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Rossella Roli, VALIGIE

Room 20

“The impetus of the act of setting out, the adventurous daring of expeditions to remote lands, are deceptive as to their motives. Not infrequently, it is simply a matter of avoiding what is around us, because we are not up to facing it. We sense its danger and prefer to deal with other dangers of unknown magnitude”. I like to start with these words of Elias Canetti, because indeed the human spirit often turns towards distant things and neglects everything “against which it is constantly bumping”. The spirit that “slams” into things near, that struggles to avoid them by venturing to other places, believing in this way to silence them, has accompanied me for many years. The spirit that moves away is a rescue, at least I thought it was. All the times in distant places (not only physical), I have always felt a discomfort, a symptom, as if to tell me “this is not your place, go home”. The physical home and the home “inside”. The physical house is easy, the house “inside” has to be rebuilt, dismantled right down to the foundations and put back together again, which took me twenty years. Now I can tell something of my history, my memory, build suitcases and venture towards unknown places. As a guest for eighteen days, in a room on the first floor of the house to which Giovanni Testori loved to return after his “outward journeys”, I like to remember his words: “However, I can assure you that what has always helped me to live and, moreover, to accept life, even in its curse, has always been the return home”.
Rossella Roli

There is no room for souvenirs: the luggage is a survival kit, containing the fantastic necessities for a real journey. Suitcases that are so many bridges to possible worlds, just a step away from our everyday life; they shine with symbols, full of organic references, purple or carmine red hearts and umbilical cords, they are the venous blood full of impurities or the blood that flows like a clear spring from the arteries, marked by feminine blues, supported by glassy aerial transparencies, affirming a hic et nunc that burns any temptation of spirituality. They are an affirmation and yet an open dialogue: active entities, conceived in the unfolding of time, imagined as travelling companions, to be touched, opened, used, broken, manipulated and reinvented. They are survivals: Rossella Roli’s work, unashamedly, divests itself of all vanity and undertakes an ascent towards the summit of the mountain, towards other temporal spaces, into the underworld of memory. In fact, there are no objects unrelated to the action of remembering; they are naturally characterised as time machines. Maternal in their protection against the horror vacui, they are in the first instance reassuring presences, capable of anchoring us to reality, sometimes thaumaturgical. Going beyond the idea that a work of art – particularly one that has to do with sculpture – needs a specific physical place with which to talk, and breaking the golden rule that wants it to be sacred, untouchable, a hieratic element when enveloped in metaphysical fumes, or simply cynical, when it has a more contemporary allure, Rossella Roli’s assemblage, on the other hand, is bold in renouncing a pre-established status, not afraid to be dependent on the user, to become something for everyday use.
Silvia Bottani

Rossella Roli was born in Modena in 1967. She graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts with a specialisation in Visual Arts. She currently lives and works in Milan. She has worked in graphic design since 1989. In 2001 she attended a master’s degree in web design at the Domus Academy in Milan. After participating in several group exhibitions, in 2009 she held two solo shows in Milan: Porzione di mare che sale e di cielo che sale che sale at the Blanchaert Gallery and Survivals at the Obraz Gallery.

Posted on: 2 December 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri