South likes: Pietro Bonfanti at Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo

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Pietro Bonfanti, Il balcone del duce, 2014, installation shot, Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo. Photo: Fabio Valerio Tibollo

South likes: Pietro Bonfanti at Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo
Il balcone del Duce
Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo, Italia
17 – 24 May, 2014

It sounds like the voice of Mussolini the one speaking from the balcony of the external courtyard of the Polaresco, an example rationalist architecture built during the fascist era. A montage from fragments of speeches by the Italian dictator has been realised by Pietro Bonfanti, to reinterpret the space and above all a discourse and a rhetoric that sound unsettlingly familiar in current times and historical circumstances. The intervention of the artist is as simple as effective: through a clever editing of Mussolini’s speeches, mainly delivered after the crisis of 1929, the voice of the “Duce” pronounces a discourse that recalls issues widely discussed in the present political debate. “How can one speak of European reconstruction without modifying certain treaties, which pushed entire peoples on the brink of material disaster and of moral dispersion? How long will it take to realise that in the contemporary global economic apparatus there is something that stuck or perhaps broke?” Far from appropriating Mussolini’s rhetoric, Bonfanti’s editing of the dictator’s speeches is in fact a reflection to reassess social and political issues on a level where language is cleverly manipulated between distance and continuity with our history. And of course if on one hand it is not easy to hear Mussolini’s voice pronouncing an overly familiar discourse, on the other the artist raises question that are utterly contemporary. In other words, among wide and legitimate concerns for the sudden rise of fascism, nationalism, and populism, how do we measure the distance from our traumatic past?

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://www.theblank.it/en/

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Pietro Bonfanti, Il balcone del duce, 2014, installation shot, Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo. Photo: Fabio Valerio Tibollo

Bonfanti_Il_balcone_del_duce_8

Pietro Bonfanti, Il balcone del duce, 2014, installation shot, Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo. Photo: Fabio Valerio Tibollo

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Pietro Bonfanti, Il balcone del duce, 2014, installation shot, Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo. Photo: Fabio Valerio Tibollo

Bonfanti_Il_balcone_del_duce_1

Pietro Bonfanti, Il balcone del duce, 2014, installation shot, Spazio Polaresco, Bergamo. Photo: Fabio Valerio Tibollo

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