Gianfranco Baruchello Psicoenciclopedia possibile. Exercises for making it. Curated by Carla Subrizi and Maria Alicata. 25.09 – 24.10.2021

The Fondazione Baruchello, with the support of the Italian Council (7th edition, 2019), a program for the international promotion of Italian art of the General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, presents the cycle of exhibitions and presentations:


Opening: September 25, 2021
Exhibition Action: September 25 – October 24, 2021
Panel Discussion: Sept. 25 5 p.m. with Philippe-Alain Michaud, Valérie da Costa, Catherine de Smet, Ernst Van Alphen, Judit Revel and Carla Subrizi. Moderator: Enrico Camporesi


Bibliothèque Kandinsky – Centre Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris


From September 25 to October 24, 2021, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky at the Centre Pompidou in Paris presents the exhibition/action Psicoenciclopedia possiblie. Exercises in making it by Gianfranco Baruchello. The project is promoted by the Baruchello Foundation and realized thanks to the support of the Italian Council (7th edition, 2019), a program for the international promotion of Italian art of the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture. On September 25 at 5 p.m., in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition/action, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky will host a panel discussion moderated by Enrico Camporesi with participants Philippe-Alain Michaud, Valérie da Costa, Catherine de Smet, Ernst Van Alphen, Judit Revel and Carla Subrizi.


The exhibition/action Psicoenciclopedia possiblie. Exercises for making it, curated by Carla Subrizi and Maria Alicata, was created with the intention of offering a spatio-temporal restitution, in the form of an exhibition and a round table discussion, of the publishing work of the same name on which Gianfranco Baruchello worked between 2017 and 2020, commissioned and published by the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana Fondata da Giovanni Treccani. “The Psicoenciclopedia possibile is constructed as if it were a volume of the Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, but it is not,” says the artist, eluding any definition of his own work and challenging the identity of the very system of organizing knowledge. The volume, comprising 816 pages that narrate and illustrate 1,200 entries (in the first part) and 200 plates of images (in the second part), is an ambitious and unprecedented project of reinterpretation of the concept-instrument of encyclopedia, a possible atlas of relations to be built with the “pleasure of thinking,” through a non-exclusionary ars combinatoria. Psicoenciclopedia possibile. Esercizi per farla is presented, therefore, in the rooms of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, in an installation created for the occasion by Baruchello. The construction of any linguistic vocabulary is a collective fact, which takes place in the shared exchange of information and mutual participation; similarly, the presentation conceived for the Parisian institution actively involves the public, invited to consult and take away with them some pages of the book, made available along with “instructions for imagining” their own possible encyclopedia.


The modus operandi underlying the operation of deconstructing and constructing the knowledge of Psicoenciclopedia possibile is the result of continuous research and montage of sources, to delineate a constellation of relationships between entries – taken from published and unpublished writings, notes and transcriptions of the artist’s dreams – and plates (found images) – derived from pre-existing materials. As in all of Baruchello’s painting, sculpture, or installation works, the encyclopedic project, which uses the alphabet as a device for revising knowledge, also acts positively in flanking unexpected diversities, discontinuities, and connections (narrative, visual, semantic). This practice of assembling words, images or objects has characterized the work of the painter, writer, filmmaker since the late 1950s and early 1960s, the possible literally being his field of investigation: the blank, the boxes/showcases, the works on plexiglass, the assembling of different and partly found materials, the writing as research and above all the reduction in painting, to the point of almost illegibility, of images, words, cutouts, are only some aspects of a research that has made Baruchello one of the most daring and provocative experimenters of the 20th century.


The panel discussion on Sept. 25 (5 p.m., Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Paris), curated by Carla Subrizi, is conceived as a way of expanding the experience of the work, and as an opportunity to explore some of the pivotal aspects that affect both the project of an encyclopedia in the 21st century and the founding themes of Baruchello’s practice, such as the archive, montage, painting as a small system – this is how the artist likes to describe the search for his own language. Moderated by Enrico Camporesi, head of research and documentation, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, center of experimental cinema, the participants invited to discuss these issues are art historians Philippe-Alain Michaud, Valérie da Costa and Catherine