May 30, 2018 - Fondazione Merz - Mario Merz: Sitin
May 30, 2018

Fondazione Merz

[1] Mario Merz, Is space bent or straight, 1973. Photo Angelika Platen. [2] Mario Merz, Bicchiere trapassato, 1967. Photo Andrea Guermani. [3] Mario Merz, Igloo di Giap. Se il nemico si concentra perde terreno se si disperde perde forza, 1968. [4] Mario Merz, Sitin, 1968. Photo Paolo Pellion. [5] Mario Merz Lancia, 1966. Photo Andrea Guermani.

Mario Merz
Sitin
June 7–September 16, 2018

Fondazione Merz
Via Limone 24
10141 Turin
Italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +39 011 1971 9437
info@fondazionemerz.org

fondazionemerz.org
#fondazionemerz / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube

Mario Merz
Sitin
June 7–September 16, 2018

Fondazione Merz
Via Limone 24
10141 Turin
Italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm

T +39 011 1971 9437
info@fondazionemerz.org

fondazionemerz.org
#fondazionemerz / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / YouTube

Continuing the Fondazione’s ongoing programme dedicated to the work of Mario and Marisa Merz, this exhibition, Sitin by Mario Merz is the latest in the series of thematic presentations of his work. Previous exhibition themes include: drawing in 2010; pictorial production and its link to architectural design in 2011; and most recently, in 2016, La natura è l’equilibrio, which focused on the relationship between nature and culture.

On the 50th anniversary of the protest movements of 1968, this exhibition explores a period full of creative ferment, which triggered new processes of transformation and renewed vision of the future, through a dozen historically significant works created by Merz between 1966 and 1973.

This change involved all aspects of culture, from literature to music, theatre, cinema, and the visual arts, which saw significant artistic movements coexist such as minimalism, arte povera, land and conceptual art, simultaneously contrasting the then emerging American art with the European scene. It has generated a climate rich in extraordinary sensitivity, a new existential model based on a constant commitment to the concept, presentation and distribution of the art of one’s own time.

For Mario Merz, who was one of the protagonists of those years, intensity was like “an extremely long hard Sunday that lasted from 1966 until 1976. It's late in the afternoon on an extremely long Sunday. We have never worked! For almost ten years all we've done is think and pass an extremely long Sunday between two immense, grey weeks of work that loom up before and perhaps after us […] Instead we were undressing culture to see how it is made. And this is our long Sunday, we are undressing culture to see how it is made.” 

The exhibition becomes a story, suspended between the historical, the political and the poetic, a narration that starts from the words of Mario Merz himself and presents some of the most important works of those years that have become icons of his artistic career.

Merz’s trademark neon pieces made between 1966 and 1969, include Lancia (1966), Salamino (1969) and Bicchiere trapassato (1967). The title work, Sitin (1968), is displayed in the centre of the main exhibition space, in the form of a sit-in protest.

Also on display are two igloos: Igloo di Giap (1968) dedicated to the Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap, which bears on its clay covering, in neon text, the phrase of the commander who led Vietnam to freedom: "If the enemy concentrates, it loses ground, if it disperses, it loses strength." The second igloo, made of metal and glass, bears the title of a recurring question in the thoughts and written pages of the artist: Is space bent or straight? This work is accompanied by archival photographs of its first presentation in Berlin in 1973, in which Mario Merz and Emilio Prini can be seen seated inside the igloo, intent on recording words and typing. 

These are followed by the neon text Sciopero generale azione politica relativa proclamata relativamente all’arte (1970) and A real sum is a sum of people (1972). The latter, a series of photographs of people in a public space progressing in conformity with the Fibonacci sequence, is among the first works in which the sequence by the Pisan mathematician appears; in this case, the performance took place in a London pub.

The seminal performative work, It is possible to have a space with tables for 88 people as it is possible to have a space with tables for no one (1973), is comprised of a series of tables of different sizes according to the Fibonacci sequence. This work is shown together with the documentation of the performance that took place in 1973 during an exhibition in Berlin at the Akademie der Künste, at which the audience was invited to sit around the tables to consume a glass of milk and a boiled egg. The title of the performance included the words: “A sum of men is a real sum. A real sum is also a serial sum, a serial sum is a form, human beings have a function as a sum of units, human beings have a serial function as history, the serial extension of the tables collects a serial sum of human beings, the spiral forms of the fruit are serial amounts of quantity. We invite you to come on (...), 1973, at (...), to a serial function at the Academy.”

In addition to these works, a large selection of drawings, notes, annotations, artist’s books and photographs will be exhibited.

With the support of Regione Piemonte and Compagnia di San Paolo 

In partnership with Lavazza

Thanks to: Città di Torino and Kuhn & Bülow

Nadia Biscaldi, Fondazione Merz press [​at​] fondazionemerz.org / T +39 011 19719436
Melissa Emery, SUTTON melissa [​at​] suttonpr.com / T +44 (0)207 183 3577

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Sitin
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