If there were light it would be beautiful: in Forlì, Elena Bellantoni's exhibition

From Feb. 25 to June 4, 2023, the Dino Zoli Foundation in Forli is hosting the exhibition "If There Were Light It Would Be Beautiful," featuring the latest work of Calabrian artist Elena Bellantoni.

Entitled Se ci fosse luce sarebbe bellissimo (If there was light, it would be beautiful ), Elena Bellantoni ’s (Vibo Valentia, 1975) solo exhibition is scheduled from February 25 to June 4, 2023 at the Dino Zoli Foundation in Forlì. Curated by Nadia Stefanel, the exhibition restores the research path conducted by the artist within the Dino Zoli Textile company, with the active participation of employees, the frequentation of places, and the enhancement of company materials and resources.

The experiences gained by Elena Bellantoni as part of the artist residency, held on several occasions during 2022, flowed into the Forlì exhibition, which, while on the one hand highlights the involvement of workers and the emergence of the concept of habitus, that is, the set of spontaneous behaviors that contribute to defining the individuality of man, on the other it presents the national premiere of Bellantoni’s new video, Se ci fosse luce sarebbe bellissimo, produced by Dino Zoli Textile and Fondazione Dino Zoli. A work that, together with the installation, lightboxes and drawings that make up the exhibition, is characterized by the presence of a poetic sign that becomes profoundly political. Central themes of the project are the body, “inhabited” in relation to others and to the spaces devoted to work, and light, understood as an element of openness and hope, of joy and embrace, after years of darkness and loneliness. And light ideally opens and closes the exhibition route with two neon signs, evidence of participatory-relational art-making. First the blue of If there was light it would be beautiful, a phrase taken from thelast letter written by Aldo Moro to his wife, a few days before his death in 1978. Then the red of C’era una voglia di ballare che faceva luce..., a phrase by Francesco Guccini that sums up the expectations of the post-World War II period and the hope for a better future.

The main room of the Dino Zoli Foundation is occupied by the installation of fourteen sculpture-dresses, designed and made with Dino Zoli Textile fabrics. Declined in pink linen to allude to the body and gray-blue velvet to recall overalls, the dresses present a trapezoid shape that accommodates both the male and female body, giving the figure a dreamlike appearance. The end result of the residency and the centerpiece of the exhibition is the video If there was light it would be beautiful, made in January 2023. The gestures of daily work are combined with collective performative actions to weave new relationships and create a new habitus.

“A new body,” writes curator Nadia Stefanel, “full of resources for imagination, for imaginary projections and ’unrealisations,’ as Sartre would have said. Represented in its essence by that collective embrace of the fourteen employees dressed in the sculpture-dresses that constitutes the last frame of the video.”

The exhibition is completed with six ink drawings on dusting paper with collage interventions, made by the artist to fix some propaedeutic gestures to the video’s performative score, and four lightboxes highlighting the video’s key passages, in which the artist relates to Dino Zoli Textile’s corporate space.

“In the workplace,” says Monica Zoli, partner of Dino Zoli Group, “one spends an important part of one’s day and life. The encounter with art fosters creativity and personal well-being, contributing to the improvement of the quality of time spent working. In particular, this project touched on a neuralgic point, that of interpersonal relationships, bringing them to an intimate emotional level, respecting one’s own space. It was definitely a challenging and engaging experience, different again from previous ones. I feel I would also recommend to colleagues the ’contagion’ with Art: a certain result is the opening of vision, to the benefit of all.”

Elena Bellantoni won the “Dino Zoli Foundation and Dino Zoli Textile Special Prize” at the 2020 edition of Arteam Cup, the national art competition promoted by the Arteam Cultural Association of Albissola Marina (SV), of which Dino Zoli Group is an established partner. In fact, the spaces of the Dino Zoli Foundation hosted two exhibitions of the finalists and the solo shows of Elena Hamerski and Loredana Galante, the outcome of the artist residencies at Dino Zoli Textile. And in 2023 it will be the turn of the Gaggia-Dubbini duo, overall winners of Arteam Cup 2022. Elena Bellantoni’s exhibition is promoted by Dino Zoli Textile and Fondazione Dino Zoli, with the patronage of the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Municipality of Forlì, the collaboration of the Arteam Cultural Association and the Alberti Saffi ITAS Technical Institute of Forlì, and the technical sponsorship of DZ Engineering.

The solo exhibition, part of the “Who’s Next” program, can be visited until June 4, 2023. The Dino Zoli Foundation is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., closed Mondays and holidays. Free admission. For information: T. +39 0543 755770, info@fondazionedinozoli.com, www.fondazionedinozoli.com.

If there were light it would be beautiful: in Forlì, Elena Bellantoni's exhibition
If there were light it would be beautiful: in Forlì, Elena Bellantoni's exhibition

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