The MAR - Museum of Art of the City of Ravenna, as part of the VII 2022 edition of the Biennial of Contemporary Mosaic, presents Prodigy Kid, a large exhibition by the artists Francesco Cavaliere and Leonardo Pivi, hosted in the rooms of the first and second floor of the museum, from 8 October 2022 to 8 January 2023. The inauguration will be Friday 7 October at 18.00, in the presence of the artists.
The exhibition, curated by Daniele Torcellini, is divided into three sections. The first two are dedicated to a selection of works created independently by the artists, in the course of their personal activities. The third is dedicated to the series of collaborative works. Since 2018, Francesco Cavaliere and Leonardo Pivi have in fact converged their practices in a shared, layered and rich work both from the point of view of meanings and from the point of view of the media, with a predilection for installations of mosaics, sculptures and objects, animated by performative actions, narrated and written words, sound explorations.
The most recent series of unpublished works, conceived and created specifically for the exhibition, is inspired by a well-known legend concerning the city of Ravenna: the birth of a creature suffering from severe physical deformities, which took place in the first days of March 1512, the so-called Monster of Ravenna. In the social, political and cultural context of the time, which sees the re-emergence of the divinatory arts, the Monster of Ravenna is interpreted as an omen of the bloody battle that was fought shortly thereafter in the Romagna city, between the League of Cambrai and the League Santa. In a short time, the news of the strange creature's birth spread first in Rome, then in the rest of Europe, through written testimonies, paintings, drawings and engravings that represent the likeness of the Monster: from the suggestive drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci , now part of the Codex Atlanticus, up to the famous engraving published by Ulisse Aldrovandi in his Monstrorum historia cum Paralipomenis historiæ omnium animalium.
Just as the words and images of the time gave shape and meaning to a hybrid body, so today, the two artists, through the tools of narration, writing, mosaic and installation, transfigure the Monster of Ravenna into Prodigy Kid. In the ancient, medieval and Renaissance tradition, the monster foreshadows future events and warns of divine wills. Aware of the complex social and cultural dynamics that contribute to defining the contours of a legend, the artists underline the prodigious character of the Monster of Ravenna, welcoming and amplifying the sense of wonder towards what appears to transcend the natural order of things. A non-conforming body, interpreted as an omen of war in the past, becomes a symbolic guide for the exploration of the infinite possibilities of the imagination.