Lecce. City of Baroque, Culture, Art and of Music. It is a mediterranean crossroads of populations, theater of triumphal defeats and miscellany of epochal victories. Blood infected by the poisons of the tarantula and keeper of the sacred antidote of Saints and Martyrs. Sedimentary culture between innovation and contemporaneity, so as to become an artistic turning point that is not limited to the ancient, the Baroque or the pizzica but, rather, it would be a matter of an uninterrupted dialogue between past and present. An eternal becoming like the music of the great Leccese tenor Tito Schipa or like the poetics of the Novese artist and composer Mirco Marchelli, guest with his exhibition “Voci in capitolo” at the Biscozzi|Rimbaud Foundation in Lecce until 2 July 2023 A firm handshake between two apparently distant epochal representatives who speak to us, in their own way, through their own means of expression. An artistic, historical, musical cultural continuity between the past and the future summarized, in my opinion, in the previously mentioned exhibition combination by Mirco Marchelli, whom we interviewed.
Antonella Buttazzo: How did this project of synergy between art and music come about?
Mirco Marchelli: It was born naturally, considering it as a pure necessity, originating from the desire to create the right balance between my main passions, music and art, and various attempts at transversality and connections with other disciplines, from which I draw daily, i.e. cinema, poetry and literature. For this specific project, the Biscozzi and Rimbaud Foundation, immediately supporting my intentions, has allowed me to develop in the best possible way the need to stage precisely what represents me, i.e. the union of music and painting. This vocal representation brings together the choice of text, indicative for me, as the most musical, or rather a selection of fragments of poems by Edoardo Sanguineti.
In your opinion, are there any messages that need to be conveyed only with a certain means because they are impossible to express differently?
The creative experience allows those who practice it to deal with content even without the need to transmit thoughts, therefore, for the sole pleasure of expressing the taste for the creation, which is the goal I always try to pursue because, as I am passionate about more things and not bound to a specific discipline, the evolution of the discourse often gets tangled where there may be another one. It is therefore also for this reason that in my pictorial works I am always looking for new, stimulating and in my eyes innovative materials: plaster, white cement, white mortar, terracotta, ceramic, wood, fabric, paper, various types of natural colors, among including verdigris and last but not least beeswax, a decisive element for the final result of the work.
Is music, in addition to being a co-protagonist in your works, also a life companion in another way? Or rather, what is your relationship with music and art beyond your work?
Having been musically trained, the deepening of this discipline has strongly conditioned the direction of my research and favoring the projection beyond the material itself. The indications matured, connected to each other, have become the very reason for the attempted completion of a training course, which goes beyond the daily work application. Listening has always belonged to me, but also in the sense of a more analytical research, given the inclination to compose. Participation in musical events, both theatrical and chamber or symphonic, represents for me a moment of deepening, such as the comparison with the great masterpieces from the past in museum contexts, necessary for the stimuli we all feed on.
What dialogue is there between art and music in your works? Does the music or the image come first? How do the works exhibited here fit into your personal research?
Eighteen multi-material works, of equal dimensions, inserted in three rooms, directly connected to three madrigals for six mixed voices, represent a unicum in my production, already largely related to music, in various forms but never so markedly equated to each other, so much so that I would hardly be able to identify the origin of my thought, which is both a reference to tradition and the contemporary: a projection backwards to move forward. My goal is always that of balance, nothing must prevail in the search for a single dialogue and all elements must have their own “voice”. Otherwise then in the end the whole thing, more than a dialogue it would seem like a soliloquy.
What does it mean for you to exhibit at the Biscozzi|Rimbaud Foundation?
Applying myself every day to the study of Domenico Scarlatti’s piano sonatas, the answer that I consider most pertinent is: to reach a goal!
Mirco Marchelli (born in 1963) exhibits for the first time, in the halls of the Biscozzi|Rimbaud Foundation, from 12 February to 2 July 2023, a unique exhibition of its kind, ”Voci in capitolo”, curated by Paolo Bolpagni and Giovanni Battista Martini. The ironically playful character of the artist from Novi Ligure is already evident from the title, which through a series of references to the late sixteenth-century madrigalist and polyphonic composer Gesualdo da Venosa (Venosa, 1566-Gesualdo, 1613) and to our time. With an eclectic and suggestive style, the artist presents a unique dialogue made up of nostalgic notes and figurations, suggested by the objects used in the material works (wood, fabric, ceramics, sheets), which accompanies the viewer in the stimulating exhibition created starting from a past stripped of that melancholic guise of remembrance to give rise to the creative engine of the exhibition design created by the curators.
Mirco Marchelli. Voci in capitolo
curated by Paolo Bolpagni and Giovanni Battista Martini
12/02/2023 – 2/07/2023
Fondazione Biscozzi | Rimbaud
Piazzetta Giorgio Baglivi 4, Lecce
After obtaining the high school languages diploma, she continued her studies graduating in Art History at the University of Salento, with a bilingual thesis on the Pre-Raphaelites. Since then, she has been actively contributing as a columnist and collaborator with national blogs and with local magazines and TV programs.