On the occasion of the 55th Venice Biennale, TRIAD is proud to support and present the works of Italian artist Marialuisa Tadei at the Venice Pavilion, curated by Ewald Stastny.
Marialuisa Tadei, based between London, Bologna and Rome has exhibited her works internationally in public and private spaces and has also been presented in previous editions of the Venice Biennale. In the UK, Tadei works with the Cass Sculpture Foundation and, her sculptures will be on show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England from July 2013. Her intriguing use of mediums encourages viewers to engage with the form of material in relation to other elements such as light and space that are vital to Tadei’s work. Drawing inspirations from the abstract shapes of nature and light, the artist creates invented forms that reflect metaphors of the stark differences in similarities of reality.
The combination of artists from the East and West invited to Stastny’s Venice Pavilion responds in a contemporary language to the curator’s concept of the pavilion housing works that are inspired by the Silk Map and concept of light and its historical and divine importance in art forms. Sited at the end of the Silk Route from Asia, Venice was one of the key European centres of trade and a magnet for craftsmen, a place where originality and authenticity of material and form was valued. In the work—Il Castello di Sole (The Castle of Sun)—created by Marialuisa Tadei, oriental connotations and tales from the East travel Westward. The work was inspired by Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan,” with its references to the ‘sunny dome’ of the Chinese Emperor’s pleasure pavilion in Xanadu. Il Castello di Sole is further stirred by the stories of exotic sights that were passed to the West by Marco Polo via the Silk Route. The abrupt interruption of Coleridge’s complete realisation of the poem creates a longing to experience and conjure more of the unseen and the unknown, just like Tadei does in her Il Castello di Sole.
Il Castello di Sole is the artist’s interpretation of a contemporary Silk Route, where people of many cultures pass through and mingle within the given shared moment of time in the space. Working with the medium of silk and her practised medium of sculpture, Tadei has created an exterior castle of silk with a designed mosaic pattern, which becomes the medium of constantly refracting and reflecting shapes as one enters the work. Mosaic was a commonly used medium in Byzantine art and during the period of Marco Polo, as well as in medieval architecture and art. Strongly influenced by aspects of the Renaissance as well, the artist speaks about the influence of the Church in her works with metaphors of the gold mosaic representing the sun, the regal divinity of Jesus Christ and the iconography of God. The movement of light with the mosaic constantly changes colour and forms similar to the digital pixels of contemporary television. The reflective surfaces inside the work multiply the dimensions of the space in a baroque rococo style, highly influenced by the architectural rivalry of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Finally, the expanse of infinity plays with the viewers’ thoughts of fantasy, utopia, creation and new realities, allowing them to build their own Il Castello di Sole.