MASSIMO BARTOLINI. HAGOROMO | Centro Pecci – September 16, 2022–January 8, 2023
With Hagoromo, the Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato dedicates a major exhibition to Massimo Bartolini (Cecina, 1962) running from September 16, 2022 to January 8, 2023. The exhibition will be a new chapter of the monographic exhibitions series that the Centro annually host to show audiences artworks by Italian artists.
The exhibition, realized in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo, will be showcasing a new installation—the largest the artist has ever created—specifically designed for the museum spaces, a sort of new ‘backbone’ guiding onlookers around the works created at different moments in his career. Avoiding the familiar retrospective layout based around a chronological/thematic display of works, the exhibition is like an unexpected sequence of surprising and revealing encounters.
Hagoromo is the title of a well-known Japanese Noh theatre play, which tells the story of a fisherman who one day finds the hagoromo, the feathered cloak of the Tennin, a female celestial spirit of supernatural beauty that is part of Japanese mythology. When the spirit asks for her cloak back without which she cannot return to heaven, the fisherman replies that he will only give her back her cloak after seeing her dance.
Hagoromo (1989) is also the title of what Bartolini considers to be his first mature work: inside his old studio on a well-illuminated stage, a musician improvises saxophone music. A female dancer reacts to the music, moving inside a parallelepiped on wheels that looks like a tiny home.
This performance already anticipates some of the themes and distinctive traits still characterising his current experimental work: a story based around tributes, references, drawings of other stories, artworks and biographies; the relationship with architecture and space; the relationship with theatre and performance art, partly through the use of sound and music; the way the work brings together seemingly irreconcilable opposites.
The exhibition is accompanied by Hagoromo: Massimo Bartolini, the most complete publication ever dedicated to this Tuscan artist. Edited by Luca Cerizza and Cristiana Perrella and published by NERO, the book is a project supported by the Italian Council (10th edition, 2021), program to promote Italian contemporary art on the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Over 400 pages long, the book presents a rich iconographic overview in chronological order of the artist’s entire career together with detailed bio-bibliographical notes and references; the publication includes contributions by the likes of Fiona Bradley, Luca Cerizza, Laura Cherubini, Carlo Falciani, Chus Martínez, Jeremy Millar, Cristiana Perrella, Marco Scotini, David Toop and Andrea Viliani.