curated by Lorenzo Benedetti
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
September 13 – November 4 2017
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents “Reversed Theatre”, a solo exhibition of works by Fabrizio Cotognini. Born in Macerata in 1983, over the years Cotognini developed an approach based on a constant comparison between different historical periods and the present time. The artist’s in-depth study of art history and archaeology led him to appropriate specific tools, techniques, and even display modes, which he carries to extremes and introduces into the contemporary lexicon through his works.
In “Reversed Theatre” his interest in archaeology turns to a different temporal setting, that of the most famous work by Wolfgang von Goethe. “Faust”, a famous melodramatic poem composed in stages between 1772 and 1831, tells the story of Doctor Faust, an illustrious scientist, and of his pact with the devil Mephistopheles. Cotognini rereads the literary work, focusing primarily on its rise to the status of myth, and creates a version of it for a paper theater. The drawings, sculptures, notes and other material in the exhibition encapsulate, through a constant layering of identities, all the historical events, re-readings, analyses, and interpretations that have focused on “Faust”, from the year it was written to the present time. In the images for the project, the timeless sense of unrest of the protagonist spreads to mythological-religious figures and the objects of the contemporary world, seeping into the eternal behavior patterns of yesterday and today. “Reversed Theatre” originates in a zero dimension, in which ancient engravings and prestigious architectural projects are attributed new meanings in light of the protagonists’ life story. The exhibition is therefore designed as a stage, on which the imaginary story of Faust meets and merges with its influence on contemporary culture. At the same time, Cotognini codifies a language that aims to leave its staging support, and invite spectators to get involved.
“Reversed Theatre” is part of an art project which, besides Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, sees the participation of Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, of Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and of the Visioni Future Association, Potenza. The project was launched following the artist residency program, which Visioni Future has carried out for some years now in Potenza, Basilicata. Fabrizio Cotognini’s own residency took place in 2016 for a three-month period, under curator Lorenzo Benedetti of Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Cotognini’s project, a first stage of which ended between 2016 and 2017 with the exhibition “Is a Question of Time” at the Museo Archeologico Provinciale in Potenza, now continues with a second stage from September 2018, at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, with the exhibition “Reversed Theatre”. The third and fourth stages of the project, respectively to be held at Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples and at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, will be completed in late 2018 and in the first half of 2019. The whole project, as well as the individual exhibiting events, is curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and sponsored by Regione Basilicata.
Fabrizio Cotognini (1983, Macerata)
Lives and works in Civitanova Marche
Among his solo exhibitions are: “Is a Question of Time”, Museo Archeologico, Potenza (2016), “Pillow book”, in the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library at the American Academy, Rome (2016). His work was included in collective exhibitions at National Gallery Tiblisi, Georgia (2018), Castel Sant’Elmo, Naples (2018), He.Ro Gallery, Amsterdam (2018)
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