Postcard from… Raphäel Zarka – Pianta del Cretto e altri lavori

January 27th – March 26th 2011
Jan 27, 6 p.m. Opening and projection of the video  Gibellina Vecchia
Pastificio Cerere Foundation – Via degli Ausoni, 7 – Rome

curated by Marcello Smarrelli

Today, January 27th at 6 p.m., Pastificio Cerere Foundation starts with Raphäel Zarka (Montpellier, 1977, lives and works in Paris), the first appointment of Postcard from…, a 2011 two-monthly project in which five artists will realize a 400x300cm billboard, as the ones of advertisement.

The event, in collaboration with  A.P.A. – Agenzia Pubblicità Affissioni, is curated by Marcello Smarrelli, Art Director, and it is part of the exhibitions programme of Pastificio Cerere Foundation, that is centred on utilising art as an educational tool for different social and cultural environments.

The project, that involves the city of Rome with public-spaces art interventions, wants to take art in unexpected places. The five artists will be invited to realize a poster – fixed on a structure that is installed in Pastificio Cerere’s yard – that stimulates public interest in aesthetic, ethic and social matters. The same image will be also proposed in ten different structures managed by A.P.A., following the typical advertisement turnover. The list of the structures will be posted on the Foundation web site.

The first billboard, entitled Pianta del Cretto e altri lavori (2011), is realized by Raphäel Zarka and it’s the right occasion for reflecting on an art work that has inspired his research, the Grande Cretto by Alberto Burri (Città di Castello, 1915 – 1995), an environmental sculpture realized by the master of Informal Art in the 80ies in Gibellina, a village in the Belice Valley destroyed by the earthquake of 1968. The Grande Cretto is composed by big white concrete blocks divided by deep cracks that reconstruct the urban plan of the village, with its little streets. Raphäel Zarka, in 2005, even realized a video on this sculpture: Cretto (6’30”, collection Frac Alsace e Centre Pompidou).

In the exposition space of Pastificio Cerere Foundation, as a continuum with the art works distributed in the city, it will be projected, during the opening, the latest video on the Cretto realized by the artist, entitled Gibellina Vecchia (Film Super 16 trasferito in HD, 10’30’’, 2010), in which Zarka, by following the work of architects and surveyors and studying the nature of territory, wants to resurface the story of the place. In this film the artist wants to underline the commemorative nature of the sculpture with the goal of giving back to the audience the ancient village through the every day life around Burri’s art work, animated by tourists, shepherds and farmers.

The film Gibellina Vecchia is the first part of a polyptyc that will be consecrated to Gibellina Nuova, a a village reconstructed a few km distant from the old site and transformed in a sculptures’ museum in open space.

For the billboard, Zarka has chosen an image that is unusually related to the plan of the Cretto. It is the tattoo that one of his friends has on the forearm, that reminds Burri’s art work. The tattoo represents the space between the veins, draws the bloodstream as the streets and the cracks of the Cretto draw the streets where people and animals walk. The entwine of the paths reminds of primary architecture, Dedalo, the roots of occidental society unstably balanced between agoràs and labyrinths, reason and madness. Burri’s Cretto creates a suspended and unreal dimension where life has been replaced by death and silence. The tattoo’s image emerges by a group of pictures that represent

Zarka’s other works: “I love stratifications inside things – tells Zarka – and the difficulty of an artist of choosing just one image, renouncing to all the others on his table”.

Influenced by Arte Povera, Minimalism and Land Art, Zarka’s research is based on a scientific analyse of spaces and shapes. The skater experience made him comfortable with dynamic surfaces of urban environment and let him be experimental with volumes, geometries and materials.

In addition to the billboard fixed in A.P.A.’s structures of Rome, a limited edition smaller poster (95×70 cm) will be realized for the audience and it will be distributed in the bookshop of Pastificio Cerere Foundation.

After Zarka one, Postcard from… includes the interventions of Massimo Grimaldi, Lara Almarcegui e Reto Pulfer; the last two artists will be invited by Vincenzo De Bellis, curator in residence at Pastificio Cerere Foundation for 2011.


Raphaël Zarka, Pianta del Cretto e altri lavori, poster, 2011


Raphaël Zarka, Gibellina Vecchia, 2010, Film Super 16 transferred to HD, 10’30


Raphaël Zarka, Gibellina Vecchia, 2010, Film Super 16 transferred to HD, 10’30


Raphaël Zarka, Gibellina Vecchia, 2010, Film Super 16 transferred to HD, 10’30


Raphaël Zarka, Gibellina Vecchia, 2010, Film Super 16 transferred to HD, 10’30


Raphaël Zarka, Gibellina Vecchia, 2010, Film Super 16 transferred to HD, 10’30


Raphaël Zarka, photo, maquette Cretto di Burri, Museo Civico d’Arte Contemporanea, Gibellina Nuova, 2010

Image Credits (above):

Raphaël Zarka, Pianta del Cretto e altri lavori, poster 2011