Liviana Martin

The Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2024. Photo Massimo Bartolini

The ‘Due qui/To hear’ project is the work that Massimo Bartolini, an artist known for his works that connect man with natural space, created for the Italian Pavilion. The title, only apparently ungrammatical, alludes to the assonance between being two and listening.
Crossing the immense expanse of the Pavilion is an experience that requires attention, silence and above all listening. On a long 25 meter column resting on the ground, the bronze statuette of a thoughtful Bodhisattva is sitting, the enlightened one who shows the path to follow. He stands still, does not act, only reflects. The column hides an organ pipe at the end which creates a continuous sound, which pervades the space of green and purple walls, the colours of musical tones. The other large central space is entirely occupied by a forest of scaffolding made up of Innocenti tubes, at the center of which is the sculpture of a fountain (the work is entitled Conveyance). Around it, you can sit, reflect, observe the conical wave that continuously rises and falls with an almost hypnotic effect that induces meditation. The metal structure has a labyrinthine shape, following the plan of an imaginary Italian garden, where you can get lost as well as find yourself. The visual perception is accompanied by the stereophonic compositions of two young musicians, Caterina Barbieri and Kali Malone. As Bartolini underlines, the view is always frontal, it is fixed, while the sound is enveloping, it surprises us from every side, it is movement. And the sound accompanies you outside, in the garden of the Virgins. The music comes out of the speakers hanging from the branches of the trees and it relates to the trees. The authors (Gavin and Yuri Bryars) conceived a composition inspired by the verses of the Argentine poet Roberto Juarroz:
Sometimes I can no longer move / I find roots everywhere, / As if things were born from me / Or as if I were born from all things.
The listening that Bartolini tells us about is a relationship with human beings and with nature, it requires silence and empathy. In this coluorful Bienniale, full (too much) of installations and noises, the artist’s work is an invitation to suspend action to find a deeper relationship with the World.