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Fabrizio Plessi

Year of birth, place


Role at the ZKM

  • Artist of the Collection


Fabrizio Plessi was born in Reggio Emilia in 1940. He studied at the Accademia delle belle Arti, Venice. Since 1990 he has taught at the Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne. He lives in Venice, Cologne and on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Since 1968 water has been one of the principal motifs in Plessi's work. He has returned repeatedly to this element in installations, films, videotapes and performance art. In 1970 he designed a huge sponge to be placed in the lagoon near Venice, which was intended to protect the city from flooding. Plessi made his first videotapes in 1974. One of these is called »Aquabiografico« [Biography of Water]. In 1980 he started making large video installations. Plessi's work straddles the border between fiction and reality. His installations combine real components with their virtual reproduction in the media. In »Tempo Liquida« (Liquid Time) the water seen flowing in the images on the monitor screens appears to be turning the mill wheel; in »La cariatide dell' architetto« (Die Cariatide des Architekten) the depicted bricks appear to bear the weight of those that are real. Physical activity takes place in the fictional, not the real realm; but the identity of both worlds is intensified as a result of this provocative displacement. 

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1962 Galleria Il Canale, Venice
1974 Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
1977 Museum Folkwang, Essen
1984 Musée d'Art Contemporain, Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille
1987 Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid
1992 Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Fondació Joan Miró, Barcelona
1993 Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund
1995 Kunst.Halle.Krems, Krems
1996 Kunstverein, Heidelberg
Group exhibitions (selection)
1970 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1972 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1980 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1982 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1986 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1987 documenta VIII, Kassel
1989 »Video-Skulptur retrospektiv und aktuell 1963-89«, Kunstverein, Cologne, subsequently at Kongresshalle, Berlin; Kunsthaus, Zürich
1992 »Moving Image - Electronic Art«, Fondació Joan Miró, Barcelona
1993 »MultiMediale 3«, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe
1995 Biennale di Venezia, Venice

[David Richardt, 1997]


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