Inspired by the idea that “a wall is like a book to be opened", in the Archeologie collection Franco Guerzoni uses large ceramic surfaces as a medium for his pictorial language, made up of visual signs intended to stimulate "a journey into the interior, revealing the experi-ences, memories, signs and symbols the wall has absorbed over the centuries”. Disused lo-cations, domestic architecture and industrial spaces, and archaic and ruined dwellings re-emerge from the painted surface with the dignity of intense, image-inspiring apparitions. Running through eras and histories that lead back to ancient times, all the way to the arche-typal cave, the most symbolic of all locations, the archaeology of the everyday is brought back to life through filmy coatings and painting-over effects that create new memories on the surface of the ceramic slabs. What Guerzoni's new collection offers us is reverse ar-chaeology, defined not in a retrospective, backward-looking narrative but rather in an ideal sketch of the future, rendered through a mixture of signs that contains and overlaps differ-ent historic ages. The collection is expressed in a series of flat ceramic slabs with complex backgrounds, with dense pigmentations and accumulations, powdered colours and chalky materials, resem-bling the "stripping" method of fresco creation. In Archeologie, numerous images are over-lapped like slides projected one on top of the other, generating an accelerated journey through time, in which the rubbing-away or crumbling of parts of the image are common-place. In the tactile density thus created, the viewer can read an infinite number of stories, combined and stratified on a single substrate. Thanks to modern production technologies, these stories transform the walls covered with the ceramic slabs into works of art, reactivat-ing the constructive dialogue between creative imagination and production expertise that has made the history of the CEDIT brand a shining example of the partnership between de-signers of genius and sophisticated technological processes, giving outcomes with out-standing aesthetic and formal impact. The work of art can be placed at the service of decoration, allowing the construction of genuine, large-sized pictorial design schemes: the ceramic-covered walls are clad with the artist's poetics, a coloured garment that will survive over time to become a memory.
Notes on the collection | Silvia Evangelisti, Lecturer at the Alma Mater University of Bolo-gna Franco Guerzoni's work is grounded in a fundamental relationship with the space, architec-ture, time and memory contained within walls: their long, secret history. As his work specif-ically created for CEDIT clearly expresses, his creations achieve a perfect balance between the spacial dimension and intensely lyrical use of colour, which here becomes a soft, liquid form of matter, wandering across the surface of a dazzling lime-plaster white. White, met-aphor for the clear light of day, as it was in the large, complex canvases exhibited in his per-sonal exhibition at the 1990 Venice Biennale, is the background for forms of colour which renew the pleasure to be had from painting and the memory of an image glimpsed on the vast expanse of the surface. The work is itself like a wall, the only surviving wall of what was once a house, on which time has recorded its own, unavoidable passing, leaving traces of partially faded colour.