A semi-dark room, curved aluminum walls and a large neon sun radiating the colors of dawn. This is the interdisciplinary installation Il Resto dell’Alba, created by artist Patrick Tuttofuoco (1974), in collaboration with Pininfarina Architettura, for the MAN in Nuoro. A subjective experience that, in the words of curator-museographer Maddalena D’Alfonso, “places the visitor at the center of what for us is one of the possible landscapes of art, where we move in search of ourselves.” A timeless and atypical dimension in which past, present and future coexist. Despite its form, which in terms of its realization may appear futuristic, the work invites viewers to imagine an environment “from now on,” with an awareness of the past and without imposing a dystopian or utopian vision, which is increasingly common in contemporary art imagery. In more descriptive words, Il Resto dell’Alba is like an ellipse with its two fires looking to the sun as a representation of the real and the possible but at the same time looking to the past, here embodied by the small Nuragic sculptures dating back three thousand years and lent by the National Archaeological Museum of Nuoro and Cagliari.
Sunrise as a message of hope
The Remnant of Dawn thus proposes a scenario that seems to come from the metaverse, with shapes and colors to which we are still getting used, but which is meant to be as close to an imminent and imaginable future, in a certain sense unnatural but giving way to the combination of nature-technology. The very idea of dawn describes a moment of transition, from night to day, and for this reason it becomes “the moment of the possible.” It is here that the dawn gives shape to a message of hope, a way for the artist to become aware of the present in which we live and offer a vision that does not exist but hypothesizes a solution. Patrick Tuttofuoco himself says that today, more than ever, “is the time when we need to plan more than before and not just remember how bad our end will be, because it certainly won’t take us anywhere. On the contrary, it’s just a duty of culture, in a very broad sense, to try to reproject man in a future that doesn’t just follow dystopian instances suitable for TV series, but in a scenario where this drama is handled.”
From idea to realization
The story and creative process of this wow-effect work is also surprising and interesting. “The project was born two years ago, when there was a call for tenders for the renovation of the Museo del Novecento in Milan,” explains Maddalena D’Alfonso, “Patrick and I started theorizing about a series of different landscapes, one seascape, one mountainous, one stellar, and so on. We had an idea we were heading toward. So the theme of aurora and hope was born in Milan at an apical moment, but it was here that it took shape.” Following, then, a rejected project, perhaps because it was too visionary and untraditional, D’Alfonso and Tuttofuoco found in the MAN of Nuoro the perfect place to make their ideas tangible and, even more, they discovered in the theoretical confrontation with Pininfarina Architettura – particularly in the figure of architect Giovanni de Niederhäusern – the possibility of giving life to an installation that interprets the new frontier of the virtual.
The Resto dell’Alba is a real space. An experiential place generated with virtual prototyping tools. In other words, the structure is composed of 539 aluminum strips (natural Prefa) designed with generative parametric design tools and then cut with the mesh clustering technique, a special process that optimizes the use of the material and therefore reduces its waste. In this sense, art, artifice, and human experience a coexistence that tells time in a different way, resulting in a space that is not rigid but rather malleable and hypothesizable by the individual, who is incredibly central here.
Patrick Tuttofuoco’s Il Resto dell’Alba is produced in collaboration with Pininfarina Architettura in the person of Giovanni de Niederhäusern, curator museographer Maddalena D’Alfonso, and thanks to the collaboration of technical partners Materea, Nieder, Alpewa and Prefa, Erco, Brianza Plastica, Stand Up and InLuce. The exhibition is on view at MAN in Nuoro, Sardinia, until March 3, 2024.
Ph Credits Alessandro Mori