Bologna - Interviews

“Hic et Nunc”: Flavio Favelli Tells us About his “No Vip Lounge” Welcoming Visitors to Arte Fiera 2019

7 months ago

Among the five main projects of Arte Fiera 2019 one has been conceived to greet visitors: “Hic et Nunc” is a lounge created by Flavio Favelli in the central plaza of the fair’s entrance. To discover more about this project, we interviewed the artist who revealed details of his installation to be disclosed on the preview day, January 31, 2019.

My Art Guides: This year you will be a main player at the fair with the piece”Hic et Nunc”, a lounge created to welcome visitors to Arte Fiera. Could you tell us a little more about this project?

Flavio Favelli: Simone Menegoi invited me to rethink the Vip Lounge, but then, for various reasons, we thought of a “No Vip Lounge”, as we have called it in these months of work, a large living room where you can stop at the entrance, which is a kind of large covered square before arriving at the pavilions where the gallery booths are. “Hic et Nunc is essentially a large roofless room with about thirty small armchairs; it will be sign posted with two found luminous signs which have been restored, one with a clock and the other with the original letters of the old Nannucci record shop, famous throughout Italy, which I found years ago. The fair is a place of visual hubbub and I have tried to create an environment where we can bring a halt to this, together with the idea of a problematic, obsolete and seductive place at the same time. The two signs attempt to give the sense of a city, an empty city. Like other environments, when I think of them I see them without any presence. After all, creating an art environment is to create a work of art and this always has a different relationship to reality. You can certainly live in the art environment and sit down in one too, but it is more of a virtual possibility, I would say a kind of excuse; even the armchairs are designed objects, I don’t think I’ve ever sat down on them.

MYAG: Florentine by birth, you studied in Bologna where you lived for 30 years in your home in Via Guerrazzi, another location of  one of your installations for the occasion of Art City Bologna 2018. Over the years you have seen the city evolve. How do you feel the current art scene compares to when you first arrived in the city?

FF: I think the problem is the city, not the art scene. The current art is always perceived as a form of leisure, then there is the great interlude of Arte Fiera. There are companies that do events only during Arte Fiera, as if they needed an excuse to support and disseminate the arts.
Over the years the Prime Minister has come to Bologna twice for the presentation of FICO and the new Lamborghini SUV: in both cases no art projects took place, yet always talking about our tradition and our past. In the history of this country – from Rome to Fascism – the art of the times has always accompanied the great events of society and, with rare exceptions, this tradition has never stopped. The only hint of this came with Street Art, which however became a popular and moralist form of creativity too soon.

MYAGCurrently you live and work in Savigno, a small town in the Bolognese Apennines. How does this place influence your artistic research?

FFSavigno is a “white”* area compared to the “red” Emilia (if it is still). It is a closed, hard village, where food lately seems to be the only salvation. In the end the important thing is silence, both at home and in the studio there is a lot of silence, conducive to the echo of my images, of my poetic questions.
*colour which indicates the historic Christian Democratic Party, opposite to the “red”, which is linked to the Communist Party

MYAG: In you opinion what are the most interesting artistic realities that Bologna has to offer? What are your favourite places?

FF: For about last 15 years I haven’t really frequented the artistic scene, especially after the end of the Link Project and now living in Savigno I do not go into town very often. I do not even go to particular bars, let’s say that lately I am more driven by politics, as both an interest and somehow as a commitment. The current situation is really critical. Today, Wednesday 23 January 2019, the “Libero” newspaper on the web has a front page title that reads: “The turnover and GDP is falling but the number of gays rise”. All this is repulsive, slowly Italian people are rediscovering its roots, probably its true vocation against culture.

MYAG: What are the projects are you currently working on?

FF: I’m working on an artist’s book with the publisher Corraini. It will be called “Bologna La Rossa” (Bologna the Red”) a series of unpublished drawings on my personal memories in relation to the tragedies that have taken place in the city and that I still have in mind. Then a project in the Ca ‘Rezzonico museum in Venice for next May. In one of the rooms I will put together and assemble the floor panels that covered the steps of the Accademia bridge for months, with the yellow bands that mark the steps, frayed by pedestrians. A kind of continuous and daily abrasion with signs and shadows, both nuanced and fading.

My Art Guides Editorial Team

  • Flavio Favelli © Giovanni De Angelis Flavio Favelli © Giovanni De Angelis
  • Flavio Favelli, Flavio Favelli, "Hic et Nunc", Installation view, Arte Fiera 2019. Courtesy of the artist
  • Flavio Favelli, Flavio Favelli, "Hic et Nunc", Installation view, Arte Fiera 2019. Courtesy of the artist

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