Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza

Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza

MANDRAGORA

Meris Angioletti, Riccardo Benassi, Francesca Grilli

MANDRAGORA
8 October - 6 November 2011

We are pleased to announce the opening of "Mandragora", an exhibition guest curated by Marianna Liosi and Alessandra Saviotti, at the invitation of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza (Italy).
Within the framework of the glamorous VII Contemporary Art Day, organised annually by the Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art (AMACI), the show will involve three of the most interesting Italian artists already well established on the international art scene: Meris Angioletti, Riccardo Benassi and Francesca Grilli.

Taking place in an art institution strictly bound to local tradition, history and community, Mandrake has a twofold aim: on the one hand, it reinterprets the rich permanent collection of the museum through a fresh perspective; and on the other, it creates a bridge between contemporary artworks and traditional artisanship; old techniques and codes and contemporary ones.
The decorations of pharmacy potteries of the XIV-XV century inspired the background and provided the main topic of the show. Partly, they recall herbs and natural remedies based on the use of plants; but also Christian iconography, as each Saint was considered responsible for protection from a specific illness.

Taking inspiration from the ambiguous relationship between science, magic and religion, the exhibition is centred around the mixing and the con-fusion of these fields. The artists’ works reflect upon the intersection between what is rational, touchable, provable, and what belongs to the sphere of the occult, inexplicable and irrational. The title of the show itself reminds us of this dichotomy: the mandrake plant is the symbol of Good-Evil, Life-Death, cure-poison eternally intertwining.
The participatory aspect of the artworks is pivotal. The audience is called to complete the logical gap in the constructions, thereby creating for themselves the meaning of the work.

The exhibition is within the framework of Faenza European Capital of Culture for 2019 and has been made possible thanks to the Fondazione del Monte e Cassa di Risparmio of Faenza, Gigacer (which supported also the production of one commissioned artwork), Cervia Saltmine, the Community Cultural association of Salinara, and Sansoni’s Pharmacy. The catalogue was produced with the support of the Aboca Museum of San Sepolcro (Arezzo).