IL GIARDINO DELLE IDEE CRISTALLIZZATE, similitudine dell’opera pubblica e delle forze a lei avverse.


Museo Spazio Pubblico is pleased to present a new project by Marcello Tedesco (Bologna, 1979) that innovatively and radically investigates the meaning of the public work. The project is housed both in the Museum’s interior space, which can be visited by appointment only, and in the adjacent garden, which is always usable by the community and visitors.

After an articulated course of experimentation, the artist has arrived at the idea that the design of collective space today cannot be limited exclusively to the usual practice of placing in the common space a work on a scale appropriate to the context. In fact, this, regardless of its quality, has by its very nature an inherent divisive element, which contradicts the very idea of public space. The divisive element consists in the fact that the work, thus conceived, risks being an expression of a particular and narrow cultural and social sphere that is unlikely to relate to the totality of society.

The challenge inherent in the elaboration of public space is indeed great, as it would require the ability to think beyond traditional conventions, in this case beyond the archetype of the monument or its derivatives revisited in a contemporary key. Should we really be shocked if someone not feeling represented by this form, and the legacy it presupposes, somehow challenges its legitimacy?

The question the artist asked himself is whether today there is still a dimension that unites all human beings regardless of the many social, economic and cultural differences. The answer to this question required several years of research in which the artist has created, from 2013 to the present, several “public” works in hard-to-reach places such as deserts, forests, and mountains. The motivation for such a seemingly incongruous activity lies precisely in the desire to understand in the field criticality and potential of the public work and its possible formulations beyond its conventional aspects.
If the work of art traditionally understood in the public context bears inherent elements of divisiveness, which are difficult to circumvent from a genuinely democratic perspective, the possibility of focusing creative attention on processes of inner transformation and resistance to them is a terrain that the artist has deemed to be the essential element that unites human experience.
Every human being indiscriminately is called for living to face complex processes of transformation and rarefaction of emotional states that far from being a private matter become rather something socially relevant, as they are closely connected to the dimension of thought and behavior.

The installation designed in the outdoor public space is entitled The Garden of Crystallized Ideas. Numerous blocks of pink and gray rock salt are placed on slender steel structures. These ephemeral elements, perfectly assimilated and almost camouflaged in the landscape, are understood by Marcello Tedesco as sediments of crystallized ideas, immobile and inert manifestations of a past that somehow inhibits the formulation of new ideas, which in turn will become unprecedented behaviors. The process of transformation arranged by the artist consists of exposing these mineral sediments to the forces of life: oxygen, moisture, heat, light, darkness, and time. The concerted and simultaneous action of these triggers an irreversible process of progressive rarefaction of matter, which over time silently but inexorably dissolves the rock salt blocks.

The material process we witness is a simile of a transformation inherent in the thoughts that each individual can activate to overcome the inhibitory action that blocks the emergence of new perspectives. Through the language of a sculpture, understood as the ability to reveal the latent forces of reality, the artist offers the possibility of understanding and internalizing a state of affairs that affects each individual human being and drawing from the observation of this process inspiration for the de-mineralization of one’s thoughts.
The process just described and the relationships it triggers between individual and group, between natural landscape and urban context and the mutual reintegration of them, are how Tedesco understands the public work at this juncture. So, in this case the community is offered a kind of mysterious device to foster what appears necessary to implement for social regeneration, through not abstract ideologies, but through real experience.

The installation presented within Museum Public Space deals, like the work in the garden, with the theme of the dissolution of mineral sediments. However, here the substance used is calcium chloride, a material never before used in the artistic field, which strikingly resembles the appearance of bones; as if to say that we are facing a very deep and radical transformation process. Here we face the dissolution of thoughts from the past that have “hidden” and intersected in the remotest part of the human being and from there act as blocking forces.
Inside some crystal showcases the process of rarefaction is caught in various stages, the cruelty of this action is witnessed by the extremely traumatized appearance of both the showcases and the calcium chloride in the process of disintegration. The impression one gets is that of witnessing a process of inner transformation; the formal layout and the materials used tend to emphasize this gaze fixed inward, where transparency is synonymous with penetrative capacity and osmosis between an inside and an outside. This aspect highlights the close relationship between inner and social life.

Marcello Tedesco’s sculptural ability to make visible the architectural forces of reality, certainly beyond exclusively materialistic assumptions, appears in all its disconcerting evidence in this work. Although formally the work is far from looking like something inherent to the representation of the human being, it is on the other hand evident how instead the artist manages to capture through his “sculptural actions” human reality in a profound and universal way, knowing how to balance, in an incisive language, the process and its (temporary) formalization.
We believe that this peculiar approach to the public work may give some further impetus to its elaboration, in the hope that a growing number of individuals will feel the need to de-mineralize their thinking, freeing it from sediments now emptied of life.


IL GIARDINO DELLE IDEE CRISTALLIZZATE, similitudine dell’opera pubblica e delle forze a lei avverse.
14 Jun, 24
18 Jul, 24
Marcello Tedesco
Luisa Bravo
Via Curiel, 13, Bologna
Museo Spazio Pubblico
Museo Temporaneo Navile