Edoardo De Cobelli per Threes
Jacopo Benassi was born in 1970 in La Spezia, where he lives and works. A photographer and artist, over the years he has developed a personal style in which depth of field is eliminated and flash light becomes a signature, a stylistic constraint that Benassi imposes on his own work in order to achieve raw, unmediated photographs. The subjects of his images are highly varied, a multi-faceted humanity that spans from international music and underground culture – starting with the experience of the B-Tomic club, run by the photographer himself – to portraits of models, actresses, artists and stylists published in some of Italy’s most important magazines, right through to the exploration of the body, ranging from self-portraits to the documentation of sexual encounters and ancient statuary. Benassi is also occasionally a performer and musician. His experimentation with performance is linked to music through the medium of photographic images. His recent solo shows include: MATRICE, Fondazione Carispezia, La Spezia (2022); PAST, Francesca Minini, Milan (2021); VUOTO, Centro Pecci, Prato (2020); CRACK, CAMERA, Turin and at the Fotografia Europea festival, Reggio Emilia (2019); Portraits, Palazzo Bentivoglio, Bologna. In 2011 he launched Talkinass - Paper and Records, producing magazines and live CDs. As an independent publisher, he has released limited editions of live publications and magazines at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. He has taken part in events such as No Soul for Sale, curated by M. Cattelan and M. Gioni, Tate Modern (London, 2010).
Gardone Riviera (BS)
Parco della Valletta di Fraole, via del Vittoriale 25
AN “AGITATED SERENADE” FOR THE LAUNCH OF A SHIP ON THE HILL OF GARDONE, WHERE AN ILLITERATE SOUND WILL BRING THE SEA TO THE BATTLESHIP PUGLIA EXACTLY 100 YEARS AFTER IT WAS GIVEN TO GABRIELE D’ANNUNZIO BY THE NAVY AND POSITIONED BY THE POET TO DOMINATE THE HORIZON
Gardone Riviera is the town that D’Annunzio chose for his residence, the location of the Vittoriale, a complex of paths, theatres, waterways and gardens that climb up and down the hills above the Lake Garda. Opposite one of the poet’s most evocative relics, the prow of the battleship Puglia, looking towards the lake and the Adriatic, as if longing for the sea again, Jacopo Benassi’s installation flutters in the wind.
A group of ten flags, bearing the same number of photographs printed in black and white, wave as if they were one, in the park of the Valletta di Fraole, hoisted on a single flagpole, in counterpoint to the prow positioned on the hill.
A symbol of no country, the flags do not represent an idea, but an image in constant motion, that of the sea: perhaps that of La Spezia, Benassi’s birthplace and the final destination of the torpedo boat used by the Navy, or perhaps that of all seas, places for anyone and no-one. The flags intertwine and overlap, depending on the wind, as if to evoke the anarchic lapping of the waves depicted on the fabrics; like pages from a book of black and white images, the result of shots taken close up with the instantaneous lighting of the flash, typical of the artist, photographer and performer Jacopo Benassi.
Lastly, nine compositions of foam and breakers conceal a final, large flag bearing the image of a skull, a traditional symbol of pirates and a long-recurring figure in the artist’s work. Also present in the recent solo exhibition at Fondazione Carispezia, where the expression “Bisogna tradire la tradizione” (Tradition must be betrayed) was highlighted, here it seems to be placed in defiance of tradition itself and of the heritage surrounding the Vittoriale, but it is also a tribute to the impudence and madness inherent in the act of placing a ship on a hill, the same traits that guided D’Annunzio in so many enterprises and that enlivens the inaugural performance by Jacopo Benassi and Michele Lombardelli.
Jacopo Benassi, SERENATA AGITATA, 2023. Anodized aluminum, sublimated print on fabric, 5.5 x 2.4 m, 10 flags variable sizes.
Parco della Valletta di Fraole, via del Vittoriale 25, Gardone Riviera (BS)
THE PROJECT IS A SET OF TEN FLAGS HOISTED ON A SINGLE FLAGPOLE, EVOKING A SEA IN CONSTANT MOVEMENT
Gardone Riviera, located on Lake Garda and set in an evocatively colourful landscape, is one of the most popular villages in Lombardy. The ‘Garden City’ has just over 2,600 residents, but every year it attracts thousands of travellers from all over the world. Famous since the mid-19th century, today it is one of the ‘Borghi più Belli d’Italia’ (Most Beautiful Villages in Italy) and it has the Blue Flag and Orange Flag quality marks, in addition to the ‘Vele’ awarded by environmental association Legambiente. It is an ideal combination of beauty and hospitality: breathtaking views, buildings steeped in history and lush parks help make the village unique. The most important highlights include the Vittoriale degli Italiani, a monumental group of buildings constructed from 1921, commissioned by poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, and the Botanical Garden, which houses species from all over the world along with works of modern art. In Gardone Riviera there are many activities available, from trying traditional Brescian cuisine to sport: the surrounding area is perfect for walks and cycling excursions, while the lake offers aquatic pursuits and boat trips to admire the splendid panorama from a different perspective. Throughout the year, the village organises cultural events ranging from international music to light opera, from jazz to family shows, hosted mainly in Palazzo Wimmer and Villa Alba.