Riccardo Previdi: Galleria Francesca Minini

Article excerpt

Francesca Minini, daughter of Brescia gallery owner Massimo Minini, has opened a new gallery in Lambrate, the neighborhood that is becoming Milan's trendiest contemporary art district. Her inaugural show--thirty-one-year-old artist Riccardo Previdi's first solo--took its title from C'etait un rendez-vous, a short film by French director Claude Lelouch, shot in 1976. A single, nine-minute shot, the film records a mad dash through the streets of Paris (the director mounted a gyro-stabilized camera on the hood of a Ferrari) that ends at the hill of the Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, where the driver meets up with a young blond woman. With the car running red lights and zooming through half-empty streets in the early morning at incredible velocity and with the sound of grinding gears its only sound track, the film became a cult classic, thanks to both its cinematic virtuosity and its sense of youthful rebellion, which finds its highest form of expression in a gratuitous and magnificent gesture. The film was immediately banned, for fear that people might emulate the driver's transgressions, and the director was prosecuted, which only added to the work's mystique.

Previdi simply had the film projected in the gallery, but in a peculiar way: Viewers entered the space and were "drenched" in light coming from behind the screen, which was made from rigid panels with spaces between them so that the light of the projection could shine through, creating a luminous and mysterious grid (titled Tatami + Rendez-Vous; all works 2006) in the otherwise dark room. A smoke machine spread a light fog through the space, reinforcing the feeling that one was experiencing the screening in an old, smoky cinema. …


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