curated by Laura Barreca and Paola Nicolin
Museo Civico di Castelbuono (Palermo)
19th December 2017 – 22nd April 2018
OPENING: Sunday 17th December 2017 – 12.00 am NOON
Between 1977 and 1999 Pinin Brambilla Barcilon spent fifty thousand hours of her life restoring Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the most controversial and complex operations ever carried out in the history of restoration. The woman, and her professional and existential life form the centre around which the work Madame Pinin revolves. Conceived by MASBEDO (Nicolò Massazza, Milan 1973, Iacopo Bedogni, Sarzana 1970), this narrative is taken as an example for a wider discourse on the concept of beauty, its preservation, its care and the intrinsic fragility of the work of art. The condition of art works rely on time and history, although it is the history of man who intervenes to preserve the survival of memory through its physical presence. This is a very valuable cultural activity, backed – in this case – by the constant commitment of Olivetti, a visionary firm which, through the presence of the distinguished figure of the manager Renzo Zorzi, who assumed the direction of the whole restoration operation. An exemplary story that MASBEDO tells today through a complex photographic, audio and video installation, starting with Madame Pinin’s video (2017), a never-before-seen production by MASBEDO that shows a pictorial portrait through the details of the hands, face and eyes of restorer Pinin Brambilla Barcilon. The artists framed these details of the woman’s body as if through a magnifying glass as they are those elements that tackled – in an exhausting struggle – the light and colours of Leonardo’s masterpiece, making them finally reappear. The central theme of the exhibition explores the relationship between the world of images and conservation, creation intended as a pulsation / effervescence / form in opposition to the concept of end, inevitability of time, the necessity of maintenance. All the works in the exhibition are born from visual and mental references that have evolved in physical and psychic form in the hybrid between clue / performance / installation / video work.
The entire exhibition project, specifically designed for the Museo Civico di Castelbuono within the Ventimiglia castle, collects photographs extracted from the video installation, Handle with Care (multi-channel video exhibited in 2016 at the Reggia della Venaria Reale in Turin for the project, The Classroom, by Paola Nicolin). The video, Fragile (2016) produced by the Museo Reale Galleria Sabauda in Turin, staged a young man’s visit to the gallery halls in the presence of a peacock. Walking among the masterpieces of antiquity, symbolic objects of archetypal beauty, the presence of the peacock underlines the essential precariousness of the living animal and its impairment that renders it inapt to represent its nature. The image is highly suggestive because it’s made even more dramatic due to the emptiness of the halls, facing the perpetual immobility of the painted characters. The multimedia installation, Manifesti di falsi colori (2017), comprises plotter printed images, graphic processes and technological reports of studies on different materials. The latter bear cybernetic names such as XRF, TAC, RFC, that refer to the world of restoration intended as a complex universe submitted to it’s own codes.
The main theme of these works is the concept of “cure”: the old animal, object of the care of its master, is a metaphor of the combination of a faded vanity and the eternal journey into beauty, a trip defined by Rainer Maria Rilke as “the tremendous at its beginning.” The fragility of art, to which the title of the work refers to, engages the observer’s gaze and warns of the necessity to provide protection of art and cultural heritage. A metaphor that reminds us of the need to preserve and care for our artistic and cultural heritage as a form of resistance to time and carelessness of man. The exhibition in Castelbuono is an ideal continuation and development of the project presented at the Centro di Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale and underlines the intention of creating a dialogue on the themes of conservation and production of the excellence in the Italian territory. In 2018, when Europe dedicates itself to Cultural Heritage, encouraging public institutions to celebrate their relevance and value for the cultural development of society, the artistic discourse by MASBEDO is consistently aligned with this theme, showing how contemporary artists relate themselves with the art of the past and how history of art can be a source of inspiration for new generations.
The project is part of Palermo Capitale della Cultura 2018.
For more information: www.masbedo.org
Winter opening times: (September 15-May 14)
TUESDAY-SUNDAY: 9.30AM-1.00PM / 3.00PM-6.30PM
Ticket: € 4,00; reduced € 2,00 (adults over 65 and youngsters from 8 to 18 years old, schools and groups of over 12 people); free for children under 7 years of age.
Address: Museo Civico di Castelbuono, P.zza Castello – Castelbuono (PA), Italy
Telephone: +39 0921-671211
January 10, 2018