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Exhibition on the Infinite in the Finite, the Indefinite, and the Unfinished at Palazzo Fortuny
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Piazza d’Italia, 1955/60. Olio su tela/ Oil on canvas. Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, GAM, Bologna.

VENICE.- The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Vervoordt Foundation present In-finitum, an exhibition in Palazzo Fortuny on “the infinite in the finite,” the indefinite, and the unfinished. The exhibition runs through November 15 2009. With In-finitum, the trilogy which started with Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art (Venice, 2007) and continued with Academia: Qui es-tu? (Paris, 2008) comes full circle. Once again set in Palazzo Fortuny, In-finitum will show nearly 300 works of art, ranging from archaeological objects and old master paintings, to modern and contemporary works and installations, several of which have been created explicitly for this exhibition.

“[upon entering the Noguchi studio] A tranquillity, a powerful harmony and silence came over us. In his studio …Noguchi had created a unique landscape, and within its limitations he had succeeded in creating a limitless space. Many of his stone sculptures had been left unfinished, some stones seemed to have barely been touched; there, both the work of nature and the work of man are frozen in some indefinite state. … This is where the idea for In-finitum was born. The infinite appearing in the unfinished” (Axel Vervoordt in conversation with Tatsuro Miki).

In-finitum is a promenade, a journey, stretched out over the four floors of the Palazzo Fortuny, which engages the mind and the soul in an unobtrusive way. The exhibition is layered in such a manner that moments of introspection and possibly self-confrontation are alternated with a strong sense of belonging and adherence. Facing the unfinished and the infinite, the overarching awareness is one of serenity and peace. This notion comes to full completion when one climbs the stairs to the attic and reaches the end of the route. Here, gradually, the Sanctuary of Silence pavilion comes into sight and one is embraced by an undisturbed 360° view on Venice, rendering the space into one of the most sacred ones in the city. This arrival at “the still point of the turning world,” (T.S. Eliot) offers deliverance and redemption, a sense of being at ease with and within the world. But the end also contains a new beginning, for it is the exact same route, followed in the inverse way, which will lead one back to the entrance. In-finitum ad infinitum. “In my beginning is my end” (T.S. Eliot).

As ‘the infinite’ is ungraspable, one reaches for metaphors and signifiers. Hence In-finitum is created around a set of themes and concepts which evoke a sense of the infinite. These include the Cosmic; the Unfinished Work of Art; the Infinite Perspective; the Space-in-Between, MA; the Black Room; the Monochrome; and the Void, KU. The selected works represent the entire world and all of time; major masters and anonymous creators; paintings, sculpture, installations, objects for daily use and objets trouvés; the intellectually challenging and the emotionally touching. Although their diversity is immense, they share an awe-inspiring yet abstruse pulsation, and the crystal-clear message that there is more, so much more, than meets the eye.

The mysterious and mythical spaces of Palazzo Fortuny constitute a natural habitat for this exhibition. Not only was it home to Artempo – symbolizing the connectedness of both exhibitions – its structure and atmosphere, still so strongly inspired by Fortuny’s investigative, creative and genial spirit, perfectly suit the quest for the unknown and unknowable which runs through In-finitum. Palazzo Fortuny is, indeed, “…the labyrinth. For the unexpected views that it offers and for the unconscious fears that it evokes in its most hidden recesses; for the poetry that it stirs and for the magmatic universe of things that it holds in check and sets free…” (Giandomenico Romanelli).

Palazzo Fortuny | Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia | Mark Rothko | Giorgio de Chirico | T.S. Eliot | Tatsuro Miki | Noguchi |

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