The Vedovamazzei exhibition in Madrid - the first in Spain - fully focuses on the vision, imagination, irony and poetics of the world of this Italian duo. The project by Concha Garcia raises the question of the individual's experience as related to his surroundings through extremely fragile porcelain and glass objects, or objects as close, daily and domestic as furniture structures.
“I believe that the artist doesn’t know what he does.
I attach even more importance to the spectator than to the artist”.
Fúcares Gallery is proud to present the first individual exhibition in Madrid by the artist Vedovamazzei (Milan, Simeone Crispino, 1964 and Stella Scala, 1962). The Vedovamazzei exhibition in Madrid – the first in Spain – fully focuses on the vision, imagination, irony and poetics of the world of this Italian duo. Leaving nothing sacred, Vedovamazzei study the most profound and concrete aspects of our existence and of creating art. From the sophisticated essence of their thought process, which pulls each element of daily life from oblivion, reprocessing it with a sort of short circuit of past and future images, a work of art emerges that is completely unconditioned where the provocative use of the word and the image reigns supreme. For this show at the Galleria Fucares in Madrid, Vedovamazzei created four installation works, which meld word and number games, collages and artistic objects. The neon “Lights of Spain” with Spain’s international calling code – made from yellow and red dough, the colors of the Spanish flag – is – given its surreal grandeur - a conceptual portrait of the gallery that houses the exhibition. Adapted to the spatial, emotional and evocative conditions of the show, the neon numbers actually reproduce the Norbert’s handwriting exactly. The work studies the roots of the avant-garde experience in the 1960s when artists were heavily influenced by multicolor lights and the magnetism of the neon signs, typical in the great metropolises. In an ideal and uninterrupted conversation with the past, whose artistic experiments deciphered the codes, the Vedovamazzei revisit these universal concepts, adjusting their private nature to suit an individual identity.
The “iHOLA!” installation is composed of a series of 20 magazines from Spain that, using a collage technique, were manipulated by the artists using a sophisticated lexical sleight of hand. This linguistic game runs through the image like a sort of shockwave and the contemporary and agnostic manipulation of visual poetry is dominant. With this critique, Vedovamazzei have suspended judgment about the power of the press and mass communications since, they say, it is impossible to know enough and answer the questions. So nothing can be done but play the same game: manipulate reality to speculate on communication.
The work, “Six Nails,” is on a pallet – a platform used in warehouses and for industrial transportation – with six silver nails, partly washed in gold. In the holes where the nails are hiding in the pallet, Vedovamazzei see a great deal to discover: the nails, originally silver, placed in the six holes in the platform are artificially and ideally bathed in gold. Such abundance is not expected from a poor wooden structure, created for industrial purposes. Using the idea of arte povera, the artists call on the original structure of contemporary society’s language to break up semantic methods and conventions.
The expressive and enigmatic force of gold is reiterated again in the work, “The Last Italian Envelope,” apparently a mound of paper and envelopes, casually thrown on the street. The material of these realistic structures is gold, disguised as common paper. The essence of the work recalls the ancient work of alchemists and animists, aimed at universal knowledge and transforming inexpensive materials into precious metals. Alchemy has helped Vedovamazzei “separate the truth from the false” as Paracelsus wrote during the Renaissance.
Fúcares Gallery is proud to present the individual exhibition in Madrid by the artist Concha García (Santarder, 1960).
And when the storm roars screeching through the forest, when giant fir trees plunge, sweeping down and crushing neighbouring branches, neighbouring trunks, and when they fall the hills, dull, hollow, thunder: then leadest thou me to the cavern safe, show'st me myself, and my own heart becomes aware of deep mysterious miracles… Thus from desire I reel on to enjoyment and in enjoyment languish for desire.
A forest is a place that you peer into or you enter aware of being at the threshold of the forbidden, where any unexpected thing can happen. It represents that almost dizzy need of getting lost – that need that encourages us to cross the limits of the established. Those who do not dare to penetrate into the forest will never arrive at that safe cavern where the mysterious miracles of one’s heart are revealed.
Argullol says: “Romantic travel is always a search for the self. The romantic hero is, in dream or in reality, an obsessed nomad. He needs to run ample spaces – as ample as possible – to free his spirit from the suffocating air of limitation.”
The project that we are presenting here raises the question of the individual’s experience as related to his surroundings through extremely fragile porcelain and glass objects, or objects as close, daily and domestic as furniture structures – a metaphor for that forest devised as a big stage set in which we believe ourselves dwelling safely. Meanwhile, at the other side of the barrier, is Nature: hazardous, chaotic and menacing. In our organised and daily stage set, the flight of a bird makes air acquire life, and we, surprised by its fluttering, look at ourselves, perplexed, like in a mirror, faced to that reality. It is Nature that demonstrates the individual’s fragility, altering the monotony of daily things, exposing the individual to chaos, putting into question our control over our own lives.
Included in this project is an animation taken from Hitchcock’s film The Birds. The viewers’ presence interferes with it, their presence in the room – just as it will cause a perturbation in the film. The birds are just symbols of our fears.
In art, maybe everything is a stage set that, like the luxuriant forest of life, invites us to be surprised so that we face desires and fears. Perhaps, more than ever, the individual, as the romantic hero, should enter the forest to free his spirit from the suffocating limitations of constructed society. This project intends to question the viewers’ search in the art stage set.
Those who as viewers peer into this forest perhaps will just find themselves seeking in their own caverns.
Some delicate porcelain – broken, cracked, reconstructed in a vain attempt to return it to its early condition, clearly prove the possibility of a non-existence, the fragility of our stage set.
In his posthumous work Fragments of a Future Book, Valente wrote this poem:
From you there are left no more/ than these broken fragments./ Let someone pick them up with love, I wish to you,/ have them close to him and do not let them/ die completely in this night/ of voracious shades, where you, already defenceless, still throb.
Concha García. Fúcares Gallery (April 2009)
Image: Concha Garcia
Opening: Saturday 25th April 2009 / 12m – 14:30 h
Conde de Xiquena, 12 - Madrid
Monday, 17:00 to 21:00
Tuesday to Friday, 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00
Saturday, 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:30 to 21:00