artists & participants
Tacita Dean is at the MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna until 9 February 2014 with The Studio of Giorgio Morandi, an exhibition project that presents in the spaces of the Permanent Collection two extraordinary films by the British artist, shot in what used to be Giorgio Morandi’s studio: Still Life and Day for Night. Both works were commissioned and produced by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in 2009, with shots taken by Tacita Dean in the flat in Bologna in which Morandi lived and worked for much of his life, now the Casa Morandi, and in particular in the spaces of his studio, reconstructed in their original location.
In Still Life, shot in black and white, appear lines that criss-cross the worksheets of the artist, who used to trace on them the exact positions of the objects he was going to paint. Morandi studied possible variations of composition meticulously, noting them down with marks and letters on the large sheets of paper that covered his worktable: the outlines overlap and intersect, creating an overall pattern that is as extraordinary as it is inadvertent. Through these neglected and forgotten traces, Tacita Dean recounts Morandi’s work, reconstructing the tenacity and the rigour of its preparatory stages.
In Day for Night (2009), the objects accumulated and conserved in the studio become the protagonists: boxes, pots, containers of different shapes, artificial flowers, tins, pans, bottles. Tacita Dean decided to film them as Morandi would never have painted them: not being able to change their position, she placed them at the centre of the frame as if in a picture, relying almost on chance to create arbitrary and not studied compositions.
In Tacita Dean’s images we find some of the qualities of the objects that characterize Morandi’s paintings, for example their opacity, or the visibility of their coating of dust. But we also discover how the artist altered things to make them fit in with what he wanted to see and, consequently, paint.
Like the other films made by Tacita Dean, the two that will be shown at the MAMbo have been shot and reproduced exclusively on film stock. They are characterized by a meticulous attention to detail, a special quality of light and a slow pace, made up of long pauses, which reveal an essence of each object, of each line, that neither painting nor photography would be able to capture in the same way. The British artist takes us into universes dense in time and space that hold the truth of the moment, in a manner similar to the still life, but in movement.
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The Studio of Giorgio Morandi