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Mauro Staccioli

Cerchio Imperfetto

curated by

ALBERTO FIZ

23 July - 9 October 2011

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Mauro Staccioli is the protagonist of Intersezioni sixth edition.
This long-awaited exhibition is one of the most important Italian cultural events in Summer and this year as well, it is going to redouble. Just like in the previous two editions, the project titled Cerchio imperfetto (Imperfect ring) will include two expositions: one at the Scolacium Archaeological Site and the other at the MARCA Museum in Catanzaro. Both events are curated by Alberto Fiz, the Artistic Director of the MARCA Museum.
In the museum are represented the Seventies through a selection of concrete works of art, while Scolacium Site hosts a monumental and especially exciting exhibition composed of a series of new installations created for the occasion by one of the most significant protagonists of contemporary sculpture.
The exhibition, which is completed by a comprehensive monographic catalogue in Italian and English published by Electa, will remain open from July 23rd to October 9th 2011.
Intersezioni sixth edition is organized by Catanzaro Province in co-operation with the Calabria regional directorate for culture and landscape assets (Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Calabria) and is under the patronage of the cultural department of the Calabria Region, Sensi Contemporanei, a program by the Ministry for Economic Development (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico) and Mimmo Rotella foundation. The event is part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Italian national unity.
Wanda Ferro, the President of Catanzaro Province with culture portfolio says: “Intersezioni, together with the MARCA, is an essential reference point. The event proved to be a highly innovative model of cultural strategy widely appreciated both in Italy and abroad. After Michelangelo Pistoletto, in the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian national unity, we are especially proud to devote the exhibition to Mauro Staccioli, one of the most representative Italian artists on the international scene.”
As Alberto Fiz explains: “Intersezioni 2011 is a step forward in the creation of an event which is every year more and more ambitious. To design the large 10 metres high installations, the artist had recourse to engineering and architecture principles and employed them to create an exhibition that unsettles vision parameters. The Site history and memory are not external any more, but rather integrate into Staccioli's works. The place for archaeology and the one for contemporaneity are presented on the same level in absolute simultaneity. There is no before or after any more, but rather a here and now.”
The visitor is greeted by Anello Catanzaro ’11 (Ring Catanzato 2011), an 8 metres high and 12 tons weight sculpture in cor-ten steel that the artist dedicated to the event, as the title shows. Through this work of art nature space and history space communicate and is established a connection between the olive grove and the Basilica devoted to Santa Maria della Roccella. The cross-eyed vision evokes the unity of the place. As Staccioli says: “Creating sculpture means to exist in a place”. This immanence inside Scolacium park is conveyed through a series of monumental works from which surfaces the essentiality of geometry.
The Norman Basilica itself, the most impressive ancient monument in the park, is the setting for another particularly difficult installation created especially for the event: Diagonale rossa (Red diagonal), a more that 25 metres long plinth in multilayer wood which crosses the nave and metaphorically breaks down the ogive on the front facade. It represents an ancestral mark showing the infinite line without renouncing its physical and material presence.
Another particularly significant work in Intersezioni 2011 is Cerchio Imperfetto (Imperfect ring), a huge 10 meters high red square with curved corners which re-establishes the borders of the Forum that was the central square of the ancient Minervia Scolacium. As a result of this artistic action the place undergoes a critical examination. The exhibition is titled after the work Cerchio imperfetto, which forms its symbol according to a research where a margin is detected between the platonic ideal of perfection and its fulfilment. “Language can develop only through imperfection and by doing so it avoids to freeze in a sterile and useless perfection”, declares Staccioli.
In the Forum are situated three 4 meters high rounds in concrete which create a synergistic area and unpredictable variations inside a space which recovers its dynamism through a linguistic alternation with many consequences. As Gillo Dorfles says, Staccioli gives birth in the park to a particularly significant wide range of signs.
The Roman Theatre as well is transformed through the addition of a large 15 metres high arch which evokes the semi-spherical pattern of the ancient building.
Alberto Fiz explains: “Staccioli never abuses of history, but rather traces and underlines it with a series of elements which seem to frame it in a time without time”.
This sculpture titled Da sinistra a destra (From left to right) stands out like the symbol of exchange, the peremptory crossing of a border in constant relationship with the world. The arch communicates with Prismoidi (Prisms), 11 sculptures described by Staccioli: “They seem to be dices thrown on the table in a casual manner to define the multiplicity of orientations and points of view in a bewildering precarious arrangement”.
Beyond to the installations in the Scolacium Site, the MARCA hosts an historical exhibition of Staccioli's works of art, a series of rare concrete sculptures, models and drawings focusing on the Seventies, the period during which the artist stood out thanks to highly provocative and often aggressive plastic experimentations which aimed at challenging the social system. Short after this period, was born the renown installation Muro (Wall) presented at the Venice Biennale in 1978. With this work the artist focuses on the impossibility to communicate by creating an access barrier to the place where art is: “My artistic education gains weight in the way I feel politics like a poetic reality, not like the praxis politics”, affirms the artist. He specifies as well: “The creation of a sculpture aims at finding the meaning of existence, space and time, giving a significant form to my and our landscape”. This statement seems to perfectly summarize Intersezioni 2011 project.
The two events, at the Scolacium Site and at the MARCA, allow the visitor to interpret the work of a great maestro, one of the few who remained faithful to the idea that art is the only great utopia.
In the previous editions, Intersezioni hosted some of the most eminent protagonists of Italian and international sculpture like Mimmo Paladino, Jan Fabre, Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley, Stephan Balkenhol, Wim Delvoye, Marc Quinn, Dennis Oppenheim and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
 
The exhibition is completed by a catalogue in Italian and English (published by Electa) of more than 250 pages which also includes historic pictures by Enrico Cattaneo. The catalogue displays also the installations at the Scolacium Park and at the MARCA Museum. In addition to the essay by the curator Alberto Fiz, the volume includes a wide analysis of Staccioli's artistic path by Lorand Hegyi, the director of the Museum Saint-Etienne as well as a critical reappraisal of the Seventies by Marco Bazzini, the director of Pecci Museum in Prato. The catalogue also comprises Claudia Mennillo's examination of the projects not carried out and the analysis of the significant discovery of the amphitheatre in Scolacium Site by the archaeologist Maria Grazia Aisa. Together with a selection of writings by Staccioli, the volume offers an interesting interview by Gillo Dorfles with the artist and a prophetical essay by Giuseppe Panza di Biumo on the relationship between the Italian sculptor and American Minimalism.

Where: Scolacium Archaeological Site at Roccelletta di Borgia (Catanzaro - ITALY)
Every day from 10 am. to 9:30 pm. Free Entrance
MARCA Museum, via Alessandro Turco 63 (Catanzaro - ITALY)
Opening Time: from Tuesday to Sunday 9:30 am. - 1 pm.; 4:30 pm. - 8:30 pm. Closed on Mondays. Admission Fee: 3 Euros. Tel. + 39 (0)961 746 797.
 

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