Alessandro Bulgini…Servomuto, d’aprés Fabio Mauri

25 October 2021

Flashback, all art is contemporary


The flashback special project Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, il Manifesto

Alessandro Bulgini
Servomuto (2021)

Inauguration Wednesday, October 27th 6.30 p.m. 
 Piazza Bottesini, Turin
and live on Facebook (@flashbackfair)

The seventh poster of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, a project devised by Alessandro Bulgini, curated by Christian Caliandro, is inaugurating in piazza Bottesini on Wednesday, September 27th at 06:30 p.m. and live on @flashbackfair. Like every year, the poster developed by Alessandro Bulgini is exhibited at the time of the fair.        

After the laid table of the “senzazioni” project by Emanuela Barilozzi Caruso, after the people lining  in front of Multicinema Modernissimo in Naples, photographed by  Erika Nevia Cervo in Utile, the poster deployed on a double (analog and digital) level of  Mariapaola Infuso’s poster, the sweet post-human by Lucrezia Testa Iannilli, the visual almanac by Federica Peyrolo and imagination as  rebellion by  Federica Belli, this seventh episode – namely  Servomuto by  Alessandro Bulgini – is offering a sophisticated, sharpened reflection that integrates the tale the sequence that has been deployed so far.

On the white background, enclosed by two simple horizontal red bands above and below (red has always been the distinctive color of the Opera Viva macro-project), Bulgini writes SERVO MUTO in black. In the 18th century, the term servomuto used to identify a stool in various levels which – in the Venetian servidor – were crossed by a vertical rod. When the ladies left after dinner, the waiters put them – in said structure – at both ends of the table, loaded with drinks and liquors, so that the gentlemen could help themselves: the personnel then left, so that the conversation could go on without the presence of indiscreet ears. On the other hand, in the early 20th century, clothes played a significant social role: mainly for the women, a determining factor would be the ability to quickly wear a different outfit, depending upon the different situations of life.  This is how, therefore, in the last century the servomuto became the clothes-stand. This object was also used by Fabio Mauri in 1995 within his exhibition Ariano – in contrast with the previous Ebrea (Jewish woman) –  where the racist leans to the feeling of security and belonging to the community his “respectable” clothes ensure him  (thus as adhesion to a to a value system founded on hypocrisy and prejudice)

For Alessandro Bulgini, the “servomuto” is today the artist. 

The servomuto-artist may be – as it unfortunately happens all the time – a merely decorative ornamental element: the creative equivalent of a liquor stool that is silently contemplating the dynamics of power; a character that is retained to leisure time rather than to that transformation of life which has been  the main task of art in any time, and which has been the underlying theme of the whole series of the posters developed this year . 

Or else, the artist that works at a servomuto can play a far more positive, decisive role.  In our time of structural oversimplification and of inability to understand the, in a time of egocentricity, selfishness, individualism and self-representation carried to extreme, dominated by the constant spasmodic search for “consent” (such as the “likes” and their equivalent in real life…), the servomuto-artist may be the one who really put her/himself to the service of the community and of the territory – of the Other and of the others – in an active silence, which is though not servile or renouncing. The silence of those who prefer keeping on constructing instead of devoting to pointless polemics.  

Through its writing, the poster presents itself in a deliberately ambiguous contradictory manner, opening to the interpretations of a reflection which – as usual – leaves the narrow world of art and stretches to the whole social reality that surrounds us and in which we are immersed.   


Alessandro Bulgini was born in Taranto in 1962; he lives and works in Turin. After his degree in theater scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara, he lived in various Italian towns: Rome, Milan, Livorno, Venice, Genoa, and Taranto, to which he owes the absolute independence and individuality of his work. Difficult to be assimilated and framed into any artistic current, Alessandro Bulgini utilizes a wide spectrum of means to narrate and act with and on laterality, diversity, physical and cultural suburbs. Painting, photographer, video, performances and new media are all means to talk of the invisible and to show how much the oblique look may reveal other, different and viable pathways. Several personal and collective exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad with the cycles of works: “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe” starting from 1993 and “Hairetikos” since  2001, amongst which we remind  Fondazione Volume!, Rome – Centre International d’accueil et d’echanges des Recollets, Paris, Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris, New York – Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome – Castello di Rivara, Rivara – Sound Art Museum, Zerynthia, Rome – CIAC, Castello Colonna, Genazzano – Castello Sforzesco, Milan – Castello Cavour, Santena – Cordy House, London – Fondazione 107, Turin – La Triennale, Milan – Frost Art Museum, Miami, Florida – Loft Project Etagi, Saint Petersburg , Russia – Museo Ettore Fico, Turin – HVCCA, Peekskill, NY- Biennale Democrazia, Turin. In 2008, the painting work Hairetikos makes a further displacement with the addition of the Opera Viva cycle, by which he has also joint Facebook, since its inscription on November 15th 2008, Opera Viva, which is still in progress, is a social work that resorts to the active contribution of all its participants: a work through which the artist develops innovative modalities of artistic use of both the network and the territory. Hence, the inauguration of the B.A.R.L.U.I.G.I.  project (Opera Viva) from a bar in the suburbs, states the simple rules to turn existent spaces – such as bars, butcheries, private houses or full villages – into creative welcoming spaces without any filters, free of charge and no profit.  Such spaces are connected to one another through individual Facebook pages, under of the same banner of the b.a.r.l.u.i.g.i. Logo. 19 of them have been developed the world over. After the closure of the  b.a.r.l.u.i.g.i. basis, he deployed his activities even further to the territories, with the intention of contributing to let them be known better. Starting from his own neighborhood, Barriera di Milano in Turin, whose sidewalks he started to “decorate” with the chalks (Decoro Urbano in Barriera di Milano 2014, 2015) and not only (Opera Viva, Tatuaggio per Barriera, 2018), (Opera Viva, Orto Urbano in Barriera di Milano, 2018), (Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, Affissione, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) etc. Then, Opera viva activates eclectically for the towns for the towns of Taranto (Taranto Opera Viva), Cosenza (Cosenza Opera Viva), (Opera Viva, The Legends of Peekskill, NY. A shot for a wish) Peekskill – New York, USA, Livorno and then again for the Building of Via Cuneo 5 bis (Turin, quartiere Aurora) with the  Arte In-Stabile project, for the hospital of S. Anna in Turin, for the town of  Imlil in Morocco, for the Jungle refugee camp of  Calais (Opera viva, the Jungle), for the grammar and primary schools  (Opera Viva, Scuola di Volo) and for all those territories that need and will need it, developing an innovative methodology that boasts elements of both public and relational art. A commitment towards the collectivity, which must be involved and represented, in the belief that art must enter the everyday life to re-generate and be actually “alive”.