WHERE ARE WE GOING?
Curated by Giuseppe Frangi
Studio 4×4, Pietrasanta
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?
T. S. Eliot
This exhibition was created around a question mark that is like a challenge.
Is it possible today to venture into one of the questions that most torment everyone’s present but which we sweep under the carpet for fear of being left without a dignified answer?
The challenge is twofold, because in this face-to-face encounter with that question mark, four young artists are coming out into the open, capable of breaking the mould and even putting themselves on the line: there is always a risk of inadequacy in the face of the radical nature and breadth of that question. However, art today also needs the boldness of those who attempt to measure themselves against bolder horizons.
In this space, which we have not by chance renamed “Studio”, the attempt is to make room for the large and cumbersome category of “history”.
This is not by chance: because in order to venture into the question posed by the title it is necessary to give oneself an awareness, even if fragile and fragmented, of what one is experiencing. The only thing that is certain is that intimism in the face of this question is out of the question.
The four protagonists have different approaches and sensibilities, but there is one factor that unites them in this attempt: the desire to allow themselves to be involved, to measure themselves against an horizon that is no longer only personal. To attempt what could be defined as a “public” discourse.
This is what happens, for example, in the case of Stefano Cozzi: in his video, “A Song for the Wide Nation”, history enters the field with a disorienting effect. The happy purity of children engaged in a football match in fact acts as a visual counterpoint to the “epic” narration of the history of Europe (the text was written by Mariadonata Villa, written on the occasion of the artist’s participation in the work of Eurolab, and is read by Christopher Knowles). The history documented lyrically by words, through images re-establishes a necessary though unexpected link with the present.
We also find an epic accent in the work of another artist present: Elisa Carutti’s large canvas, a monumental image of a lying face staring up at a sulphurous sky in which it seems to reflect its own destiny. Whose face is that? Is it that of a contemporary Tiresias, chasing traces of new prophecies? Is it the face of one of Pompeii’s dead bodies, who right up to the very end did not avert his gaze from the sky of fire and sulphur? It is certainly a face awaiting the unveiling of meaning, a gaze thirsting for something to fill it.
Giovanni Vitali’s work is fully and stubbornly political. In recent years, he has investigated the relics of a world that has come to an end, that of communism in Eastern Europe. He has worked as a forerunner in the dungeons of history and has drawn a sort of symbol that sums up all symbols. “Red on!” is a performance installation, a star covered in very hard resin, on which is poured the red wax of the transience of every human claim on the world.
Matteo Negri, of the group, is the one with the most background. Here he presents himself with a new and and courageous work. The title alludes to the transience of time (“Meanwhile at 19.35 of the 28 May ‘19”), evoked by the looming black nebula that hangs over the thunderous splendour of the plant world. The formal preciousness of the work made with adhesive film, glass colours and resin makes that dimension of threat even more acute, which Negri reinforces with the presence in the centre of the courtyard of one of his first works, which decreed his success: one of the ceramic sea mines, slabbed by the explosion and which, unpredictably, at first sight, we mistake for a flower.
Studio 4×4 Pietrasanta
Via Garibaldi 34
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