The first retrospective dedicated to Vanessa Beecroft, young (born in 1969) and internationally successful Italian artist, which opens on Tuesday at Castello di Rivoli (running until January 25) has been preceded by an unhappy gaffe in the face of the media, owed perhaps to a curious historical nemesis.
Brought together at 11.00 in the morning for a preview of the performance conceived for the opening of the exhibition, dozens of journalists from the Italian and international press together with several television crews, waited until the early afternoon for VB52 to begin (the 52nd of an up until now fortunate series).
Attractively staged – a very long glass table surrounding by glass chairs, on which were seated in a curious chromatic/temporal sequence, women of gradually more defined class and age, before an equally long lunch made up of different coloured courses - the result of the performance was however rather artificial and “exclusive” in the literal sense. Journalists were kept at a distance, relegated to a corner of the immense gallery on the second floor of the Castello, whilst the undisturbed artist personally carried out her photographic shoot, necessary for placing the performance on the art market.
Ethical doubts apart, what was missing was that mysterious component of close up visual contact created with the models in the artist’s earlier works at the beginning of the nineties, which made seeing her performances live both fascinating and involving. As far as the rest is concerned, the works of Beecroft - almost all photographic - well installed in the sumptuous galleries of the Castello (not included are the almost adolescent, now impossible to find, drawings of the female body) bear witness to the highly coherent path of an artist who has used fashion, communication and copyright techniques to make her own poetry and her own fortune.
8.10.2003 – 25.1.2004
Castello di Rivoli
piazza Mafalda di Savoia, Rivoli (Torino)