From 10 October to 28 December 2020, Piazza Cavalli in the heart of Piacenza will host PaladinoPiacenza, an initiative curated by Flavio Arensi that will provide a new and fascinating opportunity to compare the works of two masters of modern and contemporary art: Francesco Mochi from Montevarchi (1580-1654) and Mimmo Paladino (Paduli, Benevento, 1948).
The bronze equestrian statues of Alessandro and Ranuccio I Farnese that Mochi produced between 1612 and 1628, which are undisputed masterpieces of Baroque sculpture and are one of the symbols of Piacenza, will be juxtaposed with a large installation created specifically for this purpose by Paladino, one of the best-known exponents of Italian art on an international level.
PaladinoPiacenza is part of the Piacenza 2020/21 programme promoted by a committee composed of the Municipality of Piacenza, the Fondazione di Piacenza e Vigevano, the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio and the Piacenza Chamber of Commerce. It focuses on the “Crossroads of cultures” theme that Piacenza adopted in its candidacy for the title of Italian capital of culture.
Mimmo Paladino’s contribution is a monumental installation positioned in the centre of Piazza Cavalli, midway between Francesco Mochi’s two equestrian monuments. It is composed of 18 fibreglass sculptures, mounted on a 12 metre-square plinth.
The work reprises one of Paladino’s characteristic icons, based on an Etruscan funerary model of a horse that, depending on its surroundings, takes on a Homeric, rural, courtly, migratory or military quality.
The horse is used as a formal element of transition between the ancient and modern worlds, and also as the place where the Eastern and Western civilisations are as one and also at odds.
In the case of PaladinoPiacenza, there is an obvious desire to interact with the Farnese monuments that give the city’s central square its name, countering the splendour of Mochi’s sculptures with the rigour of Paladino’s stylised forms.