Inside the framework of the 14th edition of CyFest, called Ferment: Metamorphoses and Reflections, the video installation titled ‘Fragile’, by MASBEDO, was presented to the New York public. The project, curated by Valentino Catricalà, curator of the SODA Gallery in Manchester, opened on December 3rd 2022 in the prestigious venue of the National Art Club. This is one of the most historic art/cultural clubs in the United States: founded in 1898, it has had among its members important personalities of the American art world.
The artwork, again in the program of one of the previous editions of CyFest, the world’s largest travelling festival dedicated to the relationship between art and technology, had already been showed inside the spaces of the Annenkirche Church, in St. Petersburg, where this event was born in 2007. In this further exhibition experience, the artistic intervention dialogues harmoniously with the architectural features of the location, thanks to the compatibility existing between the classical style of the National Art Club and that of the setting of the video, recorded in the rooms of the Royal Sabauda Gallery Museum in Turin.
The work, created in 2016, stages a young man visiting the rooms of the Gallery, in the presence of a peacock that seems to be under his taking care. Walking through masterpieces from art history, the presence of the peacock – without telling now about its iconographic heritage – refers to the sense of instability typical of life, as well as to the poetic beauty hidden in this condition. Indeed, in the video, we can see that the animal, an old specimen, is not able to stand on its own feet and to open its majestic tail. The image is made even more intense by the emptiness of the rooms, where the echo of the protagonists’ footsteps and movements can be heard echoing. The figure of the peacock, therefore, is to be read as a metaphor for a dimension of beauty that, in the contemporary world, appears increasingly weighed down by the carelessness of time lived. On this basis, the category of fragility recalled in the title rightly seems to suggest a reflection on the transience of beauty but, at the same time, it also seems to evoke the regenerative power constitutive of art and its history.
Moreover, the artwork, by another point of view, well represents the entity of MASBEDO’s language, which is marked by an expressive code that looks at video, installation, cinema, performance, avant-garde theatre and sound design, seeking points of contact and balance between these different practices. So, by observing “Fragile” in this additional curatorial configuration, it is possible also to perceive the fundamental value played by both the immersive and performative aspects with which the duo uses to approach the development of its operations. “Fragile”, at the National Art Club in New York, is on view until January 3rd 2023.
curated by Valentino Catricalà
National Art Club
15 Gramercy Pk S, New York, NY 10003
Contemporary art critic and curator, he has curated exhibitions in galleries, independent and institutional spaces. He has lectured in Italy and abroad. His texts and research are published in catalogs, sector magazines, gallery editions and monographs. He is the curator of artist archives, contributor to specialized magazines and press offices. He collaborates with foundations, public museums, publishing houses and universities on research and curatorial projects.