Fabio Mauri World Experiment

by Alain Chivilò


Circa one hundred works on paper with an unpublished collection of books and diaries from the archive represent the corpus of the exhibition dedicated to the post-World War II Italian artist, writer and playwright Fabio Mauri (Rome, 1/4/1926 – 19/5/2009).

The exhibition “Fabio Mauri. Experiments in the existence of evil” was born from the donation to the Castello of Rivoli, Museum of Contemporary Art, of the 1978 installation “I numeri malefici” created by the artist for the XXXVIII Venice Biennale. An opportunity to delve deeper into that Experiment of the World which is nothing more than a personal definition of understanding Art, also quoting a writing by Fabio Mauri dated 2002 in which he stated: “I still don’t really know if God cares about art, I’ve never understood it, much less my own, which focuses on evil, for which I have a certain eye”.

Evil can be active or passive, but it is always created by various situations such as arrogance, lack of connections, oppression, violence, discrimination, justification, wickedness, retaliation, willpower, the macabre but also exclusion and the strength to stereotype. In these, archaic religious, psychological and philosophical concepts are inserted.

Fabio Mauri’s artistic path is not immediate and does not use easy forms designed to enchant this world. In his career he has always created experimentation to understand and translate the complexity that surrounds us, entering and using different synergistic means. Performances, video projections, collages with comics, paper, sounds, objects, pigments, graphite, the body and the Screens represent a small summary of how he undertook the act of creating something in Art.

On display among the works, for example, Convince me of the death of others only understand mine (2005), Ebrea (Jewish) 1971, Vomiting on Greece (1972), Language is War (1975). As released by the director of the Castello di Rivoli Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “Mauri makes the artist an intellectual or the intellectual an artist. Many are familiar with Mauri’s famous performances such as Ebrea (Jewish), 1971, or Che cosa è la filosofia. Heidegger e la questione tedesca (What is Philosophy. Heidegger and the German question), 1989, which I presented again at dOCUMENTA in Kassel in 2012”. Continuing, “but few will have seen before this exhibition the incredible religious drawings he made in the immediate postwar period, starting in 1947. This exhibition, mainly of works on paper, allows us to delve into the origins of his work, which manifests itself as disbelief at the persistence of evil in the world despite the apparent progress of modernity”.

The exhibition, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Sara Codotta and Marianna Vecellio in collaboration with Studio Fabio Mauri, from 16 December 2023 to 24 March 2024, is on the third floor of the Museum with a dedication to the Maestro’s brother, Achille Mauri (Rimini, 1939 – Rosario, 2023), President of Studio Fabio Mauri Associazione per l’Arte L’Esperimento del Mondo, who strongly supported the project.


©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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