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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Italy
Maurizio Mochetti

Maurizio Mochetti, 360°, 1992 • Installazione, courtesy Galleria Gasser Bolzano  • Photo courtesy of Palazzo Ducale  •   •  •   • 
Maurizio Mochetti, 360°, 1992
Installazione, courtesy Galleria Gasser Bolzano
Photo courtesy of Palazzo Ducale
Maurizio Mochetti
SASSUOLO (MODENA)  •  Palazzo Ducale  •  Ongoing
The first large-scale retrospective exhibition by Maurizio Mochetti (Rome, 1940) to be seen in a museum space. The show, conceived by the artist and curated by Germano Celant and Filippo Trevisani, is an articulated and organic view of Mochetti's career represented by twenty-five works dating from 1966 to 2002. A number of works have been created especially for this exhibition and the whole installation has been conceived as a dialogue between the seventeenth century rooms, frescoed by Jean Boulanger, of Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo. This had been transformed into a 'Baroque pleasure-ground' by Francesco I of Este and, from 1634 onwards, the building became a veritable palace following the plans by the duke's architect Bartolomeo Avanzini, who unified the original structure of the castle through the rigour of a single style.

The show is installed on the main floor of Palazzo Ducale, Sassuolo, but the first contact with it is on the ground floor and along the monumental staircase where the visitor is confronted by a red F 104 Starfighter plane and by a scale model of a Ferrari made from pure gold and hung above the stairs: an invitation to plunge into the 'Mochetti' dimension, one that is halfway between play and eroticism.

To the left and right of the corridor leading to the main floor are two casts of the IV century AD sculptural group Amore & Psyche. These are on travertine bases so as to invite the visitor to compare their presumed identity. Ideally the visit could then continue in either direction along the corridor as the layout does not follow either a chronological, historical or thematic order: the only criterion followed by Mochetti is that of seizing the space to make it his own and to redefine it. For this reason some of the historical works, among them Generatrice, 1968, Cilindro di luce, 1968, Asse oscillante, 1968, and Travaso di luce, 1970, have been specifically planned for these spaces. In fact, since the 60s the planning of his works has been an essential and inalienable part of the artist's creative process and which he has kept consistently up-to-date with the development of technical processes.

In this show the artist invites us aboard his planes or his cars in order to lead us on a voyage at the speed of light, from artificial light to lasers, both inside and outside time. The aim is the elimination of the space-time dimension and the unravelling of our perceptive capacities in an ever-increasing flood of images and emotions, all accompanied by an unidentified noise.

Elsewhere we can voyeuristically see, through two sheets of glass, Mochetti's latest work, Bluebird, (1996) 2003. This is a scale-model (six metres long; up to twelve metres when the parachute is open) of a record-winning jet car placed on the floor of the main room, known as the Virtuosi d'Este room: the engine is running, the car is motionless, and the brake parachute is open. The Bluebird is a masterpiece of madness, but one that joins refined Italian handcraft to the most sophisticated technology.

Municipal Council of Sassuolo: Cultural Activities Service Web Site

Contact: Piazzale della Rose
Sassuolo (Modena)
Tel: (39) 05 36 18 44 770

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