Exhibitions, Italy, 5 February 2012 - 29 February 2012
"The title refers to the phenomenon, 'deaf ears,' which acts like a
defensive wall, when approached by vendors, selling trinkets and other
This is reflective of Marco Nerieri's show, dedicated to those who
live the evenings of Altotasso in Bologna.
The lounge, which offers performances and art exhibitions aimed at a
diverse audience, is the stage where street vendors and their
customers meet and engage in a dance of sorts. A bazaar of the
populous and individuals, histories and intentions, that crowd
together for a few mellow hours forgetting conflicts, neglecting
Never before has there been such a show, defiant, provocative, yet
elegant, with all of its evocative power in a message of communion
between people and their cultures.
A message of rare strength in a time when intolerance, ignorance and
emptiness have scratched and scarred Italy.
The players, split between customers and vendors, have been portrayed
on cardboard panels, which once were packing boxes containing the
Both equalized on the same flat surface by Marco Nerieri, both treated
with the immediacy of a simple but crucial sign, featuring pure and
Shown in this light, portraits lose their hedonistic dedication to the
image of men, which is down-played by the collision, the overlapping
of the elements that characterize the packing cartons.
A brand logo becomes an integral part of the portrait itself,
triggering the observation that man, the consumer or the seller, is
now part of the "goods." Marco Nerieri cleverly diverges the function
of the portrait as an expression of narcissistic human aesthetics.
The tears, id est the wounds of the media, reveal the true essence of
the portrait in all its fragility.
Mixing sellers and clients is the artist's desire to wipe out the
distinctions, after all we all are selling something, a lighter, a
story, a memory, a necklace.
Marco Nerieri intends to break the bias of vendors being perceived as
nuisances, as intrusions we must defend ourselves from.
The vendor, despite our repeated refusals, try relentlessly to foist
shoddy Chinese rubbish, handkerchiefs and impractical socks, all with
a smile; this builds in all of us a great aptitude for drama.
Who has never turned a blind eye, pretending to see nothing, posing as
if, all of the sudden, something of sheer importance has arrested us,
just to avoid eye contact with a street vendor?
If we get past this point, and start talking to them, we become
interested in their history, their country of origin, in such a way
that we want to know everything about their food, costumes, animals;
as if wanting to divert the attention from the initial sale proposal,
demonstrating that we are in fact, the real salesmen.
Marco Nerieri suggests exactly this with his work; we are all
important, all equal, all at the same cardboard level.
The identity of clients and sellers is the cardboard, as Marshall
McLuhan put it: "the medium is the message."
Marco Nerieri seems to remind us that the cardboard is like the
salesman, of little value at first sight, but indeed pivotal, unique,
beautiful like each and everyone of us.
words by Marco Testa
Added 05 February 2012