Opera Viva, the Billboard…Alessandro Bulgini

26 October - 22 November 2020

Opening…Live on Facebook (@flashbackfair) from Piazza Bottesini
Friday 30 October…hrs. 18:30

On 30 October at hrs. 18:30 live on Facebook – @flashbackfair from Piazza Bottesini, we will present Opera Viva, 13 verticale: Che?, i.e. the work by Alessandro Bulgini, the deviser of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, a project curated by a Christian Caliandro and supported by Flashback.

The theme selected this year by Flashback is Ludens, inspired to Roger Zelazny’s sci-fi tale Unicorn Variations and to the work of Johan Huizinga: therefore, the game meant as a foundation of human life and creativity, as an essential approach for the continuous reconstruction of the world.

Alessandro Bulgini’s poster summarizes somehow the tale composed by the other artists and transfers it onto another plan. An old man completing crosswords, lazily sitting on a deckchair, in a pinewood close to Livorno last summer. The framing of the image deprives him of his head: it beheads him.  On the leg, he shows a tattoo with Ernesto Che Guevara. The title of the work – 13 verticale: Che? –  is intentionally ambiguous, ambivalent: the fights of the past, the dream of revolution, the visage of Che as a symbol of rebellion, are nowadays dimensions relegated to the memory, as if they were blended together in the after-history. Thus, the current condition is not much the one of surrender but – rather – of rest, of the end of all the battles, which are fading – perhaps definitely – into oblivion. 
In this case, the reference is to the famous Man Without Head photograph (1993) by Joel Peter Witkin, an image the author used to consider one of the saddest ones he had ever composed: a man who is still wearing his socks (a symbol of everyday and normality) is sitting without his head, i.e. deprived of his identity. Also, and manly for this, the photographer intends to honor Man and the unsustainability his condition represents. 
The old man with his beer guts, who is devoting to crosswords on the deckchair, is the symbol of a warrior spirit which has nowadays fully slumbered, in a present where the prevailing dimension is – in the end – perhaps not the one of failure, but the one of a serene, soothing despair, which is noble, in spite of everything. 

A lucid and though critical analysis on the condition of contemporary man, always in imbalance between action and inertia, between simulation and reality, between revolution and preservation.