Critics’ Picks

Eva Marisaldi, Untiled (Gramsci), 2018, little theatre in animatronics with support and fabric, 22 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 4 x 4 x 31."

Eva Marisaldi, Untiled (Gramsci), 2018, little theatre in animatronics with support and fabric, 22 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 4 x 4 x 31."

Milan

Eva Marisaldi

Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea (PAC)
Via Palestro 14
December 18, 2018–February 3, 2019

After being closed around three months for renovations, the PAC in Milan has reopened with “Trasporto eccezionale” (Oversize Load), an Eva Marisaldi survey curated by Diego Sileo: a complex journey into this Bolognese artist’s world recounted through thirty-six works dating back to 1993. The “cargo” proceeds, room after room, through memories of trips—both actual and internal, from Africa to Europe to Japan—and references ranging from Emily Dickinson to Truman Capote. Most beguiling are soundscapes composed by the artist’s partner and collaborator, Enrico Serotti. These include Nastronave (Tapeship), 2018, a work inspired by a Doris Lessing short story that reproduces the stridulations of thousands of locusts, and the Madagascar-set, Capote-inspired video Musica per camaleonti (Music for Chameleons), 2004, which explores the relationship between reptiles and electronic music. Marisaldi’s fascination with unusual forms and uncomplicated gestures is condensed in works such as Angolo (Corner), 1993, a cartoon that depicts a mendicant hitting his back against a wall, and Disegni persi (Lost Drawings), 1996–2018, made from iron filings randomly collected by a magnetic platform.

The exhibition’s vocabulary also includes symbolic protagonists of the twentieth century, such as Antonio Gramsci, to whom the artist, with Untitled (Gramsci), 2018, has dedicated a dramatic little scene of animatronic spoons that challenge each other to a duel. Leni Riefenstahl is referenced in a stop-motion reinterpretation of the film Gelstad-Gelstad, 2012. Marisaldi’s works are scattered freely and elusively over the museum’s two floors, and they muster the same naive, bighearted joys of a work sadly not included here, titled Pixeland, 2005, for which the artist merely shot a riot of confetti into the air.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.