Fabrizio Plessi
The Soul of Stone
Mosca, 5 giugno - 5 agosto 2018

A large installation by the multimedia artist Fabrizio Plessi occupies part of the Pushkin Museum, with a number of works from the collection of the Alberto Peruzzo Foundation. The Foundation is also a sponsor of the event. The world-famous artist creates a confluence between the known and the new while playing with historical subjects and modern technology. 

For this exhibition at the Pushkin, Plessi presents two major works: The Soul of Stone and Rolling Stones. With these projects, the artist reinterprets historical themes and events using state-of-the-art technology. As a museum representative puts it: “Plessi works like an alchemist, connecting technologies with classical material in an effort to penetrate the “body of stone” or to move into the space of a baroque fresco: it is a sort of art of transition that exists across the centuries, with no temporal dimension”.

The first project, The Soul of Stone, includes 12 video sculptures displayed along with works from the collection of the Pushkin State Museum. The second project, Rolling Stones, portrays two imposing painted ceilings that “seem to fall” into the centre of the room. A visual intersection emerges between the two ceilings, while rain starts to pour onto the work. It was exhibited for the first time in 2013 at Palazzo Te in Mantua. 

The exhibition is part of the project entitled The Pushkin Museum XX, which aims to give visitors the lowdown on modern and contemporary art and introduces some of the most interesting artists of the present day. At the centre of the exhibition – curated by Giuseppe Barbieri, Silvia Burini and Olga Shishko – is an idea that often lies at the base of Plessi’s creative research and, at the same time, is evinced by a statement that forms part of the mission of the Pushkin Museum: that the classics always exist in a dialogue with the contemporary, and vice versa, because only contemporary art is able to offer new interpretations of the art of the past. Innovation is inextricably linked to a re-thinking of the past. 

This theme is also addressed by a series of large-scale drawings, which constitute an important part of the exhibition. This show will present an unexpected interpretation of an episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the plot of which is portrayed in the fresco entitled The Fall of the Giants by Giulio Romano at Palazzo Te. Water, one of Plessi’s favourite motifs, alludes to the Flood, and its reflection on the screens of the installation affords an opportunity to meditate on crisis and re-birth as integral phases of human life.

The exhibition is showcasing Italian art in Moscow during the period of the World Cup. For Plessi, given that Italy did not qualify for the 2018 championships, the country is “out with our feet, but in with our heads”. The exhibition is being supported by the Alberto Peruzzo Foundation, the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow and the Cà Foscari Study Centre for Art in Russia (CSAR).