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Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: A Lecture on Martian History
JUNE 2016-JANUARY 2017 | NEW WING FAÇADE
Maurizio Cannavacciuolo is the eighth Artist-in-Residence to create a temporary site-specific work for the Museum’s façade. A native of Naples, he has lived and traveled extensively in Asia, especially India and Thailand. His art explores the many ways cultural influences overlap and diverge in contemporary society.
Isabella Stewart Gardner’s passion for the sumptuous look and feel of textiles can be felt throughout the Museum. She surrounded works of art with fabrics of different colors and patterns, creating particular moods for each installation.
Maurizio Cannavacciuolo too treats patterns and color in a very eclectic fashion. Designs inspired by Edo textiles from Japan and Cuban tiles from Old Havana in this Façade are all part of the artist’s multicultural vision. The elaborately overlapping drawings and patterns relate a science fiction narrative, drawing on cultural trivia, emotion, and aesthetics, to deliver a witty and provocative message about life, culture and consumption in the 21st century.
In this installation the colonization of Earth by Martians is being told generations later by a many-armed teacher, the product of human-Martian interbreeding. In the early years of the invasion, when the Martians enter the empty human houses, they discover flickering television sets. They are fascinated by the hypnotic, repetitive images, white noise and static emitted by the blank screens. The Television becomes a Martian cult object. Five vignettes tell a part of the story including a scene set in a fictional performance hall at the Gardner Museum.
The Artist-in-Residence Program is directed by the Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, and is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. Funding is also provided for site specific installations of new work on the Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade on Evans Way. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
Media Sponsor: Boston Magazine.
Image: Artist Rendering, Photo © Clements, 2016.
Maurizio Cannavacciuolo has shown his work internationally, including solo exhibitions at Sprovieri Progetti (London), Allegra Ravizza Art Project (Milan), Baltic Center for Contemporary Art (Gateshead), Museu da Republica-Galeria Catete (Rio de Janerio), and Sperone Westwater (New York). His works are present in several collections including the Foreign Ministry in Rome, the Naples Metro, the Muze Savremene Umjetnosti of Sarajevo, the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv, and the Italian Embassy in Santiago, Chile. His extensive travels led him to study, live, and explore the Far East, Cuba and most especially, India and Thailand. Born in Napoli, Italy, he currently lives in Turin.