PARCO DELLA BALOSSA PRIZE
Inauguration of the work by Francesco Fossati and Festival of the Parco della Balossa
Parco della Balossa
12th June 2016
Casa Testori and Parco Nord Milano, in collaboration with the Municipality of Novate Milanese and the Municipality of Cormano, have inaugurated the permanent installation Fake History by Francesco Fossati with which the artist won the Artistic Competition Parco della Balossa Prize, promoted within the Botanica project.
The presentation of Fake History was part of a moment of celebration and rediscovery of the identity of the Parco della Balossa (Balossa Park). Therefore, the inauguration included a bicycle ride (departing from Casa Testori in Novate Milanese or from Piazza Scurati in Cormano) with the aim of introducing the participants to the park, culminating in the vicinity of Fossati’s work and the Cascina Balossa, where food stands had been set up for the occasion and games had been organised. At the same time, a video made by the artist with unpublished testimonies on the history of the park was shown at Casa Testori.
Francesco Fossati’s work, Fake History, consists of two Carrara marble commemorative plaques engraved with “fictional texts” recounting two invented but plausible events that ideally unite the history of the agricultural park with that of two cultural figures from the last century. The subjects of the stories were conceived by the author following a series of meetings and interviews with some of the inhabitants of the area who, in different ways, for professional or sentimental reasons, have linked their lives to that of the “Balossa”.
The work, which does not want to manifest itself as such, but prefers to camouflage itself within the context, is intended to be a stimulus to the viewer who has to discern between reality and fiction. Doubt, therefore, becomes an engine for investigating the history of a place, for discovering a cultural dynamic in action that bases itself on a past that is both imagined and imaginative. The irony underlying the texts engraved in the marble is a means of generating awareness in the spectator’s gaze of the ambiguity of what he is observing, leading him to reflect on the real nature of this intervention.
The evocative power of these works is an element that distinguishes the entire project, in which images were not shown, but rather the imagination of each viewer was stimulated in order to generate his or her own vision, the image of a memory of an event that never happened.
The project conceived by Fossati for the Parco della Balossa is an extension of the eponymous Fake History, which began in the summer of 2015 in Carrara as part of the first Festival of Contemporary Sculpture and was awarded a prize by a jury comprising, among others, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Laura Cherubini and is still on display in the streets of the city’s historic centre. The work was later expanded, under the name False Friend, by placing new plaques in the Naples area at Cantina Montone (Montoro) and in Munich, Germany.
Francesco Fossati (1985), is a visual artist and member of the editorial staff of E IL TOPO magazine. He has held solo and group exhibitions in important institutional venues such as PAN | Palazzo Arti Napoli, MAC in Lissone, Kaiserliche Hofburg in Innsbruck, Museo di Castel Sant’Elmo in Naples, GAMeC in Bergamo, Careof in Milan, Museo della Permanente in Milan, Casa del Mantegna in Mantua, Museo Tornielli in Ameno, Museo Centrale Montemartini in Rome, Isola Art Center in Milan, Contemporary Art Museum in Mendoza in Argentina and Museo Carlo Zauli in Faenza.Posted on: 3 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri