Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea presents a new exhibition project created and curated by Antonio D'Amico, art historian and critic, which underlines the multiple possibilities of observing reality by triggering behaviours that from the objective facts draw into subjective visions. It is an intriguing and creative process of great suggestion inspected by the three artists involved in this project, Keith Edmier, Joana Vasconcelos e Chiharu Shiota, who conceive reality as 'a window from which to look out for gaze at what surrounds them and to capture images, linked with mind's thoughts, that come in forms from which the starting point is the source of inspiration'. They let emerge in this way works that not only show a mimesis of reality, but they also cover it in an intimate and subjective layer, handing to spectators a reflecting vision, a sort of personal torsion of the real. Such a creative process has its philosophical origins in Plato, who has first talked about 'reflection' of reality, that is to say an action which does not correspond directly to a perfect representation of the real, but rather to the returning of an image which only prompts its source.
Through the study of art in Lisbon during the 19th century, Joana Vasconcelos promotes a deep conversation with history and seizes the shapes of a group of ceramic animals, upon which she spreads a magical blanket coming from the tradition of the lace-makers, delivering to the artist crochet doilies from Portugal as well as from all over the world. These doilies become a protective shield where her silent animals are free to live and to look at us, quietly.
Memories and glances are freezed between time and space by Chiharu Shiota, through a spider web made of coloured threads, in a dreamlike vision which recalls dreams and introspection. The Japanese artist creates metaphisical sculptural diaries, in which the trapped objects will never share their secrets and thoughts risen from a creative moment; instead they puzzle us with a riddle everyone can solve using personal experiences.
Keith Edmier masters his knowledge of the art of the 15th century, when the reproduction of the reality ruled on everything. His attention is caught by flowers painted by Caravaggio, Carlo Dolci and others, bringing them back to life and giving them a tridimensional existence twirling into space.
In front of Edmier's sculpted flowers coming directly from History, Vasconcelos' 'dressed up' animals like keepers of tradition and Shiota's magic boxes that unveil intimate and secret thoughts, the spectator can move from one room to another inside Mimmo Scognamiglio gallery like if it was a misterious and enchanted garden, populated by catching shapes that try to connect their own world to our reality.
Whatever happened to my grandmother's doggy sounds like a query that first questions the curator himself. It's a question only apparently related to the childhood's memory, but that rather goes beyond, trying to hide from something born back in time, in a kind of link to the artists' feelings, who are capable of generating new ideas and forms starting from something that catches their eyes and thoughts. Edmier, Vasconcelos and Shiota pursue indeed in their process of 'reflection' and reworking of real shapes, presented like thoughts, ideas, misterious references and fascinating forms.
'When I was young–D'Amico tells–my grandmother had a spiteful in little puppy living in the countryside, who used to pee on her flowers, so she would desperately cover the flowers with coloured plastic bags to keep those wonderful natural creatures alive. That little dog was so mischievous that he kept looking at the new plant created by my grandmother, bigger and even more colorful, and would enjoy scratching it with his paws and barking at it, maybe because he didn't recognised his source of primordial attraction anymore. Who knows what happened to grandmother's dog. Many times I wondered why he wasn't peeing anymore on the big and attractive plastic shape, but I could never answer and, thinking back, I can't even now. However, I certainly know that the research of many artists is geared to an evasive insistence on the 'real' that brings to my memory the behaviour of my grandmother's dog.'
In the mischievous little dog's changed behaviour towards the new botanical shapes, D'Amico finds the continuing attraction that turns from mere inspiration to subjective vision and therefore work of art. On display three points of view which enclose a magical world and that interchange into the gallery spaces, triggering new relations between art and what surrounds us, always letting everyone recognise the memory of what's out there, in life's spaces.
Press release Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea. Text: Maria Chiara Salvanelli.