This side is red

Maurizio Nannucci


Installation, 400 x 30 cm.
Materials: neon

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. GMC_65).

This side is red by Maurizio Nannucci had already been in the M KA collection for quite some time, but was only first presented in autumn 2002. Prior to that, the work only existed in the form of a description on paper, as a concept. Nannucci’s choice of the fluorescent red light was quite deliberate. As a viewer, you’re forced to look at it. The bright red color is the first thing that strikes you. The text is written very legibly. It is obvious and clear what it says, and yet the work causes confusion. Which side is red? Does this simple sentence refer to the color of the wall or to that of the letters? What at first sight looks like a straightforward message no longer seems so unambiguous. Nannucci is fascinated by the connection between his neon word works and the surrounding space. The two elements, art work and context, each time influence one another in a very specific manner. Nannucci’s work is described as installation art. He makes use of a variety of materials, and the work's surroundings become part of the work. Nannucci doesn't only place his neon word works in museums, but in public spaces as well. In city-settings, viewers – accidental passers-by – commonly do a double-take: are these art works that are on view or are they advertising slogans? The interplay of language, color and light lends the work a particular charisma, a force that surpasses the usual meaning of the words displayed. It is an invitation for the viewer to reflect upon this.

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