* To Mimmo Lucano, for the beauty of his ideas beyond the limits of any imposed shape.
“[…] According to Plato Ideas are οὐσίαι, realities endowed with absolute and eternal essence and existence, in contrast with the always changing sensitive appearances.”
Enciclopedia Treccani, see Substance
This exhibition finds its origin as a collective experiment: several months ago, when the world was still 'interrupted' due to the pandemic, the curator decided to hand over the helm. Tired of proposing standardized themes to the artists, she selected a specific group of people and decided to reverse the roles.
Only one rule was given: the next exhibition shouldn’t deal with COVID-19. Everything else would have been allowed.
After a series of talks arranged through all possible means of communication, what arose was a specific need to overcome that physical and emotional isolation everyone had been confined to; but besides that there was among the artists a common urge for a more compelling sense of truth and for deeper human and intellectual connections, beyond the mere appearances.
After long brainstorming sessions three crucial words came out: Form, Sign, Character.
Form: the form of art, like that of human relationships, refers to the meaning. The violent break-in of social medias of all kinds in our daily life seems to have deleted any duty towards the form, but a “good form” is not a mere convention, it is moreover the desire to propose something at its best, making it available to a real confrontation without hiding itself behind that kind of superficiality, which inscribed in the term ‘dialogue’ as we use it today.
Sign: the sign is the foundation of the form; it is form at its embryonic phase, but it is also what we leave to posterity.
Character: it is the sign, to which we assign a precise meaning. Characters constitute and represent the written sentence, the discourse. They can be intelligible or not, cause everyone has the chance to choose how to express him/her/themself and every choice is like a sliding door, a kind of destiny that we all imprint on the words that we set free in the world.
Which word could embrace all these concepts? Quality? Substance? Essence? Here the curator gets back in the game, with her passion for etymology, which goes from quality to essence, and from essence to ousía, its universal definition.
Hence, the curator left the field free to the artists, asking them to interact as much as possible with each other, to express themselves even in unusual ways: the result has been a site-specific exhibition which today is still partially a surprise for the curator herself.
The artistic skills mingled: Maria Pina and Gianna Bentivenga - masters of engraving - got involved by Debora Mondovì in a large assemblage sculpture that literally connects their different visions; Elisabetta Diamanti - engraver - encounters Raffaele Alecci - photographer specialized in ancient techniques –in an exchange of competencies and ideas, evolving from the paper to the installation form.
Alessio Trevisani - choreographer, performer and director of the Freies Tanz Ensemble of Berlin and Leipzig - lends his body to the words and voice of Massimo Napoli - writer and graphic designer - who transformed his text into calligrams.
The sculptures in ceramics by Emiliano Coletta are essential signs, as well as the new organic sculpture by Emanuela Camacci - nothing more essential than an egg, while Osvaldo Tiberti envisions a large interactive dreamcatcher and a 'Mini-Me', mixing reality and desire and Gianluca Esposito reimagines a creative spelling book.
Furthermore, the artists are left free about the display too, enhancing their own will and visions in the construction of the visual narrative within the gallery space.
Finally, to the curator, the no small task to put her ego aside, to let the critical text become a story, and the words to be replaced by the oúsía.
A mission rewarded by great curiosity and a certain amusement in the challenge.
Oúsía – Forma, segno, carattere.
ArtSharing Roma, via Giulio Tarra 64
Opening: 24th October h. 17.00
24 Ottobre - 31 ottobre 2021.
Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday h. 16.30-20.00 (Monday closed)
Wednesday 27th October h. 17.30: Massimo Napoli – Alessio Trevisani, Tabula rasa, live perfomance (also in streaming on our social channels)
Artists – curators: Raffaele Alecci, Gianna Bentivenga, Maria Pina Bentivenga, Emanuela Camacci, Emiliano Coletta, Elisabetta Diamanti, Gianluca Esposito, Debora Mondovì, Massimo Napoli, Osvaldo Tiberti, Alessio Trevisani.
Coordinator of ideas and words: Penelope Filacchione
Press Office – ArtSharing Roma – Rome Art Week
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