“Home” for Manuela Bedeschi means “feeling at home”. It may be for this reason that her historical neon lights with the word “home” found a home until 11 September 2022 in the Palladian Villa Caldogno in the homonymous town near Vicenza.
Occupying spaces with light, deforming perceptions as Dan Flavin already did or indicating what must be reflected upon as Baldessari suggested, has the urgency that betrays centuries of history deposited in the aristocratic hinterland of Veneto.
The exhibition, as the curator Maria Luisa Ferraguti writes, “goes beyond the limit of works in order to involve every creative possibility of Bedeschi’s past and present, to summarize her entire poetics in the title of dedication Ai poeti. The works absorb the aesthetic emotion of the frescoed walls chromatism and expand the climate of the vastness of the architectural space; they enhance it to the point of implementing an immersive situation in the rooms characterized by lost artfully obscured iconographies”.
Thoughts not contextualized like those of Barbara Kruger, slogans and invitations cut the corners of the rooms, softening the rigor of Renaissance perspectives. Order cannot sustain the need to think, to listen, to be free. The language is a light sign, pop, the intention is to change, not the world but perhaps only oneself, with words.
On the ground floor of the Villa the rooms are illuminated by GUARDA PENSA ASCOLTA (LOOK THINK LISTEN) and with Latin writings of scholastic and religious memory, such as PAX TIBI, VOLA e SOGNA (FLY and DREAM), a hope and a wish.
But on the walls also stand out samples of the other operating methods of the artist, who is also the sculptor of the new ephemeral works made with the light and rediscovered tissue paper.
Early works with the first word CASA (HOME), but also a PICCOLO QUADRO GIALLO (SMALL YELLOW PAINTING) from almost three decades ago, where to say home she drew a chair. And then SCRIPTA MANENT, “a great truth that guides me in part of my work”, explains the artist.
It is Bedeschi herself who has taken care of the set-up in its details, the display cases, the supports, the arrangement. “All these works are interchangeable and can be reassembled, they must adapt to the places and my mood of the moment”.
On the main floor of the Villa the artist created site specific works. Among these, the words HUMANITAS FELICITAS LIBERTAS are part of the group of works dedicated to her personal research on our original language, Latin. Large backlit panels make up the series of monochromes created by layering over time passages of color, interruptions and resumptions, second thoughts and uncertainties.
In the darkness of the room there are questions about listening, everyday questions, apparently banal, “but in fact basic, followed by absolutely superficial and distracted answers”.
Manuela Bedeschi. Ai poeti
25/06/2022 – 11/09/2022
curated by Maria Lucia Ferraguti
Hours: Friday 15-18 – Saturday and Sunday 9-12 and 15-18
Complesso Monumentale Palladiano di Villa Caldogno
via G. Zanella 36030 Caldogno (VI)
Manuela Bedeschi, MONOCROMO, 2022, mixed media on canvas, led light, courtesy the artist
Manuela Bedeschi, ASCOLTARSI, 2022, mixed media on canvas, neon and plexi, led light, courtesy the artist
He is an art critic and professor of Contemporary Art History at IUSVE. He also teaches Critical Image Reading at the Palladio Institute of Design in Verona and Contemporary Art at the Master of Publishing at the University of Verona. He has curated several contemporary art exhibitions in unconventional places. He is the artistic director of the Grenze Photography Festival. He is a theater critic for national magazines and newspapers. He organizes research and experimentation theatrical events. Among the recent publications Frame – Videoarte e dintorni for the University Library, Lo Sguardo della Gallina for Lazy Dog Editions and for Mimemsis Smagliature in 2018 and 2021 for the same publishing house, Theater and photography.