The news that the Italian Pavilion of the next Venice Biennale would be entrusted to a single artist, Gian Maria Tosatti, had already circulated in recent months, generating a large wave of reactions, arousing curiosity and expectation. Now comes the official, as confirmed by the curator himself, Eugenio Viola, who has already collaborated with Tosatti on several occasions: «Yes, of course, I confirm it. It is no longer a mystery ”. It will be the first time, in its very long history, that the exhibition called to represent our country at the Biennale will present a solo exhibition, or rather, a unique project, called to interpret the spaces of the Pavilion at the Arsenale, 1,200 meters squares, to which are added another 900 of garden, so difficult to solve.
One of the most sensitive topics for most of the previous editions, in fact, was the relationship with the place. There are those who have tried to play with a monumentality with dark features, as in the case of the “Magical World” edited by Cecilia Alemani which, in 2017, presented the environmental installations of Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi and Adelita Husni-Bey. And who, on the other hand, has focused on a more horizontal and monographic dimension, such as the circular labyrinth of “Néaltra Né questo”, curated by Milovan Farronato and punctuated by the works of Enrico David, Chiara Fumai and Liliana Moro.
In short, regardless of the relationship with the spatiality of the pavilion, the three-way formula by now seemed to have stabilized and had already been hailed as good news, after some editions that turned out to be a little too “encyclopedic”. But it is useless to hide that focusing on a single artist was a desired, if not expected, choice. In any case, to be dared, sooner or later, in line with most of the most important national pavilions and, in this sense, recognition also goes to the DGCC – Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the MIC – Ministry of Culture, the institutional body that supports the Italian participation in the Venice Biennale – both for Art and for Architecture – and which paved the way for this possibility.
“Gian Maria Tosatti’s research is unique in the Italian artistic panorama,” Viola explained to us. «His works can be considered as complex aesthetic devices that involve different media and daring passages of perception of scale. His training in the performative field between Warsaw and Pontedera has merged into his artistic research, incorporating suggestions pertaining to the tradition of the environment and literature », continued the curator who, with Tosatti, has worked in particular in Naples. «I am happy to return to work with this visionary artist, of whom I have already curated a complex three-year project in Naples:“ Sette Stagioni dello Spirito ”(2013-16). A great visual coming-of-age novel, aimed at redefining the relationship between Art and Community, which has gradually inhabited the entire city and whose final exhibition was also my last as curator of the Madre Museum in Naples ».
So, what will we see in this highly anticipated Italy Pavilion? “I can’t anticipate anything”, Viola says, making an appointment at the beginning of 2022, when the project will be officially presented at a press conference.