Sculpting the wind: at mudaC in Carrara, Francesco Bartoli's project

Entitled Sculpting the Wind, the project that Francesco Bartoli brings to Carrara's mudaC through Oct. 8 is entitled Sculpting the Wind.Bartoli imagined a project that led him to explore the natural and anthropological territory of the Apuan Alps.

Sculpting the Wind is the title of the project that Francesco Bartoli (Velletri, 1978) brings to mudaC in Carrara as the winner of the PAC2021 - Contemporary Art Plan, the program to promotecontemporary art promoted by the Contemporary Creativity Directorate of the Ministry of Culture, which each year allocates resources for new acquisitions and new productions to various Italian contemporary art museums. For mudaC, Bartoli imagined a project, lasting four years, that led him to explore the natural and anthropological territory of the Apuan Alps: during his forays into the territory, collaborations were activated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, the Museo Tattile “Omero” in Ancona, and the Archivio Cinema d’Impresa in Ivrea, institutions that enabled the making of the film Sculpting the Wind and actively participated in its construction.

At mudaC, the public can see both the film, a group of photographs, and two sculptures on display from July 8 to October 8, 2023. In the film, the artist depicted the Carrara landscape, activating relationships with stonemasons, artists and students from the Academy of Fine Arts. Through images and historical excerpts, the film aims to explore the relationship between marble, people, landscape, society and history, revealing the power of imagination and offering new ways of understanding the complexity of this territory.

"Francesco Bartoli’s Sculpting the Wind project interprets the cultural promotion strategies adopted by our administration," says Gea Dazzi, councillor for Culture and Education of the Municipality of Carrara, “in particular, the collaborations activated by the artist have made it possible to create a filmic work that represents the extraordinary value and uniqueness of our territory and will become part of the museum’s permanent collection.”

Thus, on the other hand, mudaC director Laura Barreca: “Knowing how to unveil in dialogic form the value of marble and the value of human labor, understanding at the same time the visual power of the landscape and its ephemeral and iridescent beauty, are some of the interpretative levels that Bartoli’s work offers us, and that thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture’s General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity today this view becomes a shared and permanent heritage.”

Sculpting the Wind also aims to be an opportunity for knowledge. In the construction of this work of art, the artist made himself the interpreter of a collective feeling: its restitution, through collaboration with the Museo Tattile Omero in Ancona, found narrative form in the film of the same name, a dialogue between marble and the people who work it, between landscape and society, between contemporary art and history. The images of hands brushing against sculptures and the sensory awareness that passes through touch are meant to show audiences new ways of experiencing and exploring life and existence. The film also features historical excerpts, obtained through the invaluable collaboration of the National Business Cinema Archive, which further broaden the awareness of the complexity of the whole project.

“Myth and memory, landscape and sculpture, technology and art, are just some of the themes and concepts that have surfaced in these intense and complicated years of research in and around Carrara,” says the artist. “And it is from this necessary and harmonious chaos, of echoes of the past and stimuli of the present, that the idea of constructing a poetic film dedicated to the materials of art and the relationship between man and the landscape that he inhabits, lives in, and in this case ceaselessly shapes. A bond, that between man and the Apuan landscape, which has consumed both for centuries. Poetic landscape, physical landscape and imaginary landscape, then, in a single work that was created with the delirious goal of measuring the absent. As in a hypothetical lost Arcadia, the marble masks produced and used in the film symbolize a primitive dimension in which man lives in harmony with the landscape that hosts him.”

In the catalog text Giacinto di Pietrantonio answers the question posed and asked by Francesco Bartoli, “Can the wind be sculpted?”: “we answer that yes, also because air married to mechanics has long since entered the instrumentation concerning sculpture: pneumatic hammers, pneumatic chisels, air tools of various types and uses that greatly facilitate the work of stonemasons and sculptors at the expense, according to some, of the touch of the hand, which revives the ancient and modern diatribe that still endures in the dispute between traditionalists and modernists.”

In addition to the production of the film and the staging of the exhibition, mudaC conceived the Public Program Roles of Society: museums, communities, monuments, addressing important issues related to the role of the museum in social dynamics, territory and community participation. The historical concept of monument and work was revisited, promoting a more inclusive, participatory and democratic approach to culture and history. In addition, an artist’s workshop was organized with students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, offering a direct experience of the filmic narrative and the relationship with the landscape experienced during the months of filming the film. The project is accompanied by a catalog published by hopefulmonster publisher.

Francesco Bartoli graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, where he followed the courses of artist Luciano Fabro. In his artistic research he blends drawing with other artistic disciplines such as frottage (direct printing on paper), video, animation and performance. During his 15 years abroad, he develops many interdisciplinary projects, among which it is worth mentioning his collaboration with the National Museum of Sculpture in Valladolid (Spain) and the Museum of Roman Art in Mérida (Spain) with the installation -16mm film. in color “Una Forma in Comune” and participation in the project “Padiglione Italia nel Mondo” with the Italian Cultural Institute of Madrid (Spain) organized in the context of the 54th Venice Biennale. Awards include the Aiuti all’Arte Contemporanea award (2010) from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and selections at the international documentary and photography festivals PhotoEspaña 2010 and Documenta Madrid 2011. Director and producer of the project In Search For Nothing (2016), a docufilm featuring unaccompanied minor migrants. His most recent international projects include the solo exhibition Sculpting Memory I Dìnamo Gallery Esap Porto (2021) and ITALIAN COUNCIL X (2021) with the project Ecos: the memory of the last Indios Charrúas of Uruguay, in collaboration with EAC - Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Montevideo and Viafarini, Milan.

Sculpting the wind: at mudaC in Carrara, Francesco Bartoli's project
Sculpting the wind: at mudaC in Carrara, Francesco Bartoli's project

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