Exhibition  /  08 Sep 2007  -  14 Oct 2007
Published: 05.09.2007
Galleria Maurer Zilioli
Raffaella Formenti. Sculpture: Untitled, 2007. Raffaella, FormentiSculpture: 2007. Raffaella Formenti
Sculpture: Untitled, 2007

Raffaella, Formenti
Sculpture: 2007

© By the author. Read Copyright.

(...) She is, first and foremost, an indefatigable collector of messages, relics and fragments, fleeting impressions and quotes from our everyday surroundings (...)
‘Deriva’: for the sailor, ‘drifting’, rudderless. For Raffaella Formenti: deliberately letting herself get out of control and returning to control, borne up by the waves and surges of innuendo and suggestion emanating from living right now. Navigating within reality, ‘browsing’ as if inside a computer processor with sprung springs and short-circuited cables – this is how Formenti’s (b. Brescia 1955) artistic strategy is presented to us. She is, first and foremost, an indefatigable collector of messages, relics and fragments, fleeting impressions and quotes from our everyday surroundings, selected from the flood of advertising and advertisements, packaging, information sheets, prospectuses and signposts, with which we are continuously and intrusively bombarded and whose absurdity we no longer really notice.
Formenti, however, detects these quirks of the media, their recondite ‘nonsense’, as one in the know, an initiate in the rites of commerce. She acts as an analyst and ‘agent provocateur’, who aims at awakening with a jolt our lulled and anaesthetised perceptions and enlightening us. Seemingly lost in a thicket of words, she suggests we should wander with her in a delirium of illusions, in a fictitious Reality Show, as it were.
The artistic action begins with wrenching the primary material from the soul, defacing and traducing its high-gloss aesthetic and manipulating the ‘façades’ (surfaces) of fruit crates, brochures and all sorts of commercial communications vehicles. Thus their original pragmatic context is deleted to reveal their comical side, the perverseness of the codified language of a consumerism that can no longer be contained, which is constantly battering us everywhere. ‘Raffo’ has invented a module, a sort of folded pixel, for constructing her works and with it she transplants the original material into multi-coloured textures to form a complex mosaic that might continue on infinitely.
The outcome: sculptural accumulations, three-dimensional assemblages, installations that usurp space, reliefs and wall objects, also with painterly qualities, which are united with poetic sophistication into expansive environments. Viewers are disconcerted and startled with scraps of text: ‘Tutto speciale’ (All special), ‘Gratis’ (free), ‘Vincere’ (Win), etc. Details of images leap to the eye, freely oscillating springy antennae and keyboards invite us to play. They simulate the physical, concrete contact with a non-existing network, one that forces us away, drives us into chimerical worlds.

Three factors from her academy training at the Brera in Milan have retained pillar functions in Formenti’s work: the word, the sign, the colour. They join forces, so to speak, in each work to enhance its expressive impact, above and beyond the discourse carried on by the artist, which revolves around the ‘magic world of the supermarket’. Selection, composition and deliberations on content – classic and fundamental aspects of art – therefore, pilot navigation ultimately into constructive channels and reveal the serious, indeed intellectual, core of Raffaella Formenti’s aesthetic strategy. 


1992 saw the first ‘Torre informatica’, in 1997 the artist participated in the exhibition ‘Trash: quando i rifiuti diventano arte’ (Trash: when refuse becomes art) at MART (Rovereto) under the direction of Lea Vergine, also in 1996/97, participation in ‘Escatalogica’, a touring exhibition curated by Roberto Peccolo, in 2000/2001 in the ‘Doppio Triangolo’ project. Formenti represented Italy in a series of exhibitions mounted in the Slovak Republic, Italy and Switzerland. Formenti was invited by Martina Corgnati to take part in the IIIrd Premio Internazionale di Scultura Regione Piemonte; she was distinguished among the ten finalists for the project ‘Regards d’ailleurs’. That was when she invented fantastic search engines for the jobless at, a virtual address online and a real jumping-off point during the exhibition ‘030, arte da brescia’, curated in 2003 by F. Paris and F. Tedeschi. She has continued to take part in numerous exhibitions, including ‘Pleinair 2004’ in Darmstadt and ‘Segnali inquieti’ (Galleria Peccolo, Livorno). In 2006 she had a solo show, ‘Zig Zag tra Bus e Spam’ (Palazzo Libero, Villa Lagarina). Works by Formenti are shown at ‘Tuttolibri’, curated by Lea Vergine, at Galleria Milano, at Alfabeti in the Spaziocontemporaneo (Milan) and are owned by numerous private and public collections, such as ‘Archivio Nuova Scrittura’ (MART, Rovereto), which all goes to affirm the importance of the work and its untiring author, who reacts to the present with an ironical eye, great poetic sensitivity and quasi neo-Dadaist wit.

Formenti’s œuvre has now set its course for Desenzano del Garda. While it is at Galleria Maurer Zilioli, her ‘Wasserpfeil’ (Water Arrow), chosen by the Fraglia Vela (the local yachting club) as the trophy for the ‘Eni-Vodafone 2007’ regatta, the finale of all the grand regattas of the season. The prize will be awarded in Desenzano on 23 September. 

Opening hours: Tu – Su 15.30 pm – 8 pm, also on holiday
Viewing at other times by appointment; call: 0039-3206907732, 3356537430