The Fosca’s World
A very young artist named Fosca has chosen, for her latest personal exhibition “The Fantastic World of Fosca”, not only this venue, but also to create something inspired by the institution whose history has unfolded in these rooms.
For some years now, The Marciana Library has hosted contemporary art in its exhibition space, including works by the Italian artist Riccardo Licate, who died recently, and also by foreign artists such as Lore Bert, Liselotte Hohs and Huang Kehua, among the most recent. As a consequence of this, the majestic Sale della Libreria Sansoviana, embellished by paintings by the Great Masters of the Sixteenth Century, both on the walls and on the ceiling, have consequently often interacted with the imaginary world of the contemporary gaze.
A very young artist named Fosca has chosen, for her latest personal exhibition “The Fantastic World of Fosca”, not only this venue, but also to create something inspired by the institution whose history has unfolded in these rooms. Thirty or so engravings will be exhibited in the vitrines of the Salone, their black and white hues in perfect harmony with the antique Venetian floor. In these pieces the dreamlike imagination of the artist merges with the surrounding environment, revisiting some aspects of its history and reinterpreting these in an ironic and fantastic vein. In this way the story of the collapse of the Library’s ceiling, which happened during construction works, and which Sansovino was to pay for with time in prison – is told through one of the artist’s charming anthropomorphic animals: we see the architect handcuffed, crushed by the rubble he is leaning on in the Piazzetta. Leda and the Swan, the prestigious work of art from Cardianal Grimani’s collection, still present in the vestibule of the Library, is revisited with a disrespectful rabbit blithely caressing Leda’s curvaceous figure. The chains which anchored precious manuscripts to the bookcases in the original Salone, which was the Venetian State’s public library, are now attached to the foot of another character from the artist’s fantastic bestiary.
Floating from the ceiling above the public is a large installation, the Literary Globe, which dominates the centre of the Salone of the Sansovinian Library, with a sphere composed of fifteen thousand hand-cut letters of parchment and cracked glass beads. It is an imposing, airborne installation which seems to interact with Vincenzo Coronelli’s celestial and terrestrial globes to be found underneath this nebulous sphere of letters, thus establishing an ideal relation between the object and the spirit of the place. Amongst the fluttering letters we catch a glimpse of the Marciana lion, symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, historical symbol of Venice and the Serenissima Republic, which lives on not only in artworks and itinerant Venetian sculpture, but also in the emblems of many of its contemporary institutions, including, of course, the Marciana Library.
Director of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana • Maurizio Messina