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Massimo Bartolini – Studio Matters + 1

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh until April 14th
4 stars
Like a moth to a flame, the habitual party-goer will always be drawn to 
Kraftwerkian big-city neon. So it goes in ‘La Strada di Sotto (The 
Street Below)’, the toytown style installation that maps out the whole 
of the Fruitmarket’s main downstairs room in Italian artist Massimo 
Bartlini’s first solo exhibition in Scotland. A working model culled 
 from frameworks of lights used during Sicilian street celebrations, 
this complex network of criss-crossing track-lines is operated by the 
rise and fall of voices from the film in the adjoining room. The fact 
that the man onscreen is Don Valentino, the man behind Sicily’s mass 
illuminations, speaks volumes of the light and shade intensity of what 
looks like a denser, Michael Bentine’s Potty Time version of Blackpool 
in all its after-dark glory.
Upstairs, there’s a similar sense of playfulness to the large table-top 
chock-full of out of context looking miniatures picked and mixed from 
Bartolini’s studio. The scaled-down Buddhist monk says it all. If the 
carnival mash-up of sculpture and civic pride downstairs is anything to 
go by, the throbbing heart of the city just got brighter.
The List, February 2013

ends

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