Federico Fellini. the Dreamt Body

curated by Nicola Bassano and Marco Leonetti

Sismondo Castle piazza Malatesta, April 28th – July 15th 2018

An exhibition dedicated to a famous man from Rimini, titled Y Fellini soñò con Picasso (And Fellini dreamt of Picasso), has just been opened in Malaga, in their Picasso Museum. The prestigious Spanish museum asked to borrow an exhibition of Federico Fellini’s drawings from the Municipality of Rimini, and a reprinted copy of the Libro dei Sogni, within which there are stories and quick graphical sketches of three dreams dedicated to the great Spanish painter, Picasso. In occasion for the third edition of the Biennale Disegno, the city of Rimini is setting up, apart from a vast selection of Federico Fellini’s proprietary drawings, an important collection of never before seen art that the director, during his shoot in Casanova, had donated to his brotherly friend, screenwriter, and poet, Tonino Guerra, which are now held in a private collection in Rimini.

The collection is composed of forty-two drawings, small in size, but of a coherent inventiveness and strongly ironic. Every page has an almost blunt title, written by Fellini himself in English, perhaps foreseeing an international publication. However, little more is known about them. This colourful deck of cards builds a veritable satiric castle, of a nearly psychoanalytical nature, within which a series of characters find themselves in dialogue with their own sexual alter egos. Other, analogous single drawings made by Fellini were known, but this is the most compact collection, made with a precise train of thought so that, excluding the Libro dei Sogni, it’s the only other thematic book in Federico’s pyrotechnically artistic world. The Malaga exhibition compares two volcanic figures of the European 20th century, who have been called similar many times before for their eccentricity and poetry.

The themes of the circus and eroticism are certainly where their greatest affinity lies, but it’s also their ability to allow unexpected language to bloom, their talent for transformation, and their voracious curiosity are parallel for both of these brilliant artists. Fellini dreamt of being with Giulietta in Picasso’s house in a familial atmosphere, but perhaps even Picasso dreamt of Fellini, films such as La Strada, 8 e 1/2, and La Dolce Vita, which were works of art that mirrored Pablo’s consciousness. In response to the Malaga Exhibition, Rimini is dedicating an exposition to the Celestine in Castel Sismondo, the future location of the Fellini Museum. It’s a beautiful erotic “symphony” of sixty-five panels, engraved by Picasso in 1968.