Psicoenciclopedia possibile: Une exposition de Gianfranco Baruchello au Centre d'Art Contemporain Ge
This catalog accompanies the exhibition Psicoenciclopedia possibile presented at the Project Space of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève from September 15 to October 17, 2021.
Gianfranco Baruchello’s Psicoenciclopedia possibile is part of the fascinating tradition of personal encyclopedias: these huge individual enterprises are based on an uncommon blend of obstinacy and obsessiveness and tend, on one hand, to classify the world while also, on the other, formulating an authentic psychic, intellectual and behavioural self-portrait. The original work is published by the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana founded by Giovanni Treccani.
The exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève and the catalog produced for the occasion, offers the public a series of entries and plates taken from the Psicoenciclopedia possible that have been selected by Carla Subrizi and the artist himself, and then translated into French. The selection is based on a set of words considered especially significant in view of what humanity — squeezed between a pandemic and an economic crisis — is currently undergoing. They are words that evoke hope, imagination and the future.
This book is the first edition in French dedicated to the Psicoenciclopedia possibile. In addition to the translated excerpts of the Psicoenciclopedia entries, the book contains essays by Andrea Bellini, Carla Subrizi and Ambroise Tièche that offer the French-speaking public an essential introduction to the colossal work undertaken by Gianfranco Baruchello. An interview between Andrea Bellini and Gianfranco Baruchello also deciphers the artist’s methodology.
The publication of this catalog has been made possible thanks to the support of the Italian Council (7th edition, 2019) aimed at promoting Italian contemporary art in the world by the General Directorate of Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Gianfranco Baruchello (1924, Italy) is an artist, filmmaker and writer who has experimented with the transversality of artistic languages since the late 1950s. He has in particular created short-circuits between apparently irreconcilable domains and fields like art and agriculture, or the regulations of governance of a fictitious company and economics. His painting contends with uncertainty and uses white as a field of the possible. In these spaces, he imagines the coexistence of essences of images and words, which he organises in all directions. Thus, writing is present in one way or another in all his practice and constitutes the very essence of the work presented at the Project Space (4th floor).
The Psicoenciclopedia possibile is an impressive and complex project that Baruchello began in 2017 and finished in 2020. It is a sort of deconstruction of the encyclopaedia system presented in the form of an imposing book of 816 pages. Commissioned and published by the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, founded by Giovanni Treccani, the book in fact subverts the structure used by an encyclopaedia and creates a complex system that links, through unexpected convergences, 1200 entries (in the first section) and 200 plates (in the second). The entries are taken from texts (some published, some not), notes and transcriptions of Baruchello’s dreams, while the images are the result of a long process of selection and editing from various sources.
Baruchello thus puts to the test, this time in a book, the systems of organization (causes, effects, narrative sequences, links) of seeing and knowing. Like in all his other works, from painting to objects and even installations, the encyclopedia also dismantles the most solid and anchored links to venture into the uncertain and the possible, into the “pleasure of thinking”, by means of an ars combinatoria that does not exclude the different or insignificant. Overall, the artist analyses the 21st century, entering into the multiplicity of possible viewpoints and pointing up the fact that, in the end, knowledge is something subjective and always open to interpretation.
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