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Pietro Vitali



6-month project
thesis website

Museums, galleries, cultural institutions, and art centres represent a shield from the outside world and yet a magnifying mirror of reality. Many realms coexist to create a galaxy of different stories, thoughts, concepts, and perspectives which inspired this research. This thesis aims to critically investigate the practice of documentation through the standpoint that an artwork acquires meaning and endurance thanks to its documentation. Even when the works of art are not physically or temporarily accessible, their documentation can bring them alive. Art documentation is practically explored through the making of videos, which aim at finding a possible visual representation of the artwork’s identity, beyond its mere appearance. Following this method, I documented the public sculpture Lieu Dit by Michael Grosserts (1976); the painting View to infinity by Ferdinand Hodler (1913); the art installation Enclosure (When the sick rule the world reverb) by Ruth Buchanan (2019–2022); the web–art mouchette.org by Martine Neddam (1996); the performance Bouncing in the Corner No.1 by Bruce Nauman (1968); the painting Lächelnd by Miriam Cahn (1997); the art installation Untitled by Heimo Zobernig (1997). The outcomes resulting from the documentation are departure points to reflect on the limits of presentation and preservation practices, and to consider possible alternatives to overcome them. This research contributes to reframing the discourse around the preservation and presentation of artworks, investigating documentation as the tool to avoid the objectifying strive for truth of conventional practices. Giving back to the research subjectivity and tenderness, the project allows art discourses to focus on diverse perspectives, experiences, and most importantly, on life.

Flowers in Chania
Flowers in Chania