Franco Mazzucchelli at ChertLüdde

Artist: Franco Mazzucchelli

Exhibition title: plongée en apnée

Venue: ChertLüdde, Berlin, Germany

Date: March 14 – May 30, 2020

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

ChertLüdde is pleased to present plongée en apnée, its second solo exhibition with Franco Mazzucchelli (b. 1939, Milan). The installation reactivates for the first time a historic exhibition inaugurated in 1969 at Galleria Canale in Venice. The artist produced a series of his now-idiosyncratic pneumatic sculptures and an inflating/deflating indoor installation. While the outdoor area was inhabited by buoyant shapes floating above land and water, the interior gallery was transformed into a giant pulmonary system, with towering PVC sculptures occluding the space. Inspired by Venice’s particularly amphibious landscape, Mazzucchelli accentuated the influence of the natural environment throughout the exhibition, creating a circulatory system alluding to the unceasing movement of water and air in the human body and its surroundings– a metaphysi-cal contemplation on the rhythm of life.

Drawing a connection between the realms of air and water, the artist also necessarily pointed to their physically oppositional qualities, and our inability to exist in one completely without the other. Likewise, Mazzucchelli’s work was never meant to be isolated from the public. Always challenging the distance placed between art and observers, Mazzucchelli made art to be intimately encountered, invitations to action which in turn became performative, saturating the works with life and breath. In their provocation of the accepted rules within art and society and the enmeshment of the two domains, the works seem to be in a constant state of apnea, allowing for the fruition of another dimension in which the artist has expressed a language for more than 50 years. His interest in entering foreign territories and alienating familiar ones has thus always remained at the core of his practice.

The exhibition at ChertLüdde includes documentary footage of six public interventions which took place over the course of nearly a decade, from 1970 to 1977. In the videos, inflatable PVC sculptures are “abandoned” by the artist in public spaces across Italy and left to their fates. The Abbandono series, as it was called, later transitioned into A. to A. (Art to Abandon), a decades–spanning output which became principal to Mazzucchelli’s practice.

FRANCO MAZZUCCHELLI (b. 1939, Milan) lives and works in Milan. He was professor of Techniques of Sculpture at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Since the early 1970s Franco Mazzucchelli has created environmental installations placing inflatable volumes in cities’ public spaces and outdoor environments. His works have been shown in historical exhibitions, including the 15th Milan Triennale (1973), the 37th Venice Biennale (1976) and the 11th Rome Quadrennial (1986).

His inflatable sculptures have been displayed in several spaces in Italy and abroad, such as Camargue, Milan (i.e. Alfa Romeo’s factory, Fine Art Academy of Brera’s courtyard, outside the Sforza Castle among others), Volterra, Bergamo, Varese, Lake Como, Milan, Munich and more.

Recent solo and group exhibitions include: plongée en apnée, ChertLüdde, Berlin (2020); The Height Whirls, Stronger Than You, Even, Hakgojae Gallery, Seoul (2019); Time Is Thirsty, Kunsthalle Wien, Museumsquart-ier, Vienna (2019); Floating Utopias, ArtScience Museum, Singapore (2019); The Negative Space, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe (2019); Uncertain 4, Gallery Weekend Beijing (2019); Art Basel Feature, booth with ChertLüdde, Basel (2018); Floating Utopias, nGbK, Berlin (2018); Non ti abbandonerò mai. Franco Mazzucchelli 1964 – 1979, Museo del Novecento, Milan (2018); Pneuma, ChertLüdde, Berlin (2018); Riappropriazioni, Converso, Milan (2017); Abiti da lavoro, Triennale di Milano, Milan (2014).





Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), video: Benjamin Renoux

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (one composition of four inflatable arches in white), Inflated: 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (one composition of four inflatable arches in white), Inflated: 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 2014, PVC, air, 80 cm ø 350 cm (31 ½ inches ø 137 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 2014, PVC, air, 80 cm ø 350 cm (31 ½ inches ø 137 ¾ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, INTER/VENTO (Camargue, 1970), Late 1970s, photographs, felt-tip pen and PVC from the original inflatable work on cardboard, 50.5 × 50.5 cm (19 ⅞ × 19 ⅞ inches), photo: Trevor Lloyd

Franco Mazzucchelli, Untitled, 1969, PVC, air, timer, air pump (four compositions, each with four inflatable arches in orange), Dimensione overall variable, Each composition (inflated): 140 × 200 × 200 cm (55 ⅛ × 78 ¾ × 78 ¾ inches)

Franco Mazzucchelli, Abbandono (Santa Margherita Ligure), 1971, felt-tip pen on photographic paper, 40 × 30 cm (15 ¾ × 11 ¾ inches)

Franco Mazzucchelli, Abbandono (Como Lake), 1970, felt-tip pen on photographic paper, 40 × 30 cm (15 ¾ × 11 ¾ inches)

Franco Mazzucchelli, INTER/VENTO (Camargue, 1970), Late 1970s, photographs, felt-tip pen and PVC from the original inflatable work on cardboard, 50.5 × 50.5 cm (19 ⅞ × 19 ⅞ inches)