Marsèlleria Permanent Exhibition


Opening March 28TH 2018, 7 - 9 pm



“Do you know what being happy does mean? Time, electricity, maybe heat. The moment when the closed shells are more important than the pearls.”

Felix is the last chapter of a four-episodes series. Alessandro Di Pietro developed it since 2016 through an exhibitions series corresponding to the prequel – Tomb Writer (solve et coagula)(Bergamo, 2016) - , the appearance of the protagonist – Downgrade Vampire (Milan, 2016) – and the entry of its “psychological switch” or “ghost” - Towards Orion - stories from the backseat (Paris, 2017). Started during the residency at American Academy in Rome - where it was part of the exhibition The Tesseract - this last episode is accomplished though an intervention exclusively designed for the spaces of Marsèlleria.

The enemy emerging here is not a nemesis of the main character, it moves on a parallel channel, without identifying with a negative projection of the “good”. The space looks like being designed by someone who has been loved too much and, as a consequence, sees in the time and energy conservation technology not a mechanism but an object to be admired - says Alessandro Di Pietro.
Felix - the writing that the character places on this technology - is probably his name, or maybe just a way of life where the love for the world is not taken seriously: his action wants perhaps to modify the process of an event that already took place or maybe a try to “cheat”, not the natural flow of history but the sociological principle of the “self-fulfilling prophecy” by William Thomas Merton or its science-fiction application in the “paradox of predestination” or, better still, the infinity of the self inside the multiverses of the animated series Rick and Morty.

The four episodes follow a simple grammatical structure working on the design of the spaces and proto-narrative installations and developing “nameless” characters. The figure of the “nameless” is here directly attributable to the concept of monstrosity. “Nameless” is a being which is not subject to a normative process of cataloguing and classification. The monsters, according to the opinion of the scientist Isidore Geoffrey De Saint Hilaire, do not exist outside the scientific system of their time, but prove to be extremely long-lived and also continually updating from a linguistic point of view, because they are declared as still not studied and not classified physical entities.

The spaces design becomes for Alessandro Di Pietro an act of identification in his research object, the character itself. Its physical, social and political features glimpse and are then crystallized in the space planning to create an empathic and possible relationship with the observer, distracting him/her from the fiction.

The end goal is to understand how to still be able to produce Monsters, inside the limits of images and things

AKA Felix.

Press release: english text | italian text


Felix, an antagonistic fictional character belongs to Alessandro Di Pietro's quadrilogy initiated in 2016. The final chapter of the quadrilogy started during Di Pietro's fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in February 2018.
The previous work developed in Rome The self-fulfilling Owen prophecy can be read as a prequel to the current iteration. Felix can be read as a forward jump-cut in the narrative structure of the quadrilogy, projecting Owen in a near future, a time when his supposed prophecy had been fulfilled.

The space that hosts this final chapter is somewhat already aware of this condition, anticipating changes related to rites of passage: from childhood towards the cultural implications of the object. This current show at Marselleria juxtaposes memories and historical value in relation to the hollowness of forms.

The text that follows originated as a series of notes that I compiled during the initial stages of Felix at Marsèlleria.

“Listen, Morty, I hate to break it to you but what people call love is just a chemical reaction that compels animals to breed. It hits hard, Morty, then it slowly fades, leaving you stranded in a failing marriage. I did it. Your parents are gonna do it. Break the cycle, Morty. Rise above. Focus on science"
(Rick and Morty)

The emotional has since faded. What remains here resembles heat and electricity, time and consumed flesh. A residue situated in sporadic active pockets, there, where hollow time capsules lend themselves to the existing architecture of the heat distribution system. The warm polymer enrobed structures are batteries, rechargeable devices that recall the elongated feline form, Canova, hollow lion fur, Hercules and Lichas, Rome. The dangers of such love was evident from the onset, I had decided to try repeatedly nonetheless.

Aware that I would eventually need to cure myself I have always found - in the act of forcing myself - a surge of energy, that is perhaps only connected to the subject’s vital needs. This provides selfish return, a form of comfort that I am also experiencing right now.

… then you come to realise that it is history that furnished the illusion of cheating the sociological implications of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Luckily, the course of events can be modified in relation to what I refer to as archeologies of the future, perceiving past events as they re-unfold in the near future, a return that is marked by profound cultural and emotional emptiness.

“Every day a new, subtle layer of history distanced me from the truth”.

Thus, I have taken the liberty of imagining for example a feline body that could perhaps be stretched to infinity or that a light-reflective textile could become a timepreserving opaque screen. A space where a sepulcher could somehow become a technological relic after a few months, a space within which electrical devices had the ability to cut off contact with the outside world; in an attempt at investing energy in innovative systems not unlike events at the Knickerbocker hospital of New York in 1901.

Not really sure if it was history that brought me here.

“My peripheral vision seems to dim a bit… it looks like a… a vibration at the edges. The body temperature begins to lower. Is this… everything we are?” (Dr. John Thackery, The Knick)

Text by Giovanna Manzotti: english | italian


On the occasion of the non-profit spaces special night opening of Miart 2018, on Saturday April 14th, from 7 pm to midnight, the exhibition will feature a special sound activation by Enrico Boccioletti.

Text by Enrico Boccioletti: english | italian