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Unearthed  | Unit 1 Gallery. London

December 2020

During the Unit 1 Gallery residency, Marco went into the Notting Hill neighborhood because of his curiosity about a recurring symbolism in the area (graphic manifestations and messages in green color). These signs eventually led him to the Grenfell Tower memorial, which seeks to commemorate the tragedy that occurred on 14 June 2017. 

The appearance of the memorial as an act that gives rise to remembrance, a prohibition to forgetting, served as an impulse to build structures as a form of manifestation of his own process of loss. Through the articulation of materials and colour he proposes a dialogue between corporeality, vulnerability, presence/absence. However, this memorial is mobile, it does not establish a place with the objective of permanence, but rather, it stops and tensions the space of memory as a field in expansion and mobility.


Unearthed London 2020

Text by Art historian José Tomás Fontecilla


Can one in full knowledge and sincerity come to sympathize with the global process of the universe to the point of accepting at heart the evil that seems inherent in its details? William James pondered at the end of the 19th century. Immersed in moral speculations, he wondered: Is the mind so fluid and plastic? More than a century later, this question is more present than ever, with the backdrop of a global system that proclaims efficiency, development, clarity, performance and rationality. Can our minds be so fluid and plastic to accept with good heart all the injustices, indolences, irrationalities and losses inherent to the system?


In a year marked by a world-wide pandemic Marco Bizzarri's Unearthed asks this question. Wounded, we have all gone through the melancholy of confinement, perhaps we do not remember a more shocking world event in these early years of the 21st century since the attack on the Twin Towers. Locked up in our houses, we have experienced the incoherence of the global system, its fracture.


This way, loss has become a crucial theme; from everyday things like going for a walk, the sun hitting your face, the crunch of leaves under your feet to previously unbearable routines that suddenly became essential. Eternal hours in a loop of months made the days seem like enactments by Piranesi; a crossroads of nonsense, confusion and misunderstanding. Faced with the splendor of progress, a dam awakens us, between panic and insomnia we feel the absence and transience of what we appreciate.


Thus, Marco Bizzarri's exhibition addresses a series of themes that are linked to the experience of loss. We are too busy in accumulating things and experiences, in conquering goals, we tend to forget about losses, often synonymous with failure, shame or frustration. However, nothing is more natural than loss, in it we get lost, we have irrational, angry latencies, we connect with something inexpressible, pre-rational, that only under a loving sway can we heal.


Losses are usually buried, kept in the bottom of a drawer to forget them, absorbed in a form of happiness that covers only the gain in an indifferent, unaffected crescendo. The Czar of happiness Richard Layard says: the best society is the happiest, thus, being sad automatically means being part of the worst of society. In this way, we disconnect ourselves from failures, unable - perhaps - to deal with grief.


Bizzarrí’s residency at Unit 1 Gallery undoubtedly triggered these reflections, similar to what James did over inherent evil. Surrounded by demonstrations of mourning, such as the Grenfell Tower Memorial, or the morgue contiguous to the gallery, Marco's initial project was mutating, all these experiences mobilized his own grief, stirring a previously blocked imaginary, unearthing experiences that, in the geographical context where the exhibition takes place, make sense to reconnect 

with something that has been tried to hide and forget.


I believe that yesterday I suffered a crisis in my life, wrote James in 1870 in his diary after reading Charles Renouvier, a crisis that became an awakening. I believe that yesterday we suffered a crisis in our lives, I would also say, a crisis that can only be mended with a tender hug that restores ties with what we lost, that rebuilds the tissues torn by the loss of a loved one, of a lover or an acquaintance, of what we value and will not come back. Unearthed, in that sense, stirrs sadness to reconcile us with a pulse that opposes any rational, enlightened or intelligible construction. Through a series of works, ranging from painting to installation, he recomposes an absence and alert to the evil that seems inherent in the global process, an evil that denatures losses and dissociates us from the emotional pulse.

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