Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Bologna- Fronte e retro (Front & back), the solo exhibition by Italo Zuffi (Imola, 1969) curated by Lorenzo Balbi and Davide Ferri opened at MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna on January 20, 2022 and will be visible at the museum until May 1, 2022. 
The exhibition project, which will continue later in the space of Palazzo De' Toschi, allows to present for the first time in an extensive way the work of one of the most important Italian artists born in the late 1960s. Fronte e retro is ideally divided into two moments, capable of recalling and relaunching each other: on the one hand, at MAMbo, an itinerary that allows the artist's work to be reread taking into account a spectrum of works ranging from the beginning, in the mid-1990s, until 2020. On the other hand, at Palazzo De' Toschi a series of new productions, of works created for the occasion and in reaction to the characteristics of the space, touches on some of the nodal aspects of his recent research. 
 The exhibition, as a whole, revolves around some thematic focal points that have always sustained Zuffi's work and that are translated into contrasts and oppositions that can act on the body (sometimes that of the artist himself) as well as on the sculptural form: between the ideas of construction and at the same time of destruction/fall; of work and, at the same time, of energy dispersion; of softness and rigidity; of fragility and competition. The works presented at MAMbo - pieces of sculpture, photography, video and performance, languages around which Zuffi's poetics has developed over time - reconstruct the artist's path through new combinations and without necessarily following a chronological progression. The works exhibited, more than fifty, generate new hypotheses of dialogue between them putting together the best known and emblematic of the artist to some of those less seen. Among them, for example, two videos from the beginning: The Reminder, the image of a body that stretches and stiffens up to the limit of its possibilities, and Perimetro, in which a body tries to establish its relationship with the space generating a sense of waiting and perpetual irresolution. 
The Sala delle Ciminiere, on the other hand, brings out some of the most important aspects of the artist's sculptural practice, through a selection of Scomposizioni and Osservatori trasportabili, created at the turn of the 1990s and 2000s around the idea of architecture, in direct dialogue with the spaces recovered from Aldo Rossi's project, up to a series of easels, emblematic object of his practice, recalling an idea of work and sculpture that can show itself as it unfolds, without necessarily finding a definitive form, and The mystery boy, a series of images in which we see a boy, lying on the floor, who seems to invest all the energy and concentration of which he is capable around an apparently useless action. Particular attention is dedicated to the works that the artist brings together under the theme of competition: Italo Zuffi explores "from the inside" the mechanisms of power - especially of the contemporary art system - as they are reflected both in the institutions that represent and support them, and in society in general. He subverts them, ridicules them, interprets them with actions, performances and happenings capable of involving the public and becoming works/traces in the exhibition. 
The exhibition at Palazzo De' Toschi focuses mainly on sculptural practice, configured as a faithful reproduction of a form, and questioning of the same through intrusions and fragmentations. This part of the project, moreover, highlights one of the fundamental aspects of Zuffi's research in recent years: that of the investigation around the word, used both in poetic form (a collection of short poetic texts by the artist, written between 2013 and 2014, is entitled Poesie Doppie) and as an element from which the sculptural form is generated.

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