Gli Imbambolati

ADA Project, Rome
March 15 – May 12, 2018

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A group of bas-relief sculptures stick out the floor: here we are, on the border between sky and clouds. Suspended in the zero-gravity cloud zone and at the same time flattened by the weight of the sky, raised heads emerge from a packed crowd. All their astonished gazes are focused on a certain point, somewhere higher, out of the scene.

We don't know if these figures are experiencing a catastrophe or a miracle. Maybe an eclipse has hypnotized them. Some of them are afraid and confused, some others show an enraptured smile or a dopey expression. We don't know why they are there, in the clouds.

In this tragicomic scene something solemn seems to happen even though the characters’ caricatural poses suggest the presence of a bad smell; so intense to oblige them to hold their nose. On their cheeks some flies are lured by the stink.


This grotesque scene is suspended in an imaginary architecture in which the absence of three-dimensional references embrace all the space. Just like in dreams, between reality and appearance, this artificial set-up made out of lines and blind arches bring the viewer into a reverse perspective zone in which space-time continuum is denied.

Benni Bosetto’s work is based on fragmented narrations overlaps in which anthropology, religion and iconology are merged with art history references, drawing images open to interpretation. The artist considers her production as a collection of narration about the human being and its relation with the body. In this collective overview, freed by time, instincts such as weakness, violence, happiness and perversion are mise-en-scene. Bosetto examines the conventional codes of communication, by exploring a pre-logical visual language. Her artistic practice combines drawing, sculpture, installation and performance, always involving the body and its gesture. Benni Bosetto’s work aims to create an immersive cathartic experience in which the viewer is absorbed in a non-historical theatrical setting.

In Gli Imbambolati, Benni Bosetto has made several references to the European pictorial and literary tradition. For example we can observe analogies between the crowd theme and the painting Ecce Homo by Hieronymus Bosch; furthermore, the egg hanged on the ceiling refers to the Pala di Brera by Piero Della Francesca. Clouds are identified by Aristophanes’s of the same name comedy, using Socrates’s voice to describe clouds as goddesses of lazy slackers (Gli Imbambolati).

Courtesy of ADA, Rome
Photos by Roberto Apa

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