The open studio of Collegio Venturoli: a pleasant ...

The open studio of Collegio Venturoli: a pleasant confirmation

Among the most interesting opportunities that were offered during Art City 2024 we cannot fail to mention the OPEN STUDIO of Fondazione Collegio Artistico Venturoli, which took place last February 3, 2024. The exhibition and training project showcased for the first time and exclusively the search by the five young talents who were awarded the prestigious artistic residency began in the autumn of 2023. The doors of the college remained open all day, and visitors were able to admire both its incredible architecture and the studios of the artists Nicola Bizzarri, Federico Falanga, Chiara Innocenti Sedili, Elena Vignoli and Aurora Vinci, located on three levels of the late 17th century building.

Federico Falanga, “Trib.n.4-F.F.2023-24V”, 2023, welded aluminium, pla printing, led, 50 x 40 x 4 cm, courtesy Collegio Venturoli

The first artist I had the pleasure of dealing with is Federico Falanga (Bologna, 1995) who graduated in art graphics in Urbino in 2019, and in the two-year specialist course in Painting-Visual Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna in 2022. He uses drawing as his main medium, supported by pictorial production, driven by an interest in design and experimentation with languages: ceramics, 3D printing and multimedia light installations. Inside the studio we can see multiple lamps derived from the assembly of various parts of objects that originally had another purpose and meaning. «What you see now – he explains to me – is aesthetically manipulated, it has my own vibration. Now these objects have an antifunction. Like this mosquito lamp you see, it no longer has the chip inside it that kills mosquitoes. Its aggressiveness remained only in aesthetics. That is, a lamp with stings and thorns. In fact it doesn’t work, and so it becomes an artistic object».  Everything I’m watching is absolutely brilliant. I confess that I would immediately like one of these lamps in my home. Federico is extremely creative and practical. His is clearly an art that arrives and strikes. We will certainly see him around a lot in the coming years.

Aurora Vinci’s studio at Collegio Venturoli in Bologna, courtesy Collegio Venturoli

The second studio that I have the pleasure of visiting is that of Aurora Vinci (Bologna, 1997), who, after graduating in painting from the artistic high school in her hometown, enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ravenna specializing in mosaic. She decides to resume studying painting at the Bologna Academy, starting research focused on secondary suburban landscapes, the same places where she spent her childhood. In 2019, after a six-month Erasmus experience in Normandy, she rediscovered her interest in pictorial material. She studies how the latter can take on various forms, taking inspiration from the movements of contemporary dance, which she practiced for fourteen years. In July 2023 she graduated from the two-year course in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome with a thesis focused on the study of the landscape of Emilia Romagna, a theme on which her current pictorial works are based which open a reflection on climate change, the effects of which we were able to experience closely with the recent flood in Emilia Romagna. I must admit, there is a welcoming and melancholic atmosphere in her studio, I would like to stay here for days and get lost in the precious paintings and photographs with which all the walls are covered. There is a lot of poetry in the colors she decides to bring out; I feel like I’ve just stepped out of a Twin Peaks landscape.

Nicola Bizzarri, “Am Ende bleibt nur Ärger (Alla fine rimane solo rabbia)”, 2023, loose bronze horse figurine, 17 x 15 x 0.5 cm, courtesy Collegio Venturoli

The third studio I have the pleasure of joining is that of Nicola Bizzarri (Bologna, 1996), who after graduating in Sculpture in 2018 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna began a course of studies in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, completed in February 2023 presenting the installation-cycle of works” Am Ende bleibt nur Ärger” (In the end only anger remains), which expresses his current interests, combining on multiple levels themes such as identity, narration, production and representation. Nicola presents us with a variety of works, from sculpture to a series of “flags” that recall horses. His work is precise, strong and meticulous, which shines through in all the objects and materials he decides to manipulate to express his art. Meaningful and totally immersive.

Chiara Innocenti Sedili’s studio at Collegio Venturoli in Bologna, courtesy Collegio Venturoli

The tour continues and I meet Chiara Innocenti Sedili (Bologna, 2001), whose works I had already seen and who I finally have the chance to meet in person today. Some info for those who don’t know her: Chiara is attending the two-year course in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Her research focuses on stories: of people and things, on the remains that remain around us and on what we leave and will leave. She observes their relationships and listens to their stories. In fact, it is the word, alternating with sculptural elements, that creates constantly changing environments. The relationship between writing and sculpture is the protagonist of her journey, becoming the key to understanding it. Through the children’s story and its simplicity, it attempts to show these stories, creating a relationship with the space, where they will be presented, written or narrated. Favorite piece? The “floor” that occupies almost half of the artist’s studio. «I tiled myself at a very particular moment, because I had bronchitis» Chiara tells me laughing in front of her site specific work, a tiled floor that clearly recalls an imprisoned body; it is precisely that of the artist. «I’ve been tiling for years now, but it’s still a job that took a long time. It was very complicated since I wanted to bring out these dilated joints in every way and I didn’t want to cut them. I wanted to give the idea of ​​these escapes being expanded due to my body. A body that shouldn’t be there. It’s as if I were hidden down there, even though it’s clear that I shouldn’t be there». Another work strikes me, namely a series of squares drawn and written, then printed on forex. They are a story, the shape certainly takes up that of the tiles, but the center of everything here is the word: «I am also an educator and I have a strong relationship with children. I wrote this story for children which has its peculiarity of being a palindrome. You can read from beginning to end or vice versa. This is a work made up of points of view, also in this case, depending on how the law changes meaning. This is the power of the word». A word that emerges, in a different way from Emilio Isgrò, but which is striking.

Elena Vignoli, “Panico notturno”, 2023, untreated paper, pencil and linseed oil, 50 x 40 cm, courtesy Collegio Venturoli

Finally, in a splendid mezzanine, I discover Elena Vignoli (Bologna, 1998), currently enrolled in the two-year course in Painting and Visual Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. The artist has never tied herself to a single material, perhaps due to a Brancusian influence, but she strongly feels that each material already has its own potential, its own life, even before her intervention. In her early works, the surreal is an essential tool for communicating the most hidden sensations and visions. In the field of painting, she has taken a path that asks “What is representation?”. Always with her gaze as a mirror of society, she decided that in each of her paintings the face of any character would be hers. What I just entered is definitely a surreal and fantastic world. Around me, objects, installations, drawings, sketches and even a niche. «These are all recycled materials – Elena tells me – including my hair. However, I also work with video. I almost always self-reproach. I am passionate about Greek myths and I make many references to them. Mine is a particular world that travels in the dreamlike. What comes out almost always touches the female imagination. I work on fetish and fetishization, both as social criticism and as a vision of small-microclimate». I had already been to the Collegio Venturoli and this brief visit was a confirmation of the great potential that it cyclically manages to accommodate. The artists who will host the ancient walls in these years promise and confirm an art that we necessarily need today. Come by, it’s worth it.



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