Francesco Vezzoli
An Embroidered Trilogy


6 October, 2018


The Castle
Duration: 12’ 11’’


Francesco Vezzoli

Title: An Embroidered Trilogy

Medium: Video

Duration: 12’ 11’’

Year: 1997-1999

The work of Francesco Vezzoli (Brescia, 1971) is articulated in allegory in a way that often intertwines with theatrical characters, whereby they expose a delicate and acute satire of contemporary society. Known for his videos, he also works with other media, including photography and embroidery. An Embroidered Trilogy (1997-1999) is a series of three videoclips dedicated to the protagonists of culture and cinema, also chosen because they are genius workers of embroidery. The first, Ok, the Praz is right, quotes Mario Praz, a nonconformist intellectual, to whom Luchino Visconti dedicated the film Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (1974). In the video, Iva Zanicchi interprets La riva bianca, la riva nera, sonic columns, while Vezzoli, sitting on a couch embroidered by Praz himself, sews the portrait of the intellectual. The second, Il sogno di Venere, features Franca Valeri, who dances in a club to the sound of Das Model by Kraftwerk, while interpreting Silvana Mangano, the famous diva of Italian cinema. Vezzoli, sitting on a motorcycle, sews her portrait. She is beautiful, sings We will pay for her beauty, and through the song the artist proposes a debate for female identity in a surreal key. The last, The End, teleteatro, centers on the actress Valentina Cortese, who interprets herself. She sings Help! by The Beatles in her apartment filled with embroidered furniture, while disturbing Vezzoli, who, staying indifferent, sews the portrait of Douglas Sirk, the inventor of Hollywood cinematic melodrama. Based on three great directors, like John Maybury, Lina Wertmuller and Carlo Di Palma, Vezzoli creates a grotesque parody of the incredible word of cinema, which becomes a consumer product. It is a video that can be played on the television for a few minutes and then passed on to another, heedless to the cries of Help, I need someone, help, that passed by in front of us.

– Martina Bettoni and Stefano Tomei