I numeri malefici (1978)
The installation I numeri malefici [Evil numbers] is presented at the Venice Biennale “From nature to art, from art to nature” in 1978. The theme of the exhibition is the critical rethinking of history: miscalculation and error of judgement are the parameters with which man and History can be interpreted.
The different elements of the room are unequivocal symbols for nature, art and criticism, whose seemingly distant paths are metaphorically connected by the hypothetical existence of a law that regulates what is true and what is wrong.
On a blackboard, Mauri formulates, with the help of the artist and mathematician Robert Klein, the numerical formula of the pursuit of the principle of mistake.
Inside two symmetrical cages, one next to the other as if they were the frame of a desk, the deep sound of an earthquake resonates from the speakers every twenty minutes.
On the floor, perhaps the only fragment existing of Lo sposalizio mistico di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria [St. Catherine of Alessandria’s mystical wedding], a mural painting by Giotto or Giottino which testifies the greatness of an artwork. The rest of the composition is on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Next to the mural, a speaker from an intimidating black briefcase repeats in different languages: “What is nature?”, alternating with the sinister ticking of a timing device. In the background, the deep sound of an earthquake. In front of the blackboard, on the opposite wall, there is a picture of Goebbels and the two curators of the museum during the opening of the exhibition Entartete Kunst in Berlin. (Dora Aceto)
Exhibition dates and venues
1978 - Dalla natura all’arte dall’arte alla natura [From nature to art, from art to nature], XXXVIII Venice Biennale, curated by Lara Vinca Masini
1979 – L’opera dei celebranti, Galleria Arte Moderna, Ancona, curated by Marilena Pasquali
1994 – Retrospective Fabio Mauri. Opere e Azioni 1954 - 1994 [Fabio Mauri. Works and Actions 1954 - 1994], National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome, curated by Carolyn Christov Bakargiev, supervised by Augusta Monferini
1997 – Città natura, Villa Mazzanti e Palazzo delle Esposizioni, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
2010 – Fabio Mauri Un sognatore della ragione/Giorgio De Chirico Un maestoso silenzio [Fabio Mauri, a rational dreamer/Giorgio De Chirico, a majestic silence], Scuderie del Castello di Miramare, Trieste, curated by Roberto Alberton
2012 – Fabio Mauri, THE END, Royal Palace, Milan, 2012, curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti
2015 – All the World’s Futures – 56th International Art Exposition, Venice Biennale
2020 – Espressioni, Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Marcella Beccaria, Marianna Vecellio, Fabio Cafagna
Saggio senza parole
Nessuno ha mai considerato il maggior deposito della storia dell'uomo, l'errore di calcolo e di giudizio, quale materia prima di interpretazione dell'uomo e della storia. E' il tema della sala, composta[...]
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