Fondazione Merz presents the first chapter of the My Home’s Wind project, which kicks off from 1 June to 24 September 2023 in the city of Palermo with the first retrospective ever dedicated to the artist Mario Merz in Sicily.
The My Home’s Wind project was created to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Mario Merz’s death, which occurred in Milan on 9 November 2003. The major Sicilian retrospective, filling the spaces of the Padiglione ZAC – Zisa Arti Contemporanee as part of the ZACentrale project, which sees the Foundation active in the Palermo area since 2021, marks the first half of a journey that will cross the whole of Italy.
On show for the first time in Palermo is a wide selection of works that constructs a narrative arc of Mario Merz’s rich and complex artistic production from 1969 to 2002, aiming to present a complete overview of both his creative scope and his critical and experimental spirit.
The changeable and elusive aspect of the wind, the guiding theme of the exhibition, reflects Mario Merz’s approach to the work of art, characterised by a continuous creative flow capable of facing concrete challenges and changing trajectory until the final result is achieved. With My Home’s Wind, the visitor is invited to discover the work of Mario Merz and immerse himself in his way of thinking, entering an exhibition itinerary imagined as the artist himself might have conceived it.
As Beatrice Merz, President of the Fondazione Merz, explains: “Here we are again asking ourselves after all these years: how would Mario do it? What would he bring with him to Palermo? We will strive using our hands for his words, we will construct a new exhibition with the works, certainly ‘different’ to how he would have done it, but respectful, poetic, scientific, rigorous, albeit with some seeds of irrationality.”
The exhibition itinerary seamlessly traces the work of Mario Merz, rendered through each of his forms of experiment. From the structure in metal, branches, glass and mastic that makes up Acqua scivola (1969), we move on to the drawings in various media from the Senza titolo series (1978) and the experiments in collage of Senza titolo (1998). The encounter between canvas, rock, earth and neon gives rise to works such as Un albero occupa soprattutto tempo, due alberi occupano il medesimo tempo ma uno spazio maggiore and Senza titolo (1991). Five unmistakable igloos stand out in the exhibition, tracing a path that leads from the metal, rubber, glass, newspapers, neon and clay structure of Senza titolo (1985) to the intersections with neon of Le case girano intorno a noi, o noi giriamo intorno alle case? (1994-1999) and Spostamenti della terra e della luna su un asse (2002). There is no shortage of mixed media works, ranging from La natura è l’equilibrio della spirale (1976) to Il guardiano (1981), as well as the characteristic experiments with neon that underlie works such as Pittore in Africa (1984) and Fibonacci sequence (2002).
The My Home’s Wind project continues this autumn in Turin and elsewhere, offering a rich programme of events dedicated to the figure of Mario Merz. The programme designed for the occasion sees the involvement of numerous scholars and friends who have shared important phases of the artist’s creative path, and will be accompanied by the presentation of the first volume of the general catalogue of Mario Merz’s work and the launch of a new documentary.