Nicola Bizzarri

Born in Bologna in 1996, Nicola Bizzarri now lives and works between Munich, Germany, and his birthplace in Italy.

It may seem anecdotal, but in the end not so insignificant that an artist born in Bologna, a city whose university is considered to be the oldest in the Western world, is interested in the processes by which powerful people write and narrate history. Nicola Bizzarri proposes other angles of view, seeking to detect the persistence of symbols of power in our individual and collective constructions.
It is within everyday contexts, ordinary gestures and domestic objects that the artist captures the elements of his research. For example, Nicola Bizzarri has set out to study the figure of the horse, whose representations, often closely linked to those of power, span cultures and eras. He chooses singular prisms to deconstruct authority, such as making paper from the excrement left behind by a tourist carriage, casting bronze from equestrian statuettes, or printing amateur photographs of knick-knacks for sale on the internet onto textiles, folded like flags.
Through the recovery, reproduction and modification of his finds, Nicola Bizzarri seeks to question the metamorphosis of the meaning of these objects. A historical significance can be forgotten in favour of a sentimental attachment, which can itself fade in the face of a commercial value.
The meaning of things is revealed as shifting, diluted as they pass from hand to hand, like echoes of different strata of subjectivity.


15.02.24 – 31.03.24

Nuovo Grand Tour residency,
in Clermont-Ferrand
in partnership with DGCC, Institut Français Italia, Institut Culturel Italien de Paris.


29.02.24, 18:30

in Artistes en résidence, la Diode, Clermont-Ferrand

Blind spots and tips of the iceberg

Nicola Bizzarri (IT), Wilfried Dsainbayonne (FR), Smári Róbertsson (IS/NL), Anaïs Touchot (FR)

29th of February 2024, 6.30 - 9.00 p.m.
at Artistes en résidence, la Diode
190, bd Gustave Flaubert, Clermont-Ferrand

At Artistes en résidence (A·R), we like to use the metaphor of the iceberg to evoke the art world. Both have an emerging part, exposed to broad daylight, and another one, evolving in the shadows - whose larger size allows the first one to float and to ensure its visibility. In a similar way, art residencies, and artistic research in general, make it possible for exhibitions and other forms of public presentation to happen, while the reality of the artist's work remains largely unknown. Beneath the romantic beliefs and myths of the artist's life often lies a back-breaking work of production, administration and communication, carried out under precarious and competitive conditions. Through its activities, A-R aims to support and remunerate artists for this less visible part of their work: research and experimentation, with no obligation to finalize a production. Guest artists are nonetheless given the opportunity to present their practice to the public, anchoring it in the social ties without which it cannot exist.

On February 29, 2024, four artists currently in residence at A·R present works at various stages of development. All four share a way of questioning myths, whether ancient or contemporary, by attempting to understand their construction, mutations and survival within different societies, cultures and eras. In l'Académie de la croûte, Anaïs Touchot (FR) invites us to unravel the mystery of the figure of the artist, so that we too can adopt the same posture. Nicola Bizzarri (IT) is interested in symbolic representations of power and their discreet injection into our domestic interiors through trinkets and decorative objects. Smári Róbertsson (IS/NL) transmits his taste for local legends, and the divergent versions that oral tradition produces of them without ever dismissing their camouflaged social and political criticism. Wilfried Dsainbayonne (FR) takes an intimate story as the starting point for his research: his father’s return to his native Congo, who through his absence becomes a figure shrouded in mystery and the protagonist of incredible tales.

Through the work spaces that A-R shares with Les Ateliers, the public discovers four ways of shifting the gaze towards blind spots, four ways of scratching the surface of the visible to discover how narratives emerge and circulate. The artists propose new histories (with a lower-case "h"), overturning scales of value, juxtaposing the personal with the collective and raising the highly political question about the very processes of writing History (with a capital "H").