06. BACK TO THE LAND
ANDRECO, CRISTIAN CHIRONI, NEHA CHOKSI, ANDREA NACCIARRITI, GIORGIA SEVERI, FRANCESCO SIMETI, JULIUS VON BISMARCK
STUDIO LA CITTA'
VERONA / UNTIL 04.02.17
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
The Back to the Land project that Studio la Città is presenting in its rooms in Verona, is not simply an exhibition but a further step along a virtual path that for some time, at a global level, has singled out contemporary art as a tool for bringing to the fore ecological questions and for stimulating environmental ideas. This is a “visceral” movement in which Italy has for some time been a protagonist, building on a heredity that, with such movements as Arte Povera, has since the 1960s created a basis for current artistic experiences.
We are obliged to take into account some important shows which, over the past two years, have highlighted these themes: first of all the programme of PAV, Turin, curated by Marco Scotini with the shows La Tenda Verde (Da- sGrüneZelt). Joseph Beuys e il concetto ampliato di ecologia; WILD ENERGIES: persone in movimento; ecologEAST. Arte e Natura al di là del Muro; and Earthrise. Visioni pre-ecologiche nell’arte italiana (1967-73). MAN in Nuoro, too, thanks to the sensibility of Lorenzo Giusti, has recently presented the work of Michel Blazy, Roman Signer, and Ettore Favini, while MART has organised the show Nature. Arte e Ecologia at the Galleria Civica, Trento.
In Turin again, and perhaps not by chance, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev decided to start with the show Organismi. Dall’Art Nouveau di Émile Gallé alla Bioarchitettura; the Fondazione Merz has presented Mario Merz. La natura è l’equilibrio, while in Villa Panza di Biumo there has been organised a magnificent tribute to Meg Webster and Roxy Paine titled Natura Naturans.
The need to gain a distance from the frenetic rhythms of contemporary reality, of finding once again an equal relationship with the natural environment, and to expand ecological and eco-critical awareness, is certainly not a recent idea. Already on the cusp of the 1960s and 1970s in America the “Back to the Land” social movement gained a great number of supporters who promoted a rural lifestyle that was the antithesis of traditional society, ill and corrupt as it was seen to be.
Even earlier, Henry Thoreau and Hermann Hesse physically experienced nature, later publishing works that became genuine benchmarks. Again in America, over the past two centuries there has been established a literary tradition based on this theme, a tradition employed as a fundamental tool for the diffusion of an integrated evo- lutionary strategy with the aim of proposing an increased awareness of the man/nature interaction. Such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Darwin, George Parkis March, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson are just some of those who have sparked off an eco-critical debate, one that today is more than ever up-to-date and pressing.
This great global ferment, stimulated by a situation of perpetual danger, and of which we have recently had a con- firmation following the latest official warning by the UN about the level of greenhouse gas emissions, is a reaction against the Western anthropocentric tradition for which humanity, with its reason and personality, has been con- sidered the only depository of moral law: the symptom of a malaise that for some time art has been trying to develop and which artists, as actors and interpreters, have approached in a creative and often non-scientific manner by exploiting the codes and languages that might narrate important problems in innovative and untraditional ways.
The Back to the Land show intends, through the work of seven young and internationally-known artists, to be a part of this extremely complex and delicate panorama. Even though neither aiming at being an overt condem- nation nor being the occasion for trumpeting the nth sad list of ecological events and disasters, Back to the Land aims at reflecting on the importance of human gestures, on the sense of responsibility and power that the language of contemporary art can have in this context. Through different formal approaches, the seven artists invited show expressive methods and languages that are able, each in their own way, to recount a common attention to environ- mental questions and the problems of nature today.
At the heart of these reflections are the codes that art uses for inquiring, narrating, and presenting at a formal level works that derive from an analysis of wider themes and the even more pressing problems that involve all of us. A reflection of an ethical and moral nature is common to all the works in the show, in the hope that the message they convey is not exclusively perceived as a negative one. The poetical dimension of nature, the earth’s ancestral power, and the deep forces that unite us to it, must be what impels us to see art as an opportunity within a wider and more varied design, one in which the sacredness of a respectful relationship becomes a reality rather than a perpetual premonition.
