Presentation 9 May 2019
Venezia, Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna
Bizhan Bassiri, representative of the Republic of Iran at the 57th Venice International Biennale of Art in 2017, returns to the lagoon city with the monumental sculptural installation Meteorite Narvalo in the courtyard of Ca’ Pesaro – Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, to be inaugurated during in the week of the 2019 Biennale.
The ten-metre-high bronze colossus with its platinum tip is the expression of Bassiri’s own visceral, three-dimensional, atavistic conception of “magmatic thought” and the Manifesto of Magmatic Thought, which he formulated in Rome in the early 1980s. With particular reference to points 10 and 49 of the Manifesto, the artist states: “The existence of the work of art in the world is a meteorite arriving from the cosmos, it does not belong to the Earth but appears to it”. Meteorite Narvalo represents precisely this suspension between the terrestrial and celestial dimensions, and is the synthesis a wide-ranging repertoire of sculptures created over the years and evocative of the fall of meteorites as a phenomenon with metaphorical and poetic implications.
The inspiration for the project, begun in 2009, came after a visit to the Vesuvius crater in 1979, which led the Iranian artist to elaborate the distinction between the creative process of transforming matter and the volcanic activity of the planet. In doing so Bassiri wanted to reopen a dialogue with history and its universal language, and also with tradition seen as the transmission of an idea, an eternal epiphany through which truth can be accessed, a condicio sine qua non for artistic expression.
Meteorite Narvalo will therefore welcome visitors to Ca’ Pesaro in order to introduce them to the sublime, opening the doors to the ascent of the “treasure that emerges from the depths with ardour”, just as the sculpture does as it coils around itself and turns gold, aiming upward, towards the sky.