in a perspective that is in every respect contemporary.

A journey through the history of art: this is Peter Greenaway’s tribute to Italy. An abacus of images that “travel” through the centuries.

Fragments of Italian masterpieces – unrecognizable here – compose a panel marked by similarities and correspondences.

William Kentridge’s tribute to Italy revolves around the preparatory drawings for the Triumphs & Laments project and collages of figures reminiscent of the frieze on Trajan's Column.

In this cycle, history meets current events. It proceeds through a series a free associations of images where the past enters into dialogue with the present.

The work of Straub creates a relation between the material decline of one of his most controversial films, History Lessons (1972), with the moral and political decadence of contemporary Italy.

Sulla memoria (On memory)
The exhibition also hosts a reflection by Umberto Eco, a video installation directed by Davide Ferrario on the central theme of Codice Italia: the reinvention of memory.
curated by Vincenzo Trione
Credits: Story


Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism
Dario Franceschini

Under Secretary of State
Francesca Barracciu

Under Secretary of State
Ilaria Borletti Buttony

General Secretary
Antonia Pasqua Recchia

DGAAP - Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and for Suburbs

Director-General DGAAP Commissioner Italian Pavilion
Federica Galloni

Service Manager
Fabio De Chirico

General Coordination
Alessandra Fassio

Referent for Contemporary Art
Carolina Italiano

Scientific Consultant
Angela Tecce

Roberto Galasso

Daniela Aquilini Maria Teresa Soldo

Annamaria Abbamonte Dora Campisi

Vincenzo Trione

Curatorial Staff
Anna Luigia De Simone (coordination)
Olga Scotto di Vettimo Alessandra Troncone

Staff collaborators
Lorenza Baroncelli
(coordination video installation by Davide Ferrario)
Pia Bolognesi
(Tambellini Archive)
Giulio Bursi
(consulting for cinema
and video art)

Exhibition Design
Giovanni Francesco Frascino
in collaboration with
Giovanna D'Alessandro
Arianna Marchesani
Fulvio Ambrosio (photo reportage)

Light design
Mario Nanni

Graphic Design
Antonio Iodice
Giulia Scalera
in collaboration with
Sara Nappa
Sandro Traettino
(logo animation)

Press Office
Francesca Martinotti

Social Media
Giulia Mauri

Francesco Leone

Codice Italia Video
Mimmo Calopresti

Codice Italia Academy
Giuseppe Gaeta
(coordination of Italian Fine Arts Academies)
Paola Maddaluno
(coordination of Italian Pavilion)

la Biennale di Venezia

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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