MASBEDO “Madame Pinin” at Museo Civico di Castelbuono, Palermo

MASBEDO, Handle with Care, 2016, still from a multichannel Video Installation
Courtesy MASBEDO


The exhibition project Madame Pinin created by MASBEDO (Nicolò Massazza, Milan 1973, Iacopo Bedogni, Sarzana 1970) for the Museo Civico di Castelbuono opened its doors on Sunday, December 17th. Curated by Laura Barreca and Paola Nicolin, it presents four works: Fragile (2016), a single-channel video produced by the Musei Reali Galleria Sabauda in Turin; Handle with care (2016), conceived originally as a six screen video installation and redesigned specifically for Castelbuono as an articulated photographic installation; finally, a new production by MASBEDO, Madame Pinin (2017), as a single channel video and a sound installation and, finally, the multimedia site-specific installation Manifesti di falsi colori (2017).

The central theme of the exhibition explores the relationship between the world of images and their conservation, creation intended as a pulsation, effervescence, and form in opposition to the concept of the end, in terms of time, and the necessity of maintenance. All the works in the exhibition stem from visual and mental references that have evolved in physical and psychic form in the hybrid between clue, performance, installation and video work.

The entire exhibition project, specifically designed for the Museo Civico di Castelbuono within the Ventimiglia castle, collects photographs extracted from the video installation, Handle with Care (multi-channel video exhibited in 2016 at the Reggia della Venaria Reale in Turin for the project, The Classroom, by Paola Nicolin). In the video, Fragile, we see a young man’s visit to the Galleria Sabauda halls in Turin, in the presence of a peacock. Walking among the masterpieces of antiquity, symbolic objects of archetypal beauty, the presence of the peacock underlines the essential precariousness of the living animal and its impairment that renders it inapt to represent its own nature. The image is highly suggestive because it’s made even more dramatic by the emptiness of the halls and it is compared to the perpetual immobility of the painted characters. The main theme of these works is the concept of “cure”: the old animal, object of the care of its master, is a metaphor of the combination of a faded vanity and the eternal journey into beauty, a trip defined by Rainer Maria Rilke as “the tremendous at its beginning.” The fragility of art, to which the title of the work refers, engages the observer’s gaze and warns on the necessity to provide protection to art and cultural heritage.

Finally, the video Madame Pinin (2017) is shown for the first time. A pictorial portrait through the details of the hands, face and eyes of restorer Pinin Brambilla Barcilon, the woman who saved Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper, with a very delicate intervention. She carried out one of the most controversial and complex operations ever in the history of restoration, which lasted overall 22 years. The artists framed these details of the woman’s body as if through a magnifying glass as they are those elements that tackled—in an exhausting struggle, the light and colours of Leonardo’s masterpiece, making them finally reappear.

The Museo Civico di Castelbuono, which preserves precious artistic artefacts from the past in its permanent collection, such as archeological finds and masterpieces of jewelry, presents a contemporary exhibition project to the public which aims at being a reflection on the dialogue with the history of art. A project that emphasizes the role of the museum as a place where artists of every generation have the opportunity to confront the artistic tradition and its vital lymph across the centuries, making it always new in the eyes of the visitor. At the end of the exhibition, the MASBEDO will donate to the museum a testimony of their work which will become part of the permanent collection of the institution.


MASBEDO, Madame Pinin, 2016, Video Still
Courtesy MASBEDO


MASBEDO, Handle with Care, 2016, Still from multichannel Video Installation
Courtesy MASBEDO


MASBEDO, Fragile, 2016, still from Single Channel Video
Courtesy MASBEDO


Madame Pinin
curated by Laura Barreca and Paola Nicolin
19 December 2017–22 April 2018

Museo Civico di Castelbuono | P.zza Castello, Castelbuono (PA)
Opening times: Tuesday–Sunday 9:30AM–1PM, 3–6.30PM
+39 0921-671211