A Project (?) for India

Why a question mark after the word project?
Why does the exhibition not contain ideas?
Why is it not founded on a design?
Why does it not have a vision, a spatial tension?
Why doesn’t it aspire to the popular?

The ideas contained in an exhibition are represented – by way of non-figuration – in its works. They express their image and their destiny. In a way, the more they represent the ideas, the more they reduce their perception, pushing them into a panorama so distant it almost appears confused, or out of focus. This exhibition will feature two groups of works: approximately forty watercolours from ten years ago, never previously displayed, and ten drawings made for the occasion.

The design of an exhibition has its origin in the desire, on behalf of the artist, to possess the gaze of others. As such, similarly to all desires, it can be quenched by emerging into an accomplished act, something able to push us beyond, with more imagination, in our act of love. This exhibition speaks of the desire for the continuation of an exhibition space, that of India. It is drawn out by the wish (which I hope will come true) to appropriate a space threatened with demolition. A cathedral for art that pushes itself out of the confines of the India space, like a kiss on the mouth of the city.
The space of an exhibition is always larger than the space that hosts it. Not only because the work of art creates an illusory space which contradicts the physicality of architectural space, even when the two don’t even share the same environment; but because an exhibition inflates the walls, the ceilings, the floors, until they explode into an invisible pulviscule. To the extent that the paintings look like they’re hanging on walls that are in a state decomposition. In my exhibition, the two walls on which the works will be hung will look like a thin, diaphanous substance, so thin it will make the spectator think about the skin, with its double quality: containing an interior flux and at the same time showing itself to the outside world as a surface (and sometimes as a support).

Every artist should have a People. An audience isn’t enough, nor are admirers, or friends, or even worse ‘colleagues’ with whom to share an experience. I don’t mean that the artist should be a boss, or, worse again, a leader. I’m thinking more of an energetic, renewable relationship, in which it isn’t a mandate (mandate as style or movement) that’s charged with creating trust, but the fact of sharing a source of heat; a source of heat we can all gather round and share, after the solitary, sad time of research. This exhibition, for me, is an appointment with people; it’s a celebratory occasion.

So why do I put a question mark after the word ‘project’? Because a project cannot contain the vastness of an exhibition; because a project is always out of scale, it says too little or too much. It’s maximalist or minimalist; it either introduces or repels. Whereas we vitally need an exhibition, one capable of vastness both in scale and in style, but one without dogmas, simply artistic, without essential elegance. The exhibition we need is more than a project, it dramatically draws attention to the reality of art.

Alfredo Pirri
Rome 14th September 2000

texts/interviews.

Comments are closed.