Back to the Land, installation view, courtesy Studio la Città - Verona, photo Michele Alberto Sereni
05. BEYOND LANSCAPE
SOPHIE KO, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano, Adéla Waldhauserová
GALLERIA RENATA FABBRI ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
MILANO / 19.09.16 - 29.10.16
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
In line with a well-established path of investigation focusing on landscape as a ‘topos’, the exhibition Beyond Landscape aims to present and keep track of the practice of seven young artists – both Italian and international – whose artistic research deals with the same issue.
The term “landscape” has always referred to a given fraction of the natural environment which, by convention, is clearly delimited and characterised by peculiar aesthetic and formal attributes. However, in the light of new critical approaches and debates, it could be argued instead that landscape is a mere mental construction which men have been imposing upon themselves over time. On this basis, the Beyond Landscape project seeks to emphasise the complexity of defining exactly the boundaries of landscape, due to their constant evolution and their close relationship with the dynamics of the social, cultural and economic sphere.
This project thus represents a chance to put forward further, more nuanced perspectives capable of shifting the focus away from the mere aesthetic or contemplative experience of landscape, which has been typical of this genre from the very beginning.
Accordingly, landscape is considered here not just as an artistic typology but also as a tool of analysis, enriched with new values and in dialogue with the present time.
Crossing the limits as a way to create new landscapes is the concept Gerardo Mosquera illustrated in the catalogue for the exhibition Lost in landscape (Mart Museum, April 5 – August 31, 2014). Mosquera highlights how, depending on the approach adopted, “landscapes are able to change the way they communicate with us: they may be more ‘social’, ‘subjective’, ‘cultural’, ‘mystical’, ‘aestethic’, and so on. Our subjectivity, experience, culture, ideology and social circumstances all influence the way we perceive, process and interpret landscapes”.*
Beyond Landscape presents a select group of works which, in different ways, deconstruct the preconceived idea of landscape. The aesthetic experience offered to the viewer deviates from the habitual ways of presentation and representation. It rather follows formal solutions which hardly refer to what we are used to recognising and identifying as ‘landscape’: new narratives are suggested here in which there is no unity between vision and representation. The different mediums employed – sculpture, installation, photography, drawing and painting – together bring about an aesthetic outcome where, significantly, the object and the subject diverge from each other altogether. This last crucial point summarises the primary purpose of the show: namely, to talk about landscape without landscape. Because landscape lives somewhere else, it lies beyond any convention and is reshaped every instant by the passing of time as well as by the events which accumulate within our globalised world. A world now free from those spatial-temporal limits and mental barriers which formerly prevented thought from following hyperlinks and deflagrating in all possible directions.
* Gerardo Mosquera, Perduti nel paesaggio, exhibition catalogue essay, Mart Museum, April 5 – August 31, 2014, p. 23
Image: courtesy Laura Pugno
04. SILVANO TESSAROLLO / NULLA NASCE DAL NULLA
WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF HERMAN DE VRIES
GALLERIA MICHELA RIZZO
VENICE / 02.06.16 - 16-07-16
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
The Michela Rizzo Gallery in Venice opened the exhibition "Silvano Tessarollo. Nothing comes from Nothing’ on Saturday 2nd June 2016, curated by Andrea Lerda. This is the second exhibition of the artist at the gallery. On this occasion Tessarollo's work is in dialogue with the great Dutch master Hermann de Vries.
Through evocative works, replete with strong symbolic reminders, the exhibition is revolved around that which Duccio Demetrio defined as the ‘religion of the earth.’ Departing from the fundamental principle that ‘nothing comes from nothing’, described by Lucrezio in his De Rerum Natura, Tessarollo here elevates the earth, using it to create his works and exalting it to the status of a true work of art. Through a lay devotion for this material, the artist inevitably causes us to reflect on the relationship between man and nature and on the transient nature of this.
Mediated by a dialogue with Hermann di Vries, the project is replete with a sense of spirituality. As found in a Zen garden, here we are invited to listed and absorb the silence. The exhibition represents an artistic manifestation that hopes to awaken in all of us a new level of contact with the natural elements and with the earth upon which we walk.
Silvano Tessarollo, Inizio del giorno, 2015; Lo specchio del cielo, 2016. Courtesy Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venezia
03. DAVID LINDBERG / INORGANIC LANDSCAPES
MARCOROSSI ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
VERONA / 27.02.16 - 27.03.16
PIETRASANTA / 23.04.16 - 22.05.16
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
Inorganic Landscapes is the title of the solo show by the American artist David Lindberg, that was presented at the Marcorossi Artecontemporanea Galleries in Verona and Pietrasanta in 2016.
