Donatella Bernardi. Barbabietole e meringue

Art, Solo exhibition, Roma

Opening during Giro del Gusto



Art, Solo exhibition

Opening during Giro del Gusto

Falling asleep is like falling in love. It’s impossible to catch the instant it happens. When it hits you it is already too late. Dreams, love and night are simultaneously physical and immaterial, visible and incomprehensible. Were we to find ourselves dreaming in the bed and the head of Emilio Maraini, what would we see? What flavor would we taste? Beet sugar. Thousands of roots ready to transform into a foodstuff precious enough to constitute a colossal fortune. How many beets need to be grown to supply a single meringue? If Villa Maraini has roots, they are undoubtedly beetroots. From them, a garden of plants and flowers from the four corners of the globe has sprouted forth. The entrance to the park and the villa opens onto a dark, damp vision. It is the grotto. Three dreamcatchers decorate this space of the unconscious, leading to the fabrics that constitute the rest of the installation. Sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths, produced in relation to the exceptional career of the industrialist of Swiss origin, are hung between the

palm trees in the garden (the design of the fabrics has been done in collaboration with Noémie Gygax, no-do). While the dreamcatchers are decorated with the features of a planetary tropical paradise, the humble beetroots are transformed into European, African, American, Asian and Australian flowers. Some of the specimens were gathered personally by the artist’s father. Explorers and the nouveaux riches are always excessive, lacking in any socialist or democratic restraint.

Swiss with Italian roots, Donatella Bernardi, born in 1976 in Geneva, is a versatile artist. There are no clear boundaries inside her between artistic work, research, the organization of exhibitions, publication and the production of films, or teaching at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She encourages collaborative practices, from the Zorro & Bernardo group active in the early 2000s, to the Eternal Tour festival that began in 2008 and has developed in different phases, exploring the socio- cultural and anthropological dimensions of different countries and continents. A nomad and a cosmopolitan par excellence, her life represents her status as a citizen of the world. Former ISR fellow, 2006/08.