Zino – Bad Dream

The Zamagni Gallery was delighted to unveil its first exhibition at 6.30 pm on Friday 14 June. It followed on from the official opening of the gallery in April 2019, when it showcased the artists in its stable and gave the public the chance to see its new premises on Via Dante Alighieri in Rimini.

The inaugural show at the gallery was a solo exhibition by Zino (Luigi Franchi, Teramo 1973). It was curated by Alice Zannoni, who found the inspiration for the title “Bad Dream” in the artist’s notes. It is a reference to a quote by Guy Debord in “The Society of the Spectacle ”. The French philosopher wrote: “The spectacle is the bad dream of a modern society in chains and ultimately expresses nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep”.

The artist revealed the nature of the spectacle and the vacuity of the show that makes up our everyday lives with a new cycle of works. With a gloriously imaginative psychedelic display of strips of coloured adhesive tape (known as Tape Art), he is striving to shake up society today and rouse it from the cultural slumber into which it appears to have fallen. Zino used appropriation to express himself, making 20 paintings by Old Masters and other classic creations – including The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Medusa, Michelangelo’s David, the Delphic Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel, Marcus Aurelius, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer and the more recent Statue of Liberty, to name but a few – into emblems of a cognitive and behavioural model based on pretence that is so well established it even fools itself.

In the words of Alice Zannoni, people today paradoxically use non-communication to communicate and images reign supreme. This means that the most banal aspects of everyday life seem to take on immense importance, albeit fleetingly. Worse still, there is a danger that truly significant matters may be seen as trivial. The very essence of an instant lies in the fact that it is short-lived. We seem to have invented a strategy to obliterate ourselves by celebrating the supremacy of the “here and now” in a world full of likes, followers and stars with no substance, where everything is online and on air.

The fact that they are “familiar” to us means that Zino’s works promptly convey a message. Rather than a repudiation of art, this leads to the creation of an antidote that we can feel free to take in order to dispel the illusions presented by the spectacle that makes us all a little drowsy.

The exhibition was opened with the support of Rimini City Council.