STORIES

Personal exhibition at the Oredaria Gallery, Rome 2006

The show is introduced by a long custom-made wall which unravels like a ribbon, like a story. The wall exhibits fifteen watercolours entitled Acque. Each one of these presents different ways in which rain slides down the surface of glass, forming regular rivulets which sometimes open up onto wider, disorderly planes. It’s like looking from inside a house, through the windows, looking outside with the rain acting as filter… perhaps the interior we gaze out from is the inside of one of the building-shaped sculptures we discover in the space at the end of the wall… two similar but larger watercolours complete the series, and are placed elsewhere.

After the wall of watercolours, in the space of the gallery, we encounter three tri-dimensional works which appear animated by the reflected light of the painting which ‘rains’ from above, colouring in red white ghostly figures, empty rooms, or spaces delimitated by white feathers. These constructions are representations of environments superimposed one upon the other in ways that are more or less orderly; its interiors allow us to perceive the having-taken-place of something, an event be it temporal or perceptual, giving the sense of some sort of interior acting-out.

One of these sculptures, entitled White Cube, is composed of frosty white cubes, which bring to mind the environments within which so-called ‘contemporary art’ has grown and developed. It brings to mind those white, indifferent spaces which in contemporary culture have been conceived as gated, temporary camps for art to dwell on the exaltation of its favourite themes, first and foremost the theme of the void.

The second work is called The House of the Rising Sun, and like the famous song it has an external reddish hue. Inside, groups of figures seems to be waiting for something, a something which is perhaps the very arrival of the light. The figures are caught as if frozen by the light-bearing action of a star (the sun, the moon…), which like a huge flash suddenly blocks them, catching them in a moment.

The third piece is entitled Le Jardin Féerique, after one of Maurice Ravel’s sonatinas. This, unlike the other two pieces, is not conceived as a built environment. It is an autonomous, self-sufficient volume: a parallelepiped divided into various levels traversed by an ascendent cone-shaped vortex of light, reflected on planes of white feathers which function as reflectors of paint and as screens at the same time.

In addition to these three works, the walls of the gallery are home to two large plexiglas display cases (one is a 90 x 90 cm. square and the other is a rectangular landscape measuring 90 x 400 cm.). It is here that we envisage the feathers from the fairy garden, as if they had ended up deposited on these two surfaces. In the first, the feathers draw out the motion of something falling towards the ground; in the other, they compose the movement of something which expands out into the space violently, horizontally, as if forming a pair of angel’s wings. The motion of falling and the motion of a slight beating of wings are posed side by side becoming a single action, destined to give the gaze its force and its vitality.

Each one of these works is a work in itself, each telling the story of itself and of its being in its single, determined form; but at the same time each work is a detail of a larger story, in which abstraction and figuration are mixed until they become a whole, they get confused with one another, as if they were no longer capable – in their singularity – of telling us anything beautiful or necessary. Form and story are unified: they energise each other, they are complicit in searching for routes that can lead them beyond their experienced, experimented confines. Forms which initially appear abstract generate allusive storytelling capacities, almost natural dynamics and shapes which then become once again dimensions, forms and colours, frozen back into their abstractions like a photograph. The works on display taken as a whole seek to establish a representation in equilibrium between fall and rise, between what is recognisable and what is distant, a balance which is delicate and can be broken at any moment. Just like the world, which, after having rolled and rolled, violently hits the skittles with which men seek to tell the story of the comprehensible and of the ordered, ruffling and upsetting their ideals.

Alfredo Pirri

video

shows.

Comments are closed.