MACRO Testaccio
12.04.2017 – 3.09.2017
curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini and Ludovico Pratesi


This at Macro Testaccio was the last step of the project I pesci non portano fucili, a journey into the artist’s work, thinking and research, begun in November 2016 with the exhibition RWD/FWD, at Pirri’s studio/archives. He chose the title of the work as a hommage to Philip K.Dick’s work The Divine Invasion (1981), where the author imagines a disarmed society, fluid like the sea into which to plunge and re-emerge, giving birth to different events. The whole work is conceived as a new cultural project, strongly wanted by Pirri, in which every institution involved is autonomous but constantly dialoging with the others.


The exhibition displays 50 works, among the artist’s most significant, realized from the 80s to the present day, showing the alternation of fluidity and firmness, where the sudden changes of technique are a metaphor of the time of the mind, beaten by the elements that have always marked his research: space, colour, light. “The exhibition” says Ludovico Pratesi “allows us a complete reading of the complexity of Alfredo Pirri’s research, through an itinerary that is itself a work of art. The artist uses the space of Macro Testaccio to highlight the fundamentals components of his art, and encourage visitors to share the experience of being immersed into the harmony of space, light and colour”.
The exhibition winds along a developing itinerary, where the city, seen as an open space, a meeting and sharing point, has many facets, through a re-elaboration of the architectural space, here divided into two main sections.         


The exhibition is opened with the work realized in the workshop at Nomas Foundation: Quello che avanza, prosecution of a study on light and colour, characterizing Alfredo Pirri’s everlasting research. Consisting of 144 prints, the work is the fruit of a research on the techniqe of cyanotype, which permits to produce large off-camera photographic prints, of variations of deep blue. 130 of the cyanotypes show the phases of working and the residue produced, while 14 are the result of a unique technique, with the use of feathers laid directly on the sheets, compounded of chemical substances and exposed to UV-rays. Among the other works, Gas (1990) combines conceptual and minimalist elements, evoking in the title an invisible matter that fills the surrounding space; Le squadre plastiche (1987-88), motionless as dumb witnesses, and at the same time with their painting reflected on the wall as pure energy; Verso N (2003), an installation  whose fragments raise an imaginary horizon, a spiritual land crossed by beams of light radiating in the space, lighting up the colours of the painting; La stanza di Penna (1999), made of book covers arranged so as to create a city skyline, a landscape soaked by a diffused light resembling the colours of sunset. A connection between the two sections is Passi, that works as a threshold. It’s a site-specific installation made of a floor of mirrors, breaking into pieces under the steps of the artist and the observer, creating misshapen stories in dialogue with the surrounding space, its nature and history.


Benedetta Carpi de Resmini: “Along the years Alfredo Pirri has experienced many artistic manifestations, from painting to sculpture, from video to performance, but it’s particularly his view of space-time that hits the observer as a palingenesis: a new vision of reality and the city. So the architectural space is transformed into a canvas on which Pirri “paints” empty and full, light and shade, in a metamorphosis which enlightens its chromatic, conceptual and symbolic values”.
Alfredo Pirri’s art ranges over painting, sculpture, paper and environment works. He is constantly considerate to space, surface, colour, creating actual volumes of light. Every work of his becomes a spatial, emotional and temporal place, where the spectator is destabilized and disoriented by the chromatic sensations in which he is immersed. Pirri collaborates with architects in multidisciplinary projects, where art and architecture converse harmoniously.
The entire project is correlate with a catalogue published by Quodlibet containing unpublished texts by Benedetta Carpi de Resmini, Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, Ilaria Gianni, Soko Phay, Ludovico Pratesi, Paola Tognon, Stefano Velotti and a conversation between Pirri and Hou Hanru.