curated by Elena Volpato
November 3 – 5, 2017
This exhibit is devoted to the liturgy of reading, intended both as an inner space and as a public space, an act of sharing. It evokes the dual birth—sound and visual—of a written page: in ancient times, reading was mostly intended as the social sharing of a text, it meant reading out loud in front of an audience, whereas later on, reading became what St. Augustine vividly described in his Confessions, in the passage where he marvels at seeing St Ambrose totally absorbed in his private inner space, silently studying with sealed lips: “his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning”.
Some works, disseminated among the publishers’ desks in the Fair, allow visitors to listen to the voices of artists and performers reading various texts in front of the camera. They are the videos by John Baldessari, Three Feathers and Other Fairy Tales, by Martha Rosler, Martha Rosler Reads “Vogue”, a work by Karl Holmqvist, I’m with you in Rockland and the choral work by Concetta Modica, In pasto al presente #3.
In a separate, secluded area, is a series of small rooms hosting about thirty works, creating an island of quietness where the space of the page and the countless shapes of the books imagined by the artists will be allowed to disclose their silence. Visitors will plunge into the perceptive infinity of Romanzo blu by Irma Blank; they will stand in front of a small block of white chalk, silent and dense, on which Paolo Icaro has inscribed the word Racconto (Tale); they will consider the endless imaginary pages and volumes adding up on Giulio Paolini’s canvases; they will read the white transparency in between words where Sabrina Mezzaqui has rewritten Karen Blixen’s The Blank Page: and finally, in the volume Universum by Maurizio Nannucci, they will contemplate an elliptic closing within itself, with two opposite bindings wrapping a book into a closed volume, into a hermetic microcosmos—the image of a “book-world”, and of a world that throughout the ages cyclically appears to men as a silent book waiting to be read.
The exhibition comes to its end with some of the latest research carried out around the book by artists such as Francesco Arena, Maria Morganti, Luca Bertolo and Alessandra Spranzi.
Artists exhibiting: Giovanni Anselmo, Francesco Arena, John Baldessari, Massimo Bartolini, Luca Bertolo, Irma Blank, Alejandro Cesarco, Marco Gastini, Karl Holmqvist, Paolo Icaro, Emilio Isgrò, James Lee Byars, Piero Manzoni, Amedeo Martegani, Eliseo Mattiacci, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Concetta Modica, Maria Morganti, Maurizio Nannucci, Giulio Paolini, Francesco Pedraglio, Martha Rosler, Ettore Spalletti, Alessandra Spranzi, Franco Vaccari, Grazia Varisco, William Xerra.