Umberto Mariani

(Milano, 1936)

Non mi piego 7-151


Plastic tissue on wood

120 × 80 cm / 46.8 × 31.2 in

Dimensions & Weight:
120 × 80 cm

On 23 May every year since 1992, in Palermo and other Italian

cities, white sheets are hung from the house windows,

a sort of flash-mob ahead of its time. After the Capaci and

Via d’Amelio bombings, this recurring event has become a

symbol of opposition to the Mafia and a sign of freedom and

justice. It is a sign born not out of political will or appointed

institutions, but out of popular will which is tired of abuse,

violence and injustice.

In commemorating this anniversary, Umberto Mariani draws

the attention of students (especially those at the Michelangelo

Guggenheim artistic high school), the people of Cameroon

(which is present at the Venice Biennale for the first

time with its national pavilion), and all visitors to the fact that

crime is everywhere, not just in Sicily. It is wherever there is

corruption and wherever it hampers free personal growth

and the honest development of a healthy economy nurtured

by new generations.

Umberto Mariani has hung white drapery on all 28 windows

of the first floor of the high school overlooking the ancient

monastic cloister. They are pleated in the traditional expressive

style that has made him famous in the art world and are

left free to flutter naturally in the breeze.

Espousing the symbolism stemming from the Sicilian event,

the artist conveys a strong message against corruption as an

absolute evil, which art must shine a light on and raise the

public’s awareness about so we do not remain indifferent.

Only later, at the end of the Venice Biennale, will the drapery

be collected and placed by the artist in special display cases,

each bearing a progressive number from 1 to 28, the date

of the Biennale, and the exhibition venue. Each ‘sheet’ or

‘drape’ will be unique and will faithfully reproduce the folds

and colours that time and weather have conferred on it.

We use cookies to optimize our website and services.
This website uses Google Analytics (GA4) as a third-party analytical cookie in order to analyse users’ browsing and to produce statistics on visits; the IP address is not “in clear” text, this cookie is thus deemed analogue to technical cookies and does not require the users’ consent.