An interview with Maurizio Mercuri
by Guido Molinari
Maurizio Mercuri’s works are tied to conceptual art without ever being imprisoned in rigid and repeated patterns. Within this wide freedom of movement one can find elements of continuity in the modality of confrontation with reality. In particular the manipulation and re-projecting of the existent turn into primary necessities to be considered in the light of a light and playful spirit. In this context the artist’s touch is very slight but illuminating, in particular cases it is only a question of inventing “ ex-novo” but always keeping in mind praxis and real behaviours to reckon with.
Thus the artist, through the making, the manipulation and the analytical examination of what he is considering, achieves the moment of re-interpretation, of the inventive burst, of the surprising re-visitation of daily reality. The languages blend, clash, confront producing meaningful as well as involving differences of potential.
GM What fascinates you in the numerous photos you keep, bought at junk markets or found in the most extravagant and strange contexts? When you use these photos in your works or you place them in installations, in what way do you re-consider them from an aesthetic point of view?
MM I have a collection of pictures, found photos, magazine cuttings, postcards, book and record covers and many other things that I have heaped up in the course of the years. It is a kind of disorganized archives combining vintage images de-contextualized and therefore incongruous.
Most of them come from junk markets and garrets, a reservoir of atmospheres compressed in boxes and file-holders that, every now and then, I observe and mix again in search of unforeseen connections. In the video “Qualche” (“Some”) I used some old slides of the seventies showing images of ambients, life scenes, family ceremonies which, later, I elaborated with 3D graphic software, so as to create in the viewer the illusion of moving in a frozen scene. As to installations, early in the nineties I realized, in an exhibition curated by Claudio Marra, an ambient installation where the windows of the space where the exhibition was hosted had been closed and transformed into rudimental light boxes that lit up images and texts photocopied on translucid paper.