ELISABETTA BENASSI | Self-portrait at work | MACRO Museum

Hors les murs 9 May 2024 - 25 August 2024

Address : MACRO Museum, Via Nizza, 138 / Via Reggio Emilia, 54, Roma, Italia

Autoritratto al lavoro (Self-portrait at work) is the first major anthological exhibition on Elisabetta Benassi (Rome, 1966) presented by an institution active in the city where she lives and works. The project presents over twenty years of her artistic output, juxtaposing works from the early 2000s with more recent pieces and three new productions made specifically for the show.

Moving freely across a wide range of languages, media and imagery—an approach that has always been a distinctive earmark of her research—Benassi wryly observes the cultural, critical and artistic legacy of modernity, with the aim of “entering history not to quote from it, but to bring it back to life in the present, creating a sort of intrusion”, suggesting an always paradoxical idea of time.

Convinced that exhibitions are more important than individual works to convey an idea in a complex way, the artist has chosen to reflect on the very notion of a retrospective, formulating a large installation: a mise-en-scèneof her works, built through a system of architectures and settings arranged in space like theatrical wings. Each of these modular structures has been conceived to host one work—partially concealing it from the gaze of visitors—and at the same time to respond to its specific narrative and poetic intentions, thus offering a new device for experiencing the works, which have often taken form in response to specific sites, situations, and time frames.

Each of these structures, covered with modular plaster panels bearing traces of the materials that have shaped them, will appear as a sculptural body with brutalist features, resulting in a display that is an artistic intervention in its own right, conceived to rethink the conventional formats of retrospective exhibitions.

With the support of Fondazione In Between Art Film, Collezione Maramotti, Gessi Roccastrada and Magazzino.

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