Elisabetta Benassi. Voglio fare subito una mostra
texts by Maria Centonze, Beatrice Merz, Luca Lo Pinto e Olaf Nicolai
format: 14,5 x 21 cm
date of publication: November 2013
The catalogue was published on the occasion of the Voglio fare subito una mostra exhibition featuring Elisabetta Benassi at the Fondazione Merz running from 15 May 2012 to 8 September 2013.
“The exhibition is divided into different moments, starting with the large installation of the fishing boat ’beached’ in the rooms of the Fondazione with a car hanging from its stern (Mareo Merz, 2013). Months earlier, a newspaper report contained the image of a boat whose swollen nets contained another boat. The artist mentally appropriated this surreal vision, processed it and returned it, rich in new content. Elisabetta Benassi’s research always leads to the discovery of what time has allowed to sediment in things: not only the visible traces of the processes of transformation of matter, but the soul of things given to them by those who have owned them or only lived in them for brief periods, imbuing them with moods, laughter, sleep and exhausting vigils. [...] And here, after ten years, a car, one belonging to Mario Merz, re-emerges from the memory of many. The big boat wraps it in its nets, keeping it suspended. This has nothing in common with the lives of so many people who could say so much about that boat. But stories intertwine, even if only for an instant or for a few months, and can become a shared history; objects come together because of a will that is the result of a thought, the result in turn of reflections that cross the path of many. After having spent a long time looking at all this, and with a mental gap of a few decades and a few thousand kilometres, we stop in front of the small image of a Vietcong taking shelter beneath a black umbrella. Camouflage? (2013). But what is he sheltering from? From the sun or from the cruelty of a war that has lost its meaning before it even had one? Many of us have lived through that war, from a long way off, of course, but we heard its echoes clearly and defined the unease of an incomprehensible world through it. On the floor, Mario Merz’s neon Solitario Solidale (1968) underlines the virtual closeness to the solitude of the soldier cause by an intolerable event. Intolerable like the too many ghost factories haunted by the reverberations of noises lost in time, when the tables of the workers’ canteens used to echo with the noises of a meal consumed in a hurry and with the desire for the day of hard work on the assembly lines to end quickly. The bare, immaculate table in Pausa lavoro (2013) that Elisabetta Benassi has reproduced, evoking Merz’s Fibonacci Napoli (1971) with its canteens closely packed with workers in Naples, perhaps accommodates once again the idea of the ghost that remains in everything that has willingly or unwillingly become history. A deafening motor reproduces and imitates the sounds of chairs moved randomly by the workers who leave them to rush to their workplaces in an alienating, though indispensable, job. [...] The artist’s exhibition continues in this key, trying to capture through objects the thought that they conceal, restoring universality to the fragmentation of everyone’s emotions and writing for all the story of everyone and the story of all for each”. (Maria Centonze)
The book reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition and is enriched with texts by Maria Centonze, Beatrice Merz, Luca Lo Pinto and Olaf Nicolai.