Superblast at Manifattura Tabacchi: a project of c...

Superblast at Manifattura Tabacchi: a project of contemporary fluidity

“Superblast” (from sùper, «above», and from -blasto, «seed») indicates something large, which has yet to be born. This is the premise of the first edition of the artist residency project promoted by NAM – Not a Museum, Manifattura Tabacchi’s contemporary art programme, with an international call for artists and a focus on multidisciplinarity and sustainability. The path shared by participants, project curator Caterina Taurelli Salimbeni, the environment that welcomed them and the expertise made available, led to outcomes that will be in continuous germination over time. The exhibition took place in September 2021 in a three-day event, just a little piece of an “organism” aimed at breathing and evolving. Edoardo Aruta (1981, Rome); Antonio Bermúdez Obregón (1991, Bogotá); Federica di Pietrantonio (1996, Rome); Oliviero Fiorenzi (1992, Osimo); Ipercollettivo [Giulia Landini (1992, Prato); Lorenzo Romaniello (1988, Pistoia)]; Lorenzo Vacirca (1988, Prato); Marco Conti (1988, Prato)] and Violette Maillard (1984, Bourg la Reine) created a multi-centered show that denies any type of linearity, beyond the boundaries of conventional exhibition concept. “Superblast” is a design system devoted to a plurality of environments, shapes and evolutions, whether they are extra-ordinary or extra-human; it is the will to question about making art in a world full of dichotomies and catastrophes, and regarding a new ecological vision. The artists adapt their research to these areas and produce six site – specific and open projects. The Manifattura space is itself experiencing a redevelopment and layering process, constantly changing and evolving, as these artworks, after the physical presentation period, place themselves in another dimension that lies somewhere between the real and the virtual.

Edoardo Aruta presents La Furia del Dire, a starting point for an aspiring return to activism at the forefront, inspired by the musical and social phenomenon of the “Posse”. Through an archive of samples recorded on vinyls and connected to what happened in Italy in the last 40 years, he comes to a multi-authorial work. DJs are invited to interact with historical documents and to handle a wide range of possibilities generated by experimentation and collectivity. This project is a fundamental one, able to encourage participation, a creator of socially and conceptually shared spaces. It is conceived to expand itself, by implementing the artist’s both personal and universal archive and collection of contributions.

Antonio Bermúdez Obregón in Nature is not green proposes a laudable statement against the hypocrisy of many contemporary ecological campaigns.  An immersive installation juxtaposes two environments situated at opposite points of our Planet (Brazil and the Netherlands) to underline how these two landscapes are ironically united by the political and economic logic of the capitalist system, which dominates nature by the control over its image.

The contradiction between apparent and real in this work allows consider it as open to future developments as possible.

Federica di Pietrantonio with Not so far away defines the method for a new state of nature, developed by a collaborative process of collective playdate sessions. A common and everyday technology, which enables us to investigate the gap between urban spaces, natural landscapes, post-apocalyptic environments, reaching a non-existent land, open to continuous and fully reversible movements. The chance of provoking a non-permanent impact on the environment around us spreads questions that contribute in developing the work, both by the visitor and by the artist, with future playdates and an increase in the video archive.

Oliviero Fiorenzi divides his artistic practice between the studio and public space. 4 – 20 Airmarks is one of the two works to be permanently placed in Giardino della Ciminiera. The continuous change of this kinetic sculpture in relation to atmospheric events, will never make it equal to itself. With this installation the artist gives a collective dimension to his individual mythology, made up of memories and stratification, which he offers to the public and the context producing a range of interpretations in persistent evolution. The amazement of the child in front of a pinwheel is the same that captures the viewer in this work and its variations, together with the one of the artist, determined to extend this research here developed.

Ipercollettivo, a multidisciplinary artist collective formed by four professionals united by a common vision on art, architecture and nature, creates Micromegàsuoni. The other permanent work is composed of two elements, conceived as an experiential bridge between urban and natural settings. The wooden artefacts situated one in the Manifattura space and the other in a forest, have the task of involving the viewers on a social level, changing their behavior and inducing them to contemplate and listen, thanks to the shape of the installations. The project is a result of field study, aggregation activities, discussions and attempts; it is collective because actually based on several levels of sharing. The “box” located in the city travelled to Perugia on occasion of the Green Table Forum and other events are planned, with the desire to enhance the topic.

Violette Maillard proposes Bargaruda I, an on-going project which involves the creation of a sculpture and continues with the movement it entails. Moving into the liminal space between creative thought, science and industry, the artist has conceived a futuristic sidecar. The artwork includes a Gilera 150 Sport chassis, a hull made of modular, thin-film solar panels and an electric engine. The project aims to explore, on an individual and collective level, the contemporary issue of energy transition with its paradoxes, embodied in this case by a vehicle emblematic of internal combustion and modified in its “heart”, subsequently in its form. Bargaruda I is energy in power: from sculpture it will become a vehicle, on its journey towards Monza racetrack scheduled for spring 2022. The garments designed by the artist for the road trip are considered further mobile sculptures that will be implemented in the future.

“Superblast” as a multidimensional project is transformed into an online exhibition on the site, designed and developed by Federica di Pietrantonio, an archive where the research that fueled each work is deposited, extending it over time, in a deeply playful, interactive way, which intertwine digital and physical environments. In December 2021, “Superblast” will end with a publishing project edited by NERO Editions with an interdisciplinary study of post-anthropocentric thought. These kinds of projects deserve particular praise: they are essential and a natural consequence of the hybrid and fluid contemporary reality we are immersed in.

Caterina Fondelli


Manifattura Tabacchi
Via delle Cascine, 35
50144 Firenze
Per tutti gli approfondimenti sugli artisti, i progetti e la mostra online:

Oliviero Fiorenzi, 4-20 Airmarks, ph. Leonardo Morfini, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze

Antonio Bermudez, Nature Is Not Green, ph. Leonardo Morfini, ADRYA, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze

Iper-Collettivo, Micromegásuoni, ph. Leonardo Morfini, ADRYA, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze

Edoardo Aruta, La Furia del Dire, ph. Leonardo Morfini, ADRYA, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze

Federica Di Pietrantonio, Not So Far Away, ph. Leonardo Morfini, ADRYA, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze

Violette Maillard, Bargaruda I, ph. Alessandro Fibbi, courtesy Manifattura Tabacchi, Firenze


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