Per un museo della plover [For a Museum of the Dust], this is the title of the installation by Gian Maria Tosatti at the Museo Archeologico of Salerno, third appointment of the «Tempo Imperfetto», curated by Antonello Tolve and Stefania Zuliani.
Part and parcel of a series of works and art interventions where the artist questions the archeology of the present and the nostalgia of the future, and aims at preserving and rethinking the present through the stratifications of the past, Per un museo della polvere [For a Museum of the Dust], a project realized by Gian Maria Tosatti for the Museo Archeologico Provinciale of Salerno, moves from a critical discourse whose purpose is to decipher contemporaneity and to encapsulating it in a relic. By referring to La peste [The Plague], the first installment of the cycle Sette Stagioni dello Spirito [Seven Seasons of the Spirit] – a show curated by Eugenio Viola and held in the church of SS. Cosma and Damiano near Banchi Nuovi in Naples – Tosatti’s work in Salerno, in the curators’ words, «if on the one hand displays a compelling passion for the real (Badiou), on the other it tends to ‘make history with history’s own debris’ (Benjamin); Tosatti adopts the archeological approach devised in Giorgio Agamben’s reading of Michel Foucault in order to represent a space instrumental to read the object itself of a type of knowledge that, as suggested by Foucault himself in L’archéologie du savoir (1969), tends to investigate and questions the present through a device that casts in the past the act of questioning the present».
Made up of a gilded base in processed wood, a plexiglass case filled with dust – that is with «a substance that in the first place belongs in the present rather than being a residue of the past» (Tosatti) –, and a metallic structure encompassing the whole vessel-like structure, the work La mia parte nella seconda guerra mondiale [The Role I Played in WW2] archeologically decontextualizes the residues recovered from the old church and posits them into a dedicated and shielded place. In so doing, it displaces and collects the historical debris, the indigested mass, the remnants of an illegible though intelligible history. «Dust – suggests Tosatti – is an element I reckon with constantly, as it works as a blanket covering those forgotten lands that I, like a second Tarkovskij’s Stalker, revivify with my presence as artist […] Dust is an element through which a story can be written […], an element often marking a temporal unit and its content in historical terms or, better, in terms expressing History and stories. What I did was to disentangle the plot of this novel […] which, ultimately, is what I do each time».
[toggle title=”Gian Maria Tosatti • Biography”]Gian Maria Tosatti (born in Rome, 1980), after graduating and having researched on the performing arts at the Centro per la Sperimentazione e Ricerca Teatrale in Pontedera, near Pisa, moved to Rome to begin his activity as artist in the area that connects architecture and the visual arts, realizing for the most part large site specific installations. His later works have followed on those footsteps: they are mostly installations and photographs, to which must be added two projects realized in cooperation with the Fondazione Volume!. The first, Devozioni [Devotions], is a cycle of ten sizable installations destined to unusual architectural spaces, while the second, Landscapes, is an itinerary of public art connected to areas characterized by urban conflicts.
Tosatti is currently working on three new projects: Fondamenta [Foundations], based on the identification of contemporary archetypes; Le considerazioni sugli intenti della mia prima comunione restano lettera morta [The Reflections on the Intents I had at the time of my First Communion Remain Dead Letter], a cycle devoted to the mysteries of our own mind and to what people leave behind; Sette Stagioni dello Spirito [Seven Seasons of the Spirit], an investigation aimed at understanding the limits of good and evil within man.
Besides being an artist, Tosatti is also a journalist and has also directed the weekly cultural magazine «La differenza». He has also co-directed the independent cultural center Angelo Mai in Rome. In 2011 he devised and directed a project entitled RELOAD, a prototype of urban intervention on the temporary use of non-productive spaces (www.reloadroma.it).[/toggle]
GIAN MARIA TOSATTI, FOR A MUSEUM OF THE DUST, curated by Antonello Tolve and Stefania Zuliani as the third project of the cycle «Tempo Imperfetto», opening | Wednesday, September 10th, 2014, 6pm–7.30 pm. The project Tempo imperfetto is supported by the DISPAC – Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale dell’Università di Salerno e dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Macerata. Other technical supporters are: Associazione ArteXa and Fonderie cultural. During the opening the artist will invite the public to a critical conversation devoted to the discussion of his research and the motives behind the creation of her project for the Museo Archeologico Provinciale in Salerno.
(1 cover) Gian maria Tosatti, Il mio ruolo nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale – studio, 2014, pencil and watercolor on paper, 42×29,7cm, fourth project of the cicle Tempo Imperfetto by Fondazione Filiberto Menna (Salerno) realised in Museo Archeologico Provinciale di Salerno, curated by Antonello Tolve and Stefania Zuliani, courtesy of the artist and of Fondazione Filiberto Menna (Salerno-Rome, Italy).