Wednesday, 12th October 2016
A very warm welcome to you, reader.
Today we are in Rome to present the second issue of Momentum, Intensity, and the occasion is the opening of “HEY, YOU!” at Palazzo delle Esposizioni. Curated by Michele d’Aurizio, “HEY, YOU!” is one of the ten exhibition sections which constitute the 16th Art Quadriennale, and explores the contemporary Italian art scene through the language of portraiture. Gianandrea and I are very excited to be part of it.
Beside the launch of Momentum online, today we are also presenting an artwork within the exhibition space: it is a diptych of banners, showing the images of a hand and a heart. The first is sourced from an amateur scan, while the second is sourced from a transthoracic echocardiogram. But why them? Where do these images come from?
They both belong to two persons very close to us, and they are both defective, faulty. The hand touches the scanner’s glass highlighting a missing part on the thumb. The heart cannot touch the device which is scanning it, yet with its furious pulsating highlighted a hole in the wall between its left and right atria.
The fragility of the human body echoes the one of relationships, beliefs and ideas. In this issue indeed, the declinations of intensity are as diverse as the contributors we invited felt it to be.
For instance, the protagonist in Clara Mazzoleni’s story tells the oddities of social gatherings and relationships, as she asks herself how to live them autonomously. The quest for autonomy might be retraced as well in Sofia Ginevra Giannì’s video, which explores the politics of identities and the structures of power through specific gestures and styles. In a similar key, Riccardo Banfi’s photographs tackles the idea of representation, inquiring to which extent an Other is recognised as such. Certainly, that recognition is only possible within a regimen of visibility, and it is in this realm that the tactile, interactive roughnesses by Alessandro Di Pietro work as ruses to blur what is considered as ‘normal.’
The supremacy of an univocal, sanitised output is analysed also by Margherita Raso’s video and Matteo Nasini’s audio piece through the act of translation: Margherita translates a potential tapestry into a musical score as much as Matteo translates the electrochemical activity of the brain while asleep into audible harmonies.
With fascinating parallelisms, wokeness and dreams have been investigated by Leah Clements, who looks for a new language to articulate a ‘daydream mode’ in her intimate, homonym video; Sean Monahan, who bitterly muses on the wokeness’ trend in his meditative images; Mara Cassiani, who creates environments to tease the unconscious of the viewer in her performances; and Michele D’Aurizio, who takes us again into the inner life of the young farmer Domenico.
Finally, I think Enrico Boccioletti’s video epitomises what intensity has meant for us throughout the wrapping up of this edition of the journal: an exercise on exceeding and a practice on surviving. However, this is not an attempt to define the current keyword from a linguistic side, but from an operative one, since by its definition it would always keep on dragging into something else. It goes without saying that the result of Intensity is both partial and personal, and those mutually constitutive aspects of the contributions make the issue come up with an expanding array of grasps and intensities.
Intensity has no movements, or chapters, as the first issue Focus; instead it shows two environments which, in their palette and graphics, respectively take inspiration from the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii and the Villa of Livia in Rome.
Two new icons have also come to life: a hand for the abstract of every contribution, and a heart for the biography of every contributor: those very same icons will be seen on a larger scale in the exhibition space of “HEY, YOU!.”
We would like to give our special thanks to the artists and writers, to Vashti Ali and to Simone Ballesio, without whose help this issue would not have been possible.
Enjoy and take care,