MILAN — Fendi is once again turning its attention to the arts.
The Rome-based company will support the Italian Pavilion and the exhibition “Il mondo magico [The magical world]” at the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. The exhibit will be curated by Cecilia Alemani, who invited three Italian artists — Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi and Adelita Husni-Bey — “to represent Italy through works and languages that are closely tied to Italian culture, but forge a dialogue with international art,” Fendi said. The Biennale will run May 13 to Nov. 26.
Pietro Beccari, president and chief executive officer of Fendi, expressed his pride in the project, defining the Venice Biennale as “one of the world’s most important and prestigious international showcases for contemporary art.” Beccari said the brand “increasingly feels that one of its guiding principles, as well as its duties, is to value and support Italian art around the world, with all its outstanding achievements and talent.”
“The magical world” draws its title from a book by Neapolitan anthropologist Ernesto de Martino, which studies how various cultures and populations employ magic as a tool for responding to crises that undermine their power to grasp and shape the world around them.
The three artists, who are all fascinated by magic, will create three new projects specifically commissioned and produced for the Italian Pavilion.
“Their works reinvent reality, sometimes through fantasy and play, sometimes through poetry and imagination; it is a story woven from myths, rituals, beliefs and fairy tales,” Alemani said. “For the invited artists, these references are not an escape into the depths of irrationality, but rather a new way of experiencing reality: it is a tool for inhabiting the world in all its richness and multiplicity.”
“The choice to invite fewer artists than in the past is meant to align the Italian Pavilion with the other national pavilions at the Biennale Arte 2017; rather than providing a full overview of the Italian art scene, the aim is to give the selected artists the space, time and resources to present an ambitious large-scale project that will stand as a milestone in their career, and give visitors an opportunity to explore their worlds in-depth,” Fendi said.
Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, described the project as “innovative” bringing the Italian Pavilion in “step with the latest approaches to exhibition-making, spotlighting the important role of artists in today’s society. Italy has inherited an extraordinary cultural legacy from past centuries, but we can take pride in this while still aspiring to experiment, create new art, and harness the talent and creativity of our time.”
In January, Fendi unveiled the exhibition “Matrice” on contemporary artist Giuseppe Penone at its Rome headquarters in the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The first floor of the palazzo is open to the public and is an exhibition space. This followed the announcement of an installation of an art work called “Foglie di Pietra [Leaves of Stone]” also by Penone commissioned by Fendi to be placed in Rome’s Largo Goldoni, in front of the brand’s flagship.
Fendi also supports the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro, the Italian Cultural Ministry’s technical arm specialized in the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage.
Fendi’s cultural patronage began with the restoration of the Trevi Fountain in 2015 and the Quattro Fontane complex, followed by restoration and maintenance work on the Gianicolo, Mosè, Ninfeo del Pincio and Pescheria fountains.