Curated by Antonio Grulli
Via Giovanni Paisiello 6
The Bubble Boy (Fase 2) is a project by the artist Riccardo Previdi (Milan, 1974) presented in the space of Le Dictateur. Only one artwork placed in the center of the space in Via Paisiello 6 and visible only from the outside.
These difficult times ask for quick and radical answers, also for art. After being comfortable with new technologies and social media, we wanted to try to use physical forms of presentation of art by playing ambiguously with the limits to which we are subjected. The relationship of the exhibition space, but also of the artist, with the street is one of these possibilities. The street is both a physical and a mental space of possibilities for art and for the exchange of ideas, which has always been used. And today it seems more interesting than ever as an alternative to the exhibition spaces which are closed or difficult to attend. Moreover an exhibition visible from the street is also able to intercept the people who have never approached contemporary art, and who by pure chance find themselves passing in front of the window of Le Dictateur.
The sculpture on display by Riccardo Previdi, entitled “Bubble Boy” (2018), was created by scanning in 3D the naked body of the artist. The sculpture is enclosed within a large transparent plastic bubble usually used for Bubble Soccer. The project recalls a fact that really happened: the story of David Vetter, "Bubble Boy", a child born in America a few decades ago, suffering from rare and serious immunodeficiency that obliges him to live most of his life in a plastic bubble to prevent contact with the outside world.
Riccardo Previdi already exhibited the sculpture two years ago in Quartz Studio in Turin, in an exhibition curated by Lisa Andreani. Following the events of the past few months I thought it was interesting to present it again.
In the past two months all of us have been closer to the condition of Bubble Boy, because of the risk not to have the antibodies capable of defending ourselves from the outside world.
The truly valuable works of art never age, they are never dated. They manage to present themselves as a wound that is always alive, never healed, capable of raising always valid questions. The sculpture in question and the story it talks about prove it to us. And this sculpture perhaps presents us with the biggest question, the one that encompasses all the others: what does it mean to live? Does it mean to stay alive for as long as possible, to be able to breathe for as long as possible, at any cost? What is our life made of? Is our health attributable only to our body in its vital functions or is it something more complex and mysterious, in which also the psyche, the affections, the pleasures, the memory, the encounters, the habits and the rites have a value? What value does life hold when a hug or kiss is covered in a dark light?