Ca' Pesaro

Ca' Pesaro

THE LEADING THREAD. An Exhibition/Installation by Federica Marangoni


Light is a central element in life: there would be no life without light. Light is form, shape and sign for eye and mind

Federica Marangoni, Padua 1940, lives and works in Venice, for many years she lived in New York and was adjunct professor at New York University Art Department from 1976 to 1990 Multimedia artist, she uses glass-light-video for her works and installations, performer in the ’70-‘80 she produced her works basing her research upon light and artifice, reality and fiction, playing on the ephemeral, the transparency and the virtual mobility of the image; a philosophy which contrasts with the concept of the large solid and well-defined masses of traditional sculpture.

The Venetian artist was a pioneer in the 1960s and 1970s in researching so-called new materials; plastic materials, Plexiglas and Polyester, neon and video which marked the artistic expression of the generations following Duchamp and the liberal use of any means to create Art; always conceptual art aimed also at expressing a social commitment, an in-depth analysis of life and death, which man has always had to face. Having operated on the international stage since the 70’s when she started living part-time in New York and work as adjunct Professor at NYU, New York University Art Department.

In 1980 she was invited to the MOMA Museum of Modern Art, with the performance “Interrogation” and a screening of an experimental film, “The Box of Life”, 16mm , in the same year she was invited to the Venice Biennale where she presented the video installation “Life is Time and Memory of Time”, body in electrified wax and self portrait , a negative silhouette, on a large silk-screened plexiglas panel, two CH TV, 2 videos on VHS, 1st “The melting body in real time”, 2nd “the Watch of Time”.

She belongs to that generation which first used technological tools, renewing, with the new dimension provided by light and moving images, her artistic production. The material of glass is particularly rooted in the work of Federica Marangoni as a conceptual link with its background and Venetian history and its relationship with the island of Murano, which continues today, started in 1970.

For an Artist aiming to represent the ephemeral and relative aspect of objects, nature and artifice, reality and simulation, and the past as a place of memory, the ideal material which best represents and defines this concept is glass: raw in its state of scrap for melting, or processed, mirrors or industrial sheets, which, together with neon or a TV screen, with its cold technological light and the floating and illusory mobility of the images, is a perfect metaphor for the thoughts of the artist.

Combining in her installations neon or Led lights, glass and the moving virtual images of the screens, Federica Marangoni creates a new dynamic with an elusive, liberal dimension, even with strong iron structures and huge dimension, her sculpture acquires a special dynamic energy. The technological supports represent in her works the third dimension that has been given to art in our time by technology; the movement, life and emotiveness of contemporary society.

An important example of all this is the huge 14 meters electronic rainbow made for the Venice Biennale in 1997, in multi-coloured industrial glass, iron, video and Murano glass fragments on the floor. Technological media represents in her work the third dimension given to out time by technology: the motion, life and emotion of the contemporary society. Her sculpture creates a new concept in large monumental Artworks. Her paintings, collages enlarged fragments from papers and magazines then painted on top as quick frescos are always combined with a neon sign, they are large and incisive urban messages of Art.

The transparency and fundamental inconsistencies in her conceptual expression are accompanied by sophisticated technology and an in-depth knowledge of craft materials which make her works unique. The solid structures of her monumental Art are miraculously losing the wait and heaviness because of the presence of LIGHT, a great symbolic medium in her public works.

She has exhibited widely abroad in major Museums, galleries and foundations at : Museum of Modern Art and Corning Museum in New York, Hara Museum in Tokyo, Casa de Vacas Parque Parque del Retiro in Madrid, Ivernacle, with Town Hall, Barcelona, Bellerive Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, Holly Solomon Gallery in New York, Ernsting Stiftung Alter Hof Herding, Coesfeld-lette in Germany, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten in Marl (DE), Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, where she realized a video-work dedicated to septembre 11th,at the Centre of Contemporary Art CAC Ticino in Bellinzona, Switzerland, the Remy Toledo Gallery in New York, Circulo de Bellas Artes and Italian Institute of Culture in Madrid with an anthological exhibition and “Continuity Rainbow” installation Public site specific Sculpture, Milan Palazzo Reale, and Biblioteca di Via Senato as well as at the Milan Triennale, at the Carnagie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, USA, at the Museo di Villa Croce in Genoa, at the Italian Institute of Culture in New York .

She has been invited in 2011 to the International Venice Biennale of Art , Italian Pavilion at Arsenale with the Multimedia Installation ESCAPE.  During the course of her long career, Federica Marangoni has worked alongside great names of the calibre of Giò Ponti and Pierre Restany, of whom she aimed to republished in the recent volume published by Mazzotta, “The Sites of Utopia”, 2009, the last text written on her work.