The exhibition was curated by Andrea Lerda and for that occasion the gallery has published a monographic catalogue about the artist.
The works that David Lindberg has made especially for that occasion, carry out an artistic research that consistently expresses his need to continue to work with elements and materials that make hir work something unique and recognizable.
Epoxy resin, fiberglass, colored pigments: these are the materials that the artist mainly uses to create inorganic and post-organic landscapes.
NEW DONATIONS TO THE CIVICA GALLERIA D’ARTE CONTEMPORANEA “FILIPPO SCROPPO” IN TORRE PELLICE
CIVICA GALLERIA D'ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
TORRE PELLICE / 30-01-16 – 05-03-16
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
Mauro Benetti, Vittorio Boggeri, Cesare Botto, Orietta Brombin, Francesco Casorati, Gianni Colosimo, Daniele Fissore, Ugo Giletta, Carlo Giuliano, Giorgio Griffa, Mario Merz, Giordano Montorsi, Guido Navaretti, Bruno Polver, Paolo Paschetto, Franco Risma, Filippo Scroppo, Luigi Spazzapan.
01. ANDREA NACCIARRITI
NATURA MORTA / DIMENSIONS VARIABLE
CURATED BY ANDREA LERDA
Ausgangspunkte für die Intervention des jungen italienischen Künstlers Andrea Nacciarriti in der Kunsthalle Eurocenter Lana sind Reflexionen, die um das künstlerische Motiv der „Natura Morta“, sowie das Südtiroler Territorium an und für sich, kreisen.
Die Marktgemeinde Lana beherbergt eine wichtige Biogasanlage, die es ermöglicht aus Rohmaterial Energie herzustellen. Die Abfälle eines Produktionsprozesses werden – genauso wie in der Natur selbst – zu Resoursen für einen weiteren Produktionszyklus. Die Arbeit Nacciarritis lotet aus inwiefern die Medien unsere Vorstellung von "Natur“ determinieren. Das Bild, welches wir von dieser in uns tragen ist ein von den Medien und der cultura green (im Sinne einer Mode) überbautes, welches der Künstler einem substantiellen Überdenken unterzieht und dadurch Parallelen und Paradoxe aufzeigt.
"Natura morta“ als Terminus tauchte zum ersten Mal in der Mitte des 17ten Jahrhunderts auf und leitet sich vom niederländischen vie coye bzw. still-leven – dem Stillleben als unbewegten Natur – ab. Nach Jahrhunderten von Bildmaterialien zum Thema wurde das Stillleben im 20igsten Jahrhundert in abstrakten Installation aufgelöst, dekonstruiert und in verschiedene Formen zerlegt, die sich in einer verflüssigenden Vision zu multiplizieren schienen: ein Übergang vom Naturelement zum unnatürlichen Objekt und wieder zurück.
Im Projekt für die Kunsthalle Eurocenter Lana konkretisiert sich die Analyse von Nacciarriti in den Beziehung und Interaktionen von verschiedenen Elementen: Das Künstliche und die Natur, die Geschichte und der zeitliche Kontext, die Form und die Evolution. Nacciarriti zeigt und dokumentiert die Mechanik der Veränderung, die Physiologie einer Neo-Natura Morta, sowie den Prozess ihrer Entstehung, den entsprechenden Stoffwechsel und das Überdenken des Stilllebenkonzeptes durch eine neue zeitgenössische Sensibilität.
Dadurch entsteht ein bis dato unbekanntes pietätloses und zynisches Bildmaterial. Die Ausstellung ist eine kritische und paradoxe Reflexion auf die Morphologie eines Subjekts, das scheinbar endlich eine eigene Autonomie und einen freien Ausdruck gefunden hat. Nachdem die Massenkultur mit Fernsehen, den Sozialen Medien und den der Globalisierung entsprechenden flüssigen Gedanken, das Sehen und damit auch die Sicht auf die Dinge und die großen Themen der Kunstgeschichte verändert haben, können diese, anhand eines – von der Fluidität des Denkens und den großen Themen des Heute durchtränkten – kritischen Zugangs neu erschlossen und zum Leben erweckt werden.