3rd Trienala Ladina: Mirrored Stories

3rd Trienala Ladina: Mirrored Stories

Museum Ladin

Museum Ladin Ćiastel de Tor

July 19, 2010

3rd Trienala Ladina

24 July – 31 October 2010

23 July, 18.00

Museum Ladin Ćiastel de Tor


Artists: Peter Demetz, Kathrin Partelli (the winner of the Second Richard Agreiter Prize for Sculpture), Romana Prinoth, Esther Schena, Barbara Tavella, Claus Vittur, Veronica Zanoner

Curator: Adam Budak

Conceived by the Museum “Ladin Ciastel de Tor”, the third edition of Trienala Ladina, entitled MIRRORED STORIES is an exhibition proposal orchestrated within the architectonics of six shells, resonating as distant yet familