Published on Monday, October 3rd , 2011
The study of Mario Mariotti’s operative path is the result of a substantial selection of works and materials from his archive, which moved to Prato at the end of 2010, including works and objects, documents and original images, publications and reviews, memories and artefacts representative of an intense and multi-faceted activity.
A magmatic author and a diligent investigator of visual languages (drawing and graphic design, advertising and publishing, photo projection, painting, sculpture, installation, public action, the extemporaneous speech), Mariotti "has always operated on the artistic margins and the institutions ", as pointed out by critics Lara-Vinca Masini, proposing the reinterpretation and the updating of the cultural roots of Florence, looking for possible connections between its past and its contemporary interpretation through a constant imaginative and productive action.
He was among the founders and leaders of Zona, the an artistic centre self-promoted and self-managed by artists who documented the research of the new avant-garde in Florence. He invented fantastic Animani (1980) and Human (1982) figures, proposed with different medias and spread all over the world through photographs, books, advertising and video. However, what stays in the audience memory are his spectacular urban spaces in Florence: the screening of hundreds of projects on the front of the Holy Spirit (Ball Square, Summer 1980), paving the Cloths of contemporary artists in the windows of the Holy Spirit on the allegorical Fire (Florence, September 21st, 1985), the fireworks for the bicentennial commemoration of the French Revolution on the banks of the Arno (Arno 89, July 14, 1989); "fluid" exhibition of contemporary art fragments in front of the Arno Uffizi (St. John ‘s Altarpiece, June 24th, 1991), exhibition at the ex Stazione Leopolda in Florence consisting of a whole picture gallery of contemporary art literally put on the wall! (October 1995).
The documentation of the articulated image search made by Superstudio continues the recovery action and enhancement of the radical Florentine’s experience, already developed by the Centro Pecci through acquisitions of works and documents or exhibition projects such as the recent proposals for Invitation to Travel at the Pecci Museum in Milan.
The exhibition in Prato presents a series photographic extracted from the archive of Toraldo of France, together with objects, projects, publications and films by Superstudio.
From Superarchitettura (1966-68), proposed "as a tool for the interpretation and description of reality" (Toraldo di Francia), the Florentine group experienced a progressive display of "non-physical ideas of architecture" (Adolfo Natalini), including automatically generating a quantity of "non-continuous three-dimensional diagrams" (Histograms of architecture, 1969), the development of a model of total urbanization (Continuous Monument, 1969-70), the application of illusionistic spatial effects of the mirrors ( reflected Architecture, 1970), the utopian extension of astral space’s architecture (interplanetary Architecture, 1971).
In the visions of 12 Ideal Cities (1971) Superstudio formulated the "premonitions of urbanism ‘s mystical rebirth" also conceived as the "literary parable" based on five fundamental rituals centred on the themes of Life, Education, Ceremony, Love and Death (1971 - 73).
Supersuperficie’s draft, presented in the exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Lanscape at MoMA in New York in 1972, then came to foreshadow "an alternative model of life on earth," rebuilt in 2011 by the Centro Pecci.
The subsequent participation in the Global Tools’ project, which in 1973 took up the work of various groups and individual architects under the label of "radical architecture" (suggested by Germano Celant and indicated by the magazine "Casabella"), led to the conclusion of that experience.
The projects that followed were Lot’s Wife, which focuses on the reproduction of basic geometric shapes, and The Confessions of Zeno, documenting the material culture of civilization, both presented at the 1978’s Venice Biennale. As Lara-Vinca Masini wrote in this regard: "The two works should not be read in opposition or contradiction: together they dialectically represent our attempts to understand the change."
curated by stefano pezzato
Special Project promoted by Tuscany Region and the City of Prato
curated by Stefano Pezzato with the collaboration of Francesca Mariotti
on the occasion of the Mariotti Archives to the museum
Contemporary Art Centre Luigi Pecci
Prato, October 9th, 2011 - April 30th, 2012
Special project promoted by Tuscany region and the municipality of Prato
curated by Stefano Pezzato and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia
in collaboration with the Superstudio Archive in Florence
CID Space/Visual Arts
Contemporary Art Centre Luigi Pecci
Prato, October 9th, 2011 - February 26th, 2012
Opening Hours: everyday 10-19, free entrance
Closed on Tuesdays, December 24th, 25th e 31st 2011, the morning of January 1st 2012