The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer claimed that 'talent hits a target that no one else can hit; genius hits a target that no one else can see'. Geniuses are constantly in search of new ideas, they imagine things that their works can then reveal to us, things that we would otherwise never see. It is pure gratuitousness: acts of love, forms of struggle and resistance to forgetfulness. Among the 'geniuses' of the art of our time, Fabrizio Plessi knows how to observe reality with eyes other than the ordinary ones, to give us back, in the form of images, what we are unable to focus on.
Light, Sound and Images
Until 7 January 2024, Plessi marries Brixia is a journey highlighting the city's heritage, reinterpreted through the artist's technological and multimedia alphabet, with light, sound and moving images, which is completed by an exhibition of drawings, plates and original project sketches. The initiative, curated by Ilaria Bignotti and promoted by the Municipality of Brescia and the Brescia Musei Foundation, is the new chapter of the Archaeological Stages format and is part of the calendar of events of Bergamo Brescia Italian Capital of Culture 2023. A catalogue published by Skira accompanies the project.
"Marrying art has always been a dream for every artist for centuries, an impossible dream. Now, thanks to Brixia, this dream becomes a stupendous and luminous reality," Fabrizio Plessi explains, describing the unprecedented project with which he arrives in Brescia: an immersive journey of installations, video projections and digital environments conceived for the Archaeological Park of Roman Brescia and the Museum of Santa Giulia. "I am an archetype of all the endings that come from the future, so for me this is an unconsciously clear and traced journey," continues Plessi. In this way, the artist celebrates a marriage with the city, delivering to the public a message of responsibility and awareness of Brescia's historical, archaeological and iconographic heritage.
A reflection on human existence
Starting with the suggestion of the vitality of molten gold and the victory over the blackness of death, the artist fuels a profound reflection on human existence, embedding the digital and multimedia element in the material and monumental heritage of Roman, Longobard and Renaissance Brixia and thus making the museum space even more vital.
An act of love
"Plessi has married Brescia: his designing works for the city, for its heritage, is an act of love, an act, also, of faith in history and in what mankind over time knows how to build, tell, imagine. The concept of fidelity, the sense of the monument, the value of time and temporal succession, the vanitas of earthly things and power compared to the solidity of the feeling of the human are in fact the themes at the centre of the exhibition project, which is completed by the cahier du dessin feverishly produced by Plessi between 2020 and 2023: more than eighty original project plates are displayed in the Sala dell'Affresco of the Museo di Santa Giulia, to narrate the creative process and the imaginative gearing that underlies Plessi marries Brixia, offering a privileged and extremely rare lens of vision of that ideational, laboratory and often hidden phase of the artist that represents the womb from which his works emerge," says curator Ilaria Bignotti.
A great majestic temple
"When I started talking to Fabrizio Plessi about Brescia, it was March 2020: in those days squeezed between the silence of tragedy and the sirens of fear, I thought that the father of video art and video installations in Italy might have told me that he had lost a lot, if I had not let him discover the architectural, artistic and archaeological heritage of my city, much of which is preserved and enhanced by the Brescia Musei Foundation," Bignotti continues. 'And I also thought that my city would have lost a lot, if it had not been able to see the works resulting from Fabrizio Plessi's encounter with our city's heritage. But those were the months of the pandemic, the times of the first lockdown. Nobody could and would move easily. But I could tell him this thought: I told him, over the phone, that he absolutely could not miss the privilege of seeing, and getting to know, a great temple that rises majestically, defying the passing of the centuries, whose great halls hold words engraved on stones to reveal a history of families and deeds, and a sculpture of a victorious female divinity, kept hidden and protected during the wars and saved twice, thanks to a splendid restoration."
Imagining, drawing, writing...
"Plessi was inflamed by my proposal: when he received the museum guides and catalogues in the mail, he told me he had already seen enough. He called me after two months: 'You absolutely must come and see what I have done'. He had drawn, imagined, written dozens and dozens of plates. He had seen what he had not yet seen for real: and he was ready to show it to me, to show it to us,' the curator concludes.
The sense of the ephemeral
A cycle of works developed over the last three years for Brescia and nourished by the reflection on the vanity of the human being in the face of the human tragedies of recent times, made evident by pandemics and wars. An exhibition of over 80 drawings and five monumental installations to reflect on the concept of the ephemeral in some of the most significant places of our monumental heritage.