Per Barclay “Cavallerizza Palazzo Mazzarino” at Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea, Palermo
Palazzo Mazzarino, one of Palermo’s most beautiful and valuable historical buildings, hosts an absolutely unique space in all its parts, a combination of different yet harmonious languages expressed in the works that today are housed in the palace, going from the 16th century to contemporary art.
The project “Cavallerizza Palazzo Mazzarino”, by the Norwegian artist Per Barclay, envisages the creation of a metal tub that covers almost the whole surface of the historical stables of Palazzo Mazzarino, ca. 200 squared meters. There is just one lateral entrance so that visitors are able to have an exciting, close-up view of the large quantity of oil, a black and shiny surface that is reflect the 14 columns supporting the cross vaults. This huge installation has been included among MANIFESTA 12’s collateral events and, since the palace is located in the heart of city (via Maqueda 383), it is part of the exhibition’s itinerary of the Biennale.
Per Barclay’s project reinterprets the historical and cultural heritage of the site through contemporary art — this innovative and evocative installation designed by the artist, actually is a reflection on present times and is technically translated into a complex art play where the main character is the dialogue between a highly articulated and rigorous space architecture and the possibilities of a language which is the unique signature style of one of today’s most vibrant artists.
This project has been warmly encouraged by the Marquises Berlingieri together with Francesco Pantaleone Comtemporary Arts Gallery, and has been strongly supported by a number of private collectors, the Schlüter System, the company Vincenzo Pecorella Oli S.a.s., the Consorzio Nazionale degli Oli Usati, the Maison Champagne Ruinart and Generali Assicurazioni.
Per Barclay loves Palermo, its contradictions, as well as its fascinating and decadent architecture. He’s particularly attracted by the strong contrasts that are specific to the city. When he visited the rooms of the Cavallerizza, he was seduced by its architecture, by the beauty of its spaces and its history. The contrast between the pre-existing architecture of the surrounding context, the materials used and the shapes instinctively led Barclay to consider the idea of working on the harmony, inundating the room with oil in order to reflect the narrative power of this historical palace, thus overturning its meaning and perception.
The gap between an idea and its expression is narrow, and is preceded by the exact perception of a new visionary work of “inundation” flowing both in the architectural environment and in mind and spirit, where the art multiplies itself, where past and present exchange their characteristics and become one single powerful reflection of the artist’s brilliant creativity.
In his extraordinary defense of the arts, Cesare Brandi said that the works of art enshrine both an aesthetical polarity and a historical polarity, which together determine the specific weight of the work of art.
The installation can be visited until August 4th. As per September 8th, it will be replaced by an exposition that will include not only the pictures taken on this occasion but also a selection of Per Barclay’s historical works. It can be visited until November 4, which is the closing date of MANIFESTA 12.
Entirely curated by Agata Polizzi, the project will be logistically coordinated by Francesco Pantaleone.
at Francesco Pantaleone Arte Contemporanea, Palermo
until 14 October 2018