The scenographic idea for the musical “Merda d’Artista”, which tells the life of Piero Manzoni, is based on the search for a single element capable of configuring different scenic spaces (an artist’s studio, an art gallery, a dealer’s house, a tomb), reflecting the evolution of Piero Manzoni’s character, fitting in well with the “vaudeville” tone of the script and, at the same time, serving as an explanatory piece of the philosophical and historical reflection that underlies the work: the growing commodification of the art world, the absurd institutionalization that gives value to the works, or what the passage from figurative art to conceptual art meant (a step in which Manzoni had a prominent role).
This element is the picture, the painting canvas. The stage will be filled with canvases of different sizes and different versions: empty canvas, painted canvas, covered canvas, or frame without canvas, what will point to the different explanatory moments of the script.
We will start with a series of paintings in the background to represent the artist’s workshop, a simple reorganization of which will generate the gallery space. Paintings by different modern figurative and abstract artists, such as Hopper or Rothko, will accompany scenes with career or intimate themes. The elaboration of the artistic work will be produced with the paintings covered by canvas, symbolizing the suspension of the creative moment. In the final scenes, the canvases will be torn out and the empty frames will be shown, representing through their emptiness, the death of Piero Manzoni and at the same time, the disappearance of figurative art and the emptiness of conceptual art to which works such as “merda d’artista” refer.