Title: Veglia
Curated by: Bruno Corà
Fondazione Volume!, Rome [Italy]
Date: 17 May – 28 July 2018



Bassiri returns to Fondazione VOLUME! eighteen years after his first exhibition, marking one more stage on the journey he began in Palermo. Celebrating the history of Frederick II and the syncretism typical of Sicilian tradition, the exhibition will move on to Iran and, ideally, end on the banks of the Baltic Sea.
Initiating the “mystic voyage” in the gallery on Via San Francesco di Sales is a polished bronze Erme (Herms) accompanied by a similarly polished bronze Bastone (Poles) whose surface reflects the surrounding space. Darkness and sudden flashes of light lead to the panel Evaporazione (Evaporation), a detail of La Battaglia (The Battle), from which emerge images suggestive of battling figures, symbolizing the fate of the hero. Made with sulphur, black smoke and white titanium, the work ties in with the pavement, which is completely covered with small fragments of lava stone.
The dramaturgy staged by Bassiri in VOLUME! hinges on Sarcophago (Sarcophagus), a monumental black monolith inspired by a rock from the Baltic Sea. Its powerful, evocative presence alters viewers’ perception of the entire space. The sculpture appears as a sort of reclining sleeper, the sarcophagus of a hero returned to history, a presence capable of transforming the room into a sacred space in which intense energy is drawn to the material and the black oil reflecting it. The encounter and fusion of the diverse elements of ‘Veglia’, as well as the variety of traditions evoked by Bassiri, create a synthesis of the artist’s vision of the world of today.