Behave as if you were dressed

A spotlight on Vanessa Beecroft.

“Behave as if you were dressed, behave as if no one was in the room, be like an image.” A spotlight on the iconic Vanessa Beecroft,  one of the most renowned Italian female artist and her tableaux vivants.

Vanessa Beecroft, great exponent of tableaux vivants, portrays lots of people inspired by renaissance paintings. The protagonists of most of the performances are women, physically called to interpret themselves, because the artist is unable to communicate what she sees in them through other expressive means such as painting or sculpture, she needs them in flesh and bones. Women dressed or naked in many different ways are aimed at composing a strong visual and formal impact, sometimes dominated by a wide range of colors, but more often monochromatic, mainly focused on bright colors and black, nude or white. To emphasise the fact that the performances make up a single work, the artist indicates them with a progressive numbering, giving Beecroft the possibility of extending the life of their performances, becoming in turn independent works and not mere documents. In her VB52 at Castello di Rivoli in Turin 2003, we can see a feast among 30 women in a rainbow of color of clothes and food. Supporting the personal impulses of the diners, emphasising the close relationship with food that characterises the artist’s debut works. While choreographing many people the artist plays with gaze and desire at the center of its reflection. Beecroft fills large spaces such as contemporary art museums or specific meaningful spaces in order to create a  connection with the place that becomes an active part of the artwork. The bodies in those symbolic places silently shout meaningful social messages, while giving a sense of estrangement.

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