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

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: Psicoenciclopedia possible. Exercises for making it.


Opening: September 25, 2021
Exhibition Action: September 25 – October 24, 2021
Panel Discussion: Sept. 25 5p.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 25th to October 24th 2021, the Bibliothèque Kandinsky at the Centre Pompidou in Paris presents the exhibition/action Psicoenciclopedia possiblie. Exercises for making it by Gianfranco Baruchello. The project is promoted by the Fondazione Baruchello and realized thanks to the support of the Italian Council (7th edition, 2019),. On September 25th at 5p.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 possibile. Exercises for making it, curated by Carla Subrizi and Maria Alicata, was devised 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 which Gianfranco Baruchello worked on between 2017 and 2020, commissioned and published by the Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana Fondata da Giovanni Treccani. Baruchello, in his description of the exhibition, eludes any definition of his own work and challenges the identity of the very system of organizing knowledge: “The Psicoenciclopedia possibile is constructed as if it were a volume of the Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, but it is not”,. 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 reinterpreting 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 possiblie. Exercises for making it is presented in the rooms of the Bibliothèque Kandinsky in an installation created for the occasion by Baruchello. The construction of any linguistic vocabulary is an exercise in 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, who are invited to consult and take 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 collection of sources in order to delineate a constellation of relationships between entries–taken from published and unpublished writings, notes, and transcriptions of Baruchello’s dreams–and plates (found images) derived from pre-existing materials. As in all of Baruchello’s paintings, sculptures, or installations, the encyclopedic project, which uses the alphabet as a device for revising knowledge, also acts positively in showcasing unexpected diversities, discontinuities, and connections (narrative, visual, semantic) side by side. This practice of assembling words, images or objects has characterized the work of the painter, writer, and 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, partly found materials; the writing as research; and above all, the reduction in the painting  of images, words and cutouts, to the point of almost illegibility, are only some aspects of Baruchello’s research that has made him one of the most daring and provocative experimenters of the 20th century.


The panel discussion on September 25th (5p.m., Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Paris), curated by Carla Subrizi, is conceived as a way of expanding the experience of Psicoenciclopedia possibile, 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, and painting as–as Baruchello himself describes the search for his own language–a “small system” Moderated by Enrico Camporesi, head of research and documentation at the 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 de Smet, artist Ernst van Alphen, philosopher Judit Revel, and President of the Fondazione Baruchello as well as art historian, Carla Subrizi.

The Parisian presentation of Psicoenciclopedia possibile, promoted by Fondazione Baruchello and realized thanks to the support of the Italian Council (7th edition, 2019), is part of a cycle of exhibitions and presentations that also involves the Center d’Art Contemporain Genève (from 14th September to 17th October 2021) and Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York (from 6th to 12th December 2021). On the occasion of the openings in Geneva, Paris, and New York, 1,000 copies of a “pocket” edition of the volume are being printed.