Letto per i giorni e per le notti (Bed for the Days and the Nights) is a work by Francesco Arena in which the artist reinterprets the condition of imprisonment of those who have been incarcerated in a prison cell. Arena retrieves the structure of the bed from the old prison in Procida, and adds a sheet of reflective copper in place of the mattress. Two phrases stand out on the shiny surface: “La luce si sta cambiando in ombra” (Light is changing into shadow) and “L’ombra si sta cambiando in luce” (Shadow is changing into light). The first phrase is taken from a short novel by author Daniele Del Giudice, and was chosen by the artist precisely because of its symbolising the alternation of light and shadow, which, like the succession of day and night, marks the repetitive, almost motionless flow of time for prisoners as well as soldiers in the barracks, locking them into a regimented dimension from which there is no escape.
Francesco Arena (1978, Bari, Italy) lives and works in Cassano delle Murge, Bari. His work can be considered as a personal reworking of the sculptural processes of Minimal Art and Arte Povera, reinterpreted through the lens of biographical and collective events. By reworking numbers or formulas related to those events, Arena transmutes them into artistic works. He has exhibited in solo show at: Nogueras Blanchard Gallery, Madrid, Spain(2022); Studio Trisorio, Naple, Italys; Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan, Italy (2021); BASE / Progetti per l’arte, Florence, Italy, (2019); Sprovieri, London, UK (2018); Frac Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France (2012); Museion, Bolzano, Italy (2011); PeepHole, Milan, Italy (2010). His group exhibitions include: Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok, Thailand (2022); Maxxi L’Aquila, Italy (2022); Villa Arson, Nice, France (2021); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2020); Museo Madre, Naples, Italy (2020); Triennale, Milan, Italy (2015); Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli, Italy (2014); Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2014); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2011). He participated in the Italian pavilion at the 55th Venice Art Biennale (2013).