Fabrizio Plessi (born 1940 in Reggio Emilia, lives and works in Venice) studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, where he subsequently held a professorship in painting. One of Europe's most influential video artists, he also works in film, performances, sculpture and installations. An early pioneer of video art
, Plessi is one of the first artists to experiment with the medium in Italy. Trained as a painter, he began adding moving images to his work in the 1960s. As early as 1968, his multidisciplinary practice concentrated on the natural elements with water in particular becoming the main theme of his works. Plessi was drawn to the element for its primordial and mystical associations. Since the 1980s, Plessi began to meditate on the relationship between art and technology and our relationship with the environment both built and natural. He began integrating his images of elemental forces like water, fire and lava in large-scale “terrestial” constructions of stone and wood. By capturing the elements and juxtaposing them with the built environment, he questions our ideas about history, memory, and landscapes. In 1987, Plessi achieved worldwide recognition when his iconic work Roma
was exhibited at Documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany. Staged as a monument of ancient Rome, Roma
was an installation combining stone ruins and 36 embedded video screens on a conveyer belt. He has since created numerous site-specific installations, often tending towards the large-scale and Baroque, and has exhibited in major galleries and institutions internationally, including multiple participations in the Venice Biennale. In November 2013, the Plessi Museum, dedicated exclusively to his work, opened at the Brenner Pass, the former customs area between Italy and Austria. In 2014, Plessi was the recipient of the prestigious Premio Pascali award.