Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale presents 'History of Night and Destiny of Comets'
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Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale presents 'History of Night and Destiny of Comets'
Gian Maria Tosatti, “History of Night and Destiny of Comets” (Storia della Notte e Destino delle Comete), Italian Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2022, curated by Eugenio Viola, Commissioner of the Italian Pavilion Onofrio Cutaia. Courtesy DGCC - MiC.

VENICE.- History of Night and Destiny of Comets [Storia della Notte e Destino delle Comete], the Italian Pavilion at the 59th International Venice Biennale (April 23–November 27, 2022), is open to the public. Promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity—Ministry of Culture and curated by Eugenio Viola, it presents the work of a single artist for the first time in the history of the Italian Pavilion: Gian Maria Tosatti.

The exhibition is envisioned according to a theatrical ratio that articulates the narrative into a prologue and two acts: History of Night and Destiny of Comets. It is a vast environmental site-specific installation that deals with the difficult balance between man and nature, sustainable development and territory. It proposes a vision of the current state of humanity and its future prospects and is conceived as an intermediary device that mixes various languages.

Italy, with its historical background as a nation recovering from two world wars and affected by an extraordinary economic growth, the so-called “Italian miracle,” provides the scenario of the History of Night. A series of industrial spaces, originally used for different productions, silently guard obsolete and disused machines, abandoned and lonely objects in which there is no trace of the human presence that once made them useful and functional.

The Destiny of Comets is the final vision, which reminds us that indignant nature has not forgiven man since the time of the Flood. It opens to a nocturnal sea beating against its walls. A row of half-sunken street lamps indicates that there must have been a street in front of us. On the threatening surface of this dark sea unexpectedly rises an inversely disturbing element, the sign of a possible peace: a swarm of hundreds of fireflies flying over a world where nature has regained its dominion and restored its cruel law of supreme beauty and harmony. It is a vertigo that transforms desolation into painful compassion and hope.

A public program coordinated by Adriana Rispoli is planned to spread the themes of History of Night and Destiny of Comets throughout the world by involving several Italian and international voices. All activities will be open to the public and documented on social channels and the website

The public program will include a series of lectures and performative actions in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University, Venice and will establish a network of “embassies”: museums and cultural institutions, both national—Museo Madre, Naples; Marevivo Onlus, Venice; Fondazione Merz—ZACentrale in the spaces of ZAC—Zisa Arti Contemporanee Pavilions, Palermo—and international—including: MAC Lima, Peru; Belgrade Cultural Center, Belgrade, Serbia; MAC, Montreal, Canada; MSU Zagreb, Croatia; ZOMA Museum, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia; MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; EMST State Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; A4 Art Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa; AGWA Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia; MAMBO, Bogotá, Colombia. They will organize talks, seminars and activities that will contribute to creating a polyphonic mosaic of thoughts on the global themes that are protagonists of the Italian Pavilion 2022.

The exhibition catalog includes texts by Eugenio Viola, editor of the book, Gian Maria Tosatti, and an homage to the Italian photographer Mimmo Jodice. It is published by Treccani and designed by Mosaico Studio.

The Italian pavilion has also been realized thanks to the support of Sanlorenzo and Valentino, the main sponsors of the exhibition. Thanks also to the sponsor Xiaomi, the main technical sponsors Folio, Italstage, FPT Industrial, and the technical sponsors Bonotto, Fondazione Morra, Laterlite, Marcegaglia and Mosaico Studio. Special thanks also to all the donors whose names appear in the colophon who have made a fundamental contribution to this project and to the media partner Il Giornale dell’Arte.

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