The Water Dream
in "Maurizio Pellegrin, The Water Dream"
Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland
catalogue of the exhibition
Cleveland, Ohio, 2000
Maurizio Pellegrin’s installation, The Water Dream, inaugurates the first site-specific installation conceived in response to the dramatic architectural environment of the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art’s Rotunda Gallery. Light infused with lofty ceilings, the Rotunda Gallery provides an intriguing space for viewers to encounter new ideas and experiments in contemporary art.
What better artist to invite to initiate this new installation space than Maurizio Pellegrin. An inveterate international artist, Pellegrin has made his mark through commanding installations that coax new associations from architecturally specific environments. His poetic encounter of objects frees them from specific time and place to form an internal logic and rhythm. In The Water Dream, Venice’s vivid locale is recalled through mnemonic associations with color and imagery. Venice itself, a culture born at water’s edge in defiance of nature’s forces, also becomes a metaphor for the archetypal aspects of memory, spirit, reason and aspiration.
With The Water Dream, Pellegrin transports the viewer from a nostalgic past to the sensual present. The dreamy, romantic allure of a time now lost is captured in photography and recast in the seductive materiality of sculpted forms and tactile surfaces. How splendid to witness this magical transformation occur so near the placid shores of Lake Erie and so far from the gentle canals of Venice.
Indeed, Pellegrin’s collective body of work suggests a peripatetic soul restlessly seeking to harmonize the disparate geographies, cultures and histories that inform our contemporary world.