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subjects and their secrets. This is the starting point for Bernardi’s work. Luciano Fabro (an artist that it is impossible not to think of when seeing works like Italia Bivacco, Italia pacco etc.), in his Arte torna Arte (Art Returns to Art), wrote that there are things in life that fundamentally imply knowledge and other things that imply mostly a ‘doing’, whereas art is a know how to do. In a completely personalized way, Bernardi’s starting point is a ‘doing to think’, or, better yet, a ‘doing to help him think’. The idea and the final object/work are realised in the meantime. It starts with an interest in a gimmick (an old tape recorder, an umbrella, a typewriter, a spring mechanism, an unusual doormat etc.), and is followed by the dismantling and the idea of transforming the object into something else, in a process of liberation/non–liberation. He liberates the machines from a rational and functional slavery to bestow on them a new purpose, which may be irrational or playful, but still obsessive and repetitive. It is in this process that Marco Bernardi’s modernity lies, his paradoxically being of his time. Bernardi’s liberation of the machines mirrors our post–modern liberation, which has become a new form of slavery… more uninhibited and undefined but equally oppressive. The dismantling of the machines and of his myths stems from what could be the keyword behind Bernardi’s work: vainglory or boasting. It’s a “gratification without any real merit” that the artist frames through a disenchanted view of the world and a vision that contemplates irregularity and instability. A sense of life that becomes sense of history: the interest in old, used objects that capture a spirit (this is the legacy of Fabio Mauri, who can be considered his teacher) on the one hand denotes an entirely contemporary sensibility towards modern antiques, grandmother’s furniture or to vintage things in general (and a nostalgia for the “good things from once upon a time”); on the other hand, that interest denotes the decline of the man–machine replaced by the human machine, with its own insecurities, fragilities and imperfections. These are actions that render his subjects and his works particularly “sympathetic” in both senses of the word. All this, however, without taking himself and the world too seriously (and thus, continuing the discussion from an opposing angle to that of Fabio Mauri’s).


Profile for Bugno Art Gallery

Vanagloria - Marco Bernardi  

Vanagloria - Marco Bernardi