Mazzoleni is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Marinella Senatore: Make it Shine, starting on 2 November 2021 in Turin, and on view until 29 January 2022.
This is Marinella Senatore's first solo exhibition with Mazzoleni in Turin, a city she considers a 'laboratory' of avant-garde experimentalism and activism. Mazzoleni pays tribute to one of the most internationally renowned Italian artists, who has found the cornerstone of her artistic research in the dynamics of sharing and exchange.
Pursuing a creative practice based on the aesthetics of resistance and the transformative power of social engagement, Senatore is the author of numerous multidisciplinary projects that focus on the human relationships between the artist and the communities she involves in her work. In 2021, this includes projects in São Paulo, Berlin, Rome, Graz, and Amsterdam. Her artistic research reflects her diverse background and academic studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, the Conservatory of Music, and the National School of Cinema in Rome.
The exhibition in Turin offers a selection of works, including many previously unseen pieces. The variety of elements translates the artist's multidisciplinary nature, and offers the viewer a plurality of linguistic solutions, which take shape in light sculptures, installations, paintings, pencil drawings, collages, and embroidered banners.
The artist's distinctive use of vernacular images, processes, and forms as social and relational poetics is found throughout her practice as well as in her linguistic choices. Her sources for quotes and texts range from feminist contexts and popular traditions to arts and literature. This can be seen in one of the light sculptures featured in the exhibition, Dance First, Think Later, which is also a quote by Samuel Beckett. These installations are a re-worked version of Baroque rose windows and gates that incorporate quotes about identity and empowerment, such as Remember the First Time You Saw Your Name. Senatore's light sculptures redefine the surrounding environment through their architecture, offering a space for energy exchange activated by the light.
For the exhibition, Marinella Senatore has created some new neon sculptures produced with an innovative technology that does not require mercury, a highly polluting metal already banned in several European countries. This procedure guarantees their future durability and applicability.
Among the never-before-seen works, there is the monumental pictorial installation Make it Shine, in which the artist uses reflective and refractive materials—such as mother of pearl, metal flakes, and 24k gold—to let the light sculpt the surface of the canvas.
The series 'Un Corpo Unico' (meaning both 'a unique body' and a 'collective body') is conceived as large polyptychs, whose single elements give life to a unitary figure made up of images of dancing bodies and textual and iconographic elements that belong to the artist. This includes the popular luminarie, Southern Italy's traditional illuminated decorations.
In previously undisclosed collages, the artist contemplates universal themes such as social issues, gender differences, and the transformative capacity of the individual, through the use of materials taken from her archive: photographs of people and places, memories of installations or public actions, musical scores, botanical images, words and texts.
Drawing is pivotal to the artist's practice. This is represented in the exhibition by the series 'It's Time to Go Back to the Street' (2019), which depicts street scenes where groups of people are engaged in different activities, such as peacefully reclaiming urban spaces, asserting their rights, or expressing themselves through art.
Embroidered banners are often used by the artist in her participatory projects. For their realisation, Senatore relies on the collaboration with local artisans to sew mottos, songs, and poems. These large banners refer to the tradition of gonfalons, as well as to the large textile posters of workers' movements and unions. The artist combines opposing yet united systems, associated by the textile element.
The series Autoritratto ('self-portrait') features Senatore's distinctive pictorial chessboards as well as canvas works, inviting the viewer to reflect on the theme of self-representation. A mirror installed on the ceiling with a sculptural reproduction of the artist's hands mounted in the centre reflects the viewers into the artwork. This work, also entitled Autoritratto, becomes a metaphor of the artist who welcomes a multitude of spectators within herself in a participatory dialectic of encounter and exchange. For this work, Senatore quotes Walt Whitman's poem, Song of Myself, which features the line 'I contain multitudes', a line also found in another sculpture displayed in the exhibition. Words support the artist's desire to create that 'collective body' between herself and the visitors, reinforcing the sense of community that is the "fil rouge" of the entire exhibition.
Marinella Senatore: Make it Shine is accompanied by a catalogue with a critical text by Tenley Bick, Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art, Department of Art History, Florida State University, USA.
'Marinella Senatore represents an extraordinary presence within the gallery's programme, particularly in light of its recent expansion into contemporary art. Senatore's approach is a complex, articulated and highly innovative process that finds its place between the visual and performing arts. We were very impressed by her way of proposing a broad and polyvalent dialogue in which art is a catalyst for emotion and energy.' –Davide and Luigi Mazzoleni
Mazzoleni represents Marinella Senatore in Europe.
About the artist
Marinella Senatore (Cava de' Tirreni, Italy, 1977) is a multidisciplinary artist, trained in music, fine arts and cinema. Senatore has taken part in countless participatory projects, group and solo exhibitions in Italy and around the world. She has also participated in the world's most important biennials, including the Venice Biennial, São Paulo Biennial; Lyon Biennial; Thessaloniki Biennial; Liverpool Biennial; Athens Biennial; Havana Biennial; Gothenburg Biennial; Cuenca Biennial; Bangkok Biennial and Manifesta 12. Senatore's work is represented in the collections of a wide selection of international museums: Palazzo Grassi in Venice; Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid; Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt; Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; Queens Museum and High Line in New York; Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Among her most recent exhibitions and events are: We Rise by Lifting Others, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; I Say I at la Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; Protext! Quando il tessuto si fa manifesto, Centro Pecci, Prato; Un corpo unico/Un cuerpo unico at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Madrid and Museo di Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia; Europe's KitchenArtist's Perspectives on Europe, Lubiana; Salire a le Stelle / To climb to the Stars, Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia; Claire Fontaine, Pasquarosa, Marinella Senatore, Museo Diego Aragona Pignatelli Cortes, Naples; Back to the Nature, Villa Borghese, Rome; Dante nell'arte contemporanea, Teatro Piermarini, Foligno; The School of Narrative Dance, Amsterdam; 34sima Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil; Sonsbeek 20-24, Arnhem, Netherlands; The Way Out Festival, Steirischer Herbst, Austria; Bodies in Alliance, Treviso; Never Cross the Same River Twice, Space 52, Atene; Park Platz, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.
Press release courtesy Mazzoleni.