Title: La Caduta delle Meteoriti
Curated by: Bruno Corà
Location: Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Venice [Italy]
Date: 1 June – 27 November 2011
Together with the Direzione Generale per la Valorizzazione del Patrimonio culturale del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, the Polo Museale for the city of Venice and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale of Venice are hosting a solo exhibition of Bizhan Bassiri in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in the current site of the Procuratie Nuove.
Curated by Bruno Corà, the exhibition presents the complex of works of the artist’s sculptural cycle, La caduta delle meteoriti. Begun in Belgium in 2009 and thereafter exhibited in a number of prestigious spaces in Florence and Rome, the cycle has reached the Museo Archeologico Nazionale of Venice. Bizhan Bassiri has given the title La caduta delle meteoriti to an ample body of work that, after years of perseverance, has become emblematic of the artist’s plastic conception. Since the beginning of his career in Rome in the early 80s, his vision has been oriented by his Magmatic Thought (1984) and Manifesto of Magmatic Thought (1986).
The inspiration for Bassiri’s sculptural work came from an epiphany experienced by the artist regarding the close correspondence between the intuitive process involved in the artist’s transformative processing of matter and the constant incipience of the planet’s volcanic activity. In 1979, while on Mt Vesuvius, Bassiri was deeply moved by the sight of the crater. From that moment, in the artist’s mind, the pair of terms “eruption-intuition” merged into a single concept that became the generative principle of his entire corpus.
The cycle of works to be exhibited in Venice, La caduta delle meteoriti, began from certain creations made in the open air outside of his studio in Tuscany, in the “terre senesi”, where rugged moonlike hills alternate with lush green valleys. The imposing group of bronze works constitute the base of exhibitions held in Ghent, Belgium in the Cathedral of St Bavo and the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, in Florence in the Galleria dell’Accademia, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, in Rome in the Acquario and Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina and in still other venues. Now they will take their place among the Greek and Roman marble statues, reliefs, inscriptions, busts and ancient portraits, not to mention the Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities of the Museo Nazionale Archeologico of Venice.
The exhibition is designed according to a specific critical project that radicalizes the presence of Bassiri’s work, almost exclusively made of steel and bronze with black patina and placed beside important examples of ancient white marble sculptures. Thus it embodies the dialectical relation between ancient and contemporary sculpture, generating moments of reflection on the plastic arts and their evolution over time.