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How does Tresoldi conceive his works? The story of the Basilica di Siponto told by the Fondazione Dino Zoli

From Apulia to Singapore, the encounter between the young artist and the company that designed the lighting

Edoardo Tresoldi © Fondazione Dino Zoli

On October 12th 2018, the Basilica di Siponto by Edoardo Tresoldi won the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture at the Triennale in Milan, with the Special Award for the Client. On October 13th in Forli, Dz Engineering and the Fondazione Dino Zoli inaugurated the exhibition “La Basilica di Siponto di Edoardo Tresoldi. Un racconto tra rovine, paesaggio e luce”. The project inaugurated in March 2016 became topical again, as the set for an advertising campaign for tourism in Apulia, and went viral thanks to Instagram, but more specifically the international popularity of the young artist.
In little more than two years, Tresoldi, who was listed by “Forbes” as one of the 30 most influential artists under 30, has come a long way. Playing with the transparency of metal mesh and with industrial materials to transcend space-time, the artist from the Lombardia region has succeeded in making reality dialogue with art in a visual synthesis that is revealed in the evanescence of physical limits.
The fusion of the classical and modernist languages generates a third, markedly contemporary language. Born in 1987, he grew up in Milan where, at the age of 9, he began to experiment with different artistic languages and techniques under the guidance of painter Mario Straforini. In 2009, he moved to Rome and began to work in various fields. Cinema, music, set design and sculpture gave him a heterogeneous vision of the arts and provided a platform for experimentation. Since 2013 he has worked in public spaces, focusing his research on the genius loci and the study of elements of the landscape.

His works have been installed in public spaces, archaeological contexts, contemporary art festivals, music festivals and collective exhibitions

In 2016, in collaboration with the MIBAC, the Segretariato Regionale della Puglia and the Soprintendenza (read the further information), he completed the restoration of the Paleo-Christian basilica Santa Maria di Siponto (Foggia), an original narrative between contemporary art and archaeology. In 2017 he created a site-specific installation in Paris in the hall of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the first department store in the world. In Abu Dhabi, he worked for three months to organize a royal family event with the participation of 2000 people from around the Middle East: a large scenographic space, conceived as a garden merging architecture and nature. In 2018, he participated in the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, where he created “Etherea”, a monumental temporary installation. Also in 2018, for DZ Engineering and the Fondazione Dino Zoli, he created the “Cube Temple” in Singapore for the Formula 1 Grand Prix.


© Fondazione Dino Zoli


In the city-state of Singapore, which has become the Asian hub for many global corporations over the years, DZ Engineering, a division of the Dino Zoli Group which since 2011 has been responsible for the lighting and track communication systems on the Marina Bay circuit, installed the artistic lighting of several historic buildings, such as the National Gallery Singapore and the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, celebrating the victory in international public bids with the spectacular installation “Cube Temple. An ethereal creation of wire mesh in Singapore” by Edoardo Tresoldi, built with metal mesh and animated with light. A project that, during the preview and the three opening days, drew the attendance of a crowd of visitors interested in discovering Italian excellence in the world.

Following their success in the Formula 1 Grand Prix, DZ Engineering and the Fondazione Dino Zoli decided to dedicate an exhibition to this young talent, telling the story of the work that brought him to international attention, promoted in southern Italy as a public work.

With “La Basilica di Siponto di Edoardo Tresoldi.Un racconto tra Rovine, Paesaggio e Luce”, the author attempted for the first time to create an important experience for the public: the realization of a permanent installation made of wire mesh, dedicated to the Paleo-Christian Basilica di Santa Maria, commissioned by the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities for the Archaeological Park “Le Basiliche” in Siponto.

Perfectly integrated into the Apulian context, the transparent sculpture appears as a contemporary artefact that can open new scenarios for the preservation and enhancement of the historical and archaeological heritage, in which light plays a major role in the relationship between presence and absence .

The project by the Fondazione Dino Zoli intends to use materials from the archives to illustrate the initial encounter between Edoardo Tresoldi and the engineers from DZ Engineering, commissioned in 2016 to illuminate the Basilica di Siponto under the supervision of Cobar spa. «We met Edoardo, explains Roberto Grilli, General Manager of DZ Engineering, when we lit his first masterpiece». «Since then, continues Monica Zoli, CEO of DZ Engineering, we have dreamed of a joint project. We have now completed two, one in Singapore and one in Forlì, in a perspective of the necessary dialogue between art and business».

«The exhibition, explains Nadia Stefanel, director of the Fondazione Dino Zoli and curator of this initiative, as gathered sketches, photo reproductions and videos that document the various phases leading to the realization of what we call sculpture-architecture. The exhibition is divided into three sections: the first dedicated to the history and analysis of the existing context, the second focused on architecture, analysed by means of the cutout sheets, the third involving the projects developed by the engineers at DZ Engineering».


translation by Olga Barmine

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