Vendemmia d’Artista





The character of Ornellaia 2011, the sixth edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, was “L’infinito”.
Rodney Graham was the artist chosen to interpret “L’Infinito”.


Canada-born Rodney Graham (1949-2022) was considered to be one of the leading artists of his time, renowned for rigorously intellectual art, which ranged from photography to video, music, sculpture, pairing and books. Graham’s work analysed social systems and philosophical thinking, with a focus on the Enlightenment and modernism. He drew inspiration from scientific experimentation in the nineteenth century, pop culture in the 1980s and literature, often paying tribute in his work to the figures who influenced his life and art, such as Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, the Brothers Grimm, Richard Wagner and Stéphane Mallarmé. The study of a given historical context underpinned his works, which inspired a complex narrative that incorporated literary and philosophical references as well as riffs on visual words. Rodney Graham represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1997. Numerous museums around the world have held major monographic shows of his works, including the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


To interpret “L’Infinito” of Ornellaia 2011, Rodney Graham was inspired by the wine itself, which stimulated thoughts about the infinite possibilities of creation, such as poetry. His poetry, of which “Short poems of merit” are an example, therefore poses itself as a triumph over perceptive ability, the thought that allows us to reach infinity. Among the artist’s most important corpus is the set of photography of upside-down trees, which aim to recall both the origins of photographic technique, remembering the inverted images created by the first camera obscura, and the focus on the rationalization process that frames and defines our vision of the world. “I chose the tree as the emblematic image because it is often used in scientific texts and also because it is used in Saussure’s writings about linguistics to show the relationship between the signifier and the significance.”
The work that the artist created for Ornellaia is an inverted photograph of the centuries-old Bellaria tree on the Bolgheri estate. 
Some of the large-format bottles of Vendemmia d’Artista “L’Infinito” were sold at the Sotheby’s auction held on 12 June 2014 in Toronto. The profits were donated in their entirety to the 
AGO Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, which also hosted the Charity Auction Gala Dinner.