Museo Arcos, Benevento
Corso Garibaldi, 1
artists & participants
The exhibition takes its name, Les fleurs du malJust as Baudelaire’s verses appear to concentrate not only on love and beauty, but also on death, horror and spleen – in other words, on the existential malaise of the artist and of modern man – so the exhibition explores all aspects of beauty, with a particular focus on its ambiguities. Sixteen contemporary artists examine our age and interpret beauty, the romantic and the ideal, beauty and ugliness, monstrousness, satire and fashion. Through performance and photography, Vanessa Beecroft (Genova, 1969) and Francesco Vezzoli (Brescia, 1971) interact with, and react against, the media system, taking inspiration from the icons of television and the cinema. The same end is pursued by Yasumasa Morimura (Osaka, 1951), who uses his own body as a film on which to engrave multiple personalities. Sylvie Fleury (Geneva, 1961) is attracted by the world of glamour and by glossy fashion and lifestyle magazines, while Elisabetta Benassi (Roma, 1966) observes the contemporary landscape, looking at it with revelatory eyes that transform it into an attractive and alluring world. Aron Demetz (Vipiteno, 1972) and Giuseppe Maraniello (Napoli, 1945) use their sculptural language to create desirable forms, the former exploring the human figure and the latter taking from the world of mythology and classicism. Marcello Jori (Merano, 1951), on the other hand, plays with a universe of colours and pays tribute to the figure of the artist as the genius of creation and an immortal model of beauty. Mat Collishaw (Nottingham, 1966)offers an impression of classical and mythological beauty, reinterpreting the legend of Leda and the swan, but also the apprehension and torment of a scenario that is only superficially familiar. The flowers of Marc Quinn (London, 1964) are symbols of beauty and purity, playing on ambiguity and referring to various forms of symbolism, good and evil, life and death. In the paintings of James Brown (Los Angeles, 1951)the fascination of the beginning and end of life itself is revealed through observation of the universe. Alfredo Pirri (Cosenza, 1957) invites the viewers to pass on the mirror’s surface where they can tread on their own narcissism but they also enjoy the reflex and the environment multiplication, whilethe almost sculptural surfaces of Ettore Spalletti (Cappelle sul Tavo, 1940) reveal the balance between the calibrated use of subdued colours in relation to their volume and the space that contains them. Gilbert & George (Gilbert Prousch, San Martino in Badia, Bolzano, 1943 and George Passmore, Plymouth, Devon, 1942) aestheticise the fascination of existence to the extreme, re-establishing the historical alliance between art and life. The harmony and gracefulness of nature are the theme of the video of Guido van der Werve (Papendrecht, 1977), accompanied by the music of Chopin, the artist makes his way along the ice cap, followed by an ice-breaker that relentlessly shatters the beauty of the landscape. Goldiechiari (Sara Goldschmied, Arzignano, Vicenza, 1975 and Eleonora Chiari, Roma, 1971)playfully rediscover the sex-appeal of the object, enlarging it to disorient the observer’s perceptions., from the collection of poems published by Charles Baudelaire. When it first appeared in 1857, the book was censored and both its poetic form and its subject matter were considered scandalous.
Artists: Vanessa Beecroft, Elisabetta Benassi, James Brown, Mat Collishaw, Aron Demetz, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, goldiechiari, Marcello Jori, Giuseppe Maraniello, Yasumasa Morimura, Alfredo Pirri, Marc Quinn, Ettore Spalletti, Guido van der Werve, Francesco Vezzoli.
only in german
LES FLEURS DU MAL
Kurator: Danilo Eccher
mit Vanessa Beecroft, Elisabetta Benassi, James Brown, Mat Collishaw, Aron Demetz, Sylvie Fleury, Gilbert & George, Goldi e Chiari , Marcello Jori, Giuseppe Maraniello, Yasumasa Morimura, Alfredo Pirri, Marc Quinn, Ettore Spalletti, Guido van der Werve, Francesco Vezzoli