duendepr.com news “À ciel ouvert” (Open-Air) Felice Varini at MAMO

“À ciel ouvert” (Open-Air) Felice Varini at MAMO

"Triangles percés" Marseille 2016

Following in the footsteps of Xavier Veilhan, Daniel Buren and Dan Graham, Felice Varini goes face-to-face with Le Corbusier’s architecture at MAMO, the art centre created by Ora Ito on the roof terrace of Cité Radieuse in Marseille (France) from 2nd July to 2nd October. The French-Swiss artist living in Paris finds himself in a unique situation, “This is the first time that I have exhibited on, in and with architecture designed by Le Corbusier. This place is a landmark, a huge influence. It is a true microcosm, designed as a small city with its range of complex volumes, a small city with a view over the large city of Marseille. It is extremely exciting!


Felice Varini will span the whole terrace with three pieces (red and yellow) offering three different viewpoints. This is a logical choice made by Ora Ito for whom Felice Varini is one of few great contemporary artists “able to use, underline and highlight a single architecture equally as well as a whole city. The space is his natural medium, I am very proud to have introduced him to this roof terrace that he had only previously seen in a photo.”

"Rebonds par les pôles" Marseille 2016

Felice Varini was born in 1952 in Locarno, Switzerland. He now lives in Paris. He operates in situ in a different place each time and as a result his work evolves in relation to it. “I generally scour the venue taking in its architecture, materials, history and function. Based on its varying spatial data, I define a viewpoint around which my initiative takes shape. For me a viewpoint is a point in the space that I choose carefully: it is usually situated at my eye level and preferably located in a key passageway, for example where one room leads to another, a landing, etc. I don’t make a rule of it, as spaces don’t all systematically have an obvious path. The choice is often arbitrary.

 "Quatre droites aus trois croisements" Marseille 2016

The viewpoint will function like a point of interpretation, that is, like a potential starting point to approach the painting and the space. The painted form makes sense when the spectator is in this spot. When the spectator leaves the viewpoint, the work encounters the space generating an infinite number of views of the shape. Therefore I do not see the accomplished work through this first point; this is encompassed in all the views that the spectator may have of it.

"Triangles percés" Marseille 2016

MAMO: an open-air place for artistic creativity. Located on the top of La Cité Radieuse built between 1945 and 1952, MAMO is an art centre created by Ora Ito in 2013. Le Corbusier’s masterpiece has therefore become a setting and springboard for contemporary creation. Xavier Veilhan, Daniel Buren, Dan Graham and now Felice Varini are the first artists to conceive works in situ on this historic roof terrace where the Corbu spirit inspires, impels and diffuses.

 "Quatre droites aus trois croisements" Marseille 2016

MAMO short for Marseille Modulor, and MAMO short for Marseille Main Ouverte, the infamous open hand designed by sculptor Le Corbusier, produced after his death and located in Chandigarh in India blessing MAMO. It welcomes, grasps and helps creativity and artists, also taking all audiences by the hand. Ora Ito is an all-rounder and brilliant creator. He is an altruistic born agitator with a passion for shapes, addressing substantive concerns: how do we make living together easier? How do we foster enjoyment, sharing and culture? Ora Ito has lived between Paris and Marseille for 15 years and with MAMO, he wishes to build bridges to enable enjoyment and encounters.

Photos credit André Morin

A ciel ouvert (Open-air) Felice Varini at MAMO

from 2nd July to 2nd October 2016


Centre d’art de la Cité Radieuse

280 Boulevard Michelet

13008 Marseille, France

+33 1 42 46 00 09