Bertozzi & Casoni. Minimi Avanzi

The strength of fragility

30 MAY 2017,
Bertozzi & Casoni, “Resistenza 2”, 2017, ceramica policroma, cm. 300 x 124
Bertozzi & Casoni, “Resistenza 2”, 2017, ceramica policroma, cm. 300 x 124

The inauguration of the exhibition Bertozzi & Casoni. Minimi Avanzi was scheduled for November 26th at the Pinacoteca Civica in Ascoli Piceno; the first exhibition of the famous duo in the Marche region. But the seismic events that struck the Marche, and in particular the provinces of Ascoli Piceno and Macerata, holding the breath of whole Italy, inevitably determined the procrastination of the show. Four months after these terrible events, the exhibition was inaugurated with the same exhibition project curated by Stefano Papetti, Elisa Mori, Giorgia Berardinelli and Silvia Bartolini in the spaces of the Pinacoteca Civica, a charming aristocratic palace caretaker of precious masterpieces such as San Francesco riceve le stigmate by Titian, Annunciazione by Guido Reni, Passeggiata amorosa by Pellizza da Volpedo.

In this way an original and unreleased dialogue was recreated between the historical collection of the Pinacoteca and the 24 works by Bertozzi & Casoni, who for the occasion have also created an unusually large installation conceived precisely for the museum spaces. Bertozzi & Casoni. Minima Avanzi looks at some of the themes of Bertozzi & Casoni's poetics such as food (leftover banquets, garbage cans, bins, cans, etc.) in addition to flowers, butterflies, animals, newspapers and other elements of daily life ingeniously assembled in unusual still lifes made of polychrome ceramics, where ceramic also represents a connection with the Marche region that boasts a long and important tradition in this field. A consumer society and in particular a waste disposal society is inevitably a society that creates waste, waste of any kind, not just waste of consumer goods, but also cultural and artistic waste and Bertozzi & Casoni are fully aware of them in their famous sculptures where there are for example the Brillo box related to Pop Art movement or the famous "artist's shit" by Piero Manzoni.

With skillful mastery Bertozzi & Casoni create sculptures constantly in balance between formal hyperrealism and compositional surrealism by redeeming those "leftovers" from their fallen destiny and raising them to real works of art, regenerating and purifying that process of consumption and wear, stimulating the observer approaching the beauty and precision of composition, and sometimes disgusting for the subjects represented, to a deeper and certainly not boring reflection about the implications of the processes in place in our society such as consumerism but also the reflection on the fragility of the human condition (the use of porcelain) and the aspiration to eternity, to overcome death, the end (the use of waste that becomes works of art).

A beautiful and interesting exhibition, able to offer different points of reflection where high and low, contemporary and historicized, the finite and the infinite find a common dimension and harmony accompanying us on a path that is also a cathartic path of purifying. A recovery of the awareness of our finitude and fragility that allows us to say what said Vittorino Andreoli in his The Man of Glass: "I strongly feel the desire to reveal my fragility, to show it to all those who meet me, who see me, as was my main identification of man, man in this world. At one time, I was taught to hide the weaknesses, not to show my defects, which would have prevented me from highlighting my praises and making me estimate. Now I want to talk about my fragility, not to mask it, I believe it is a force that helps to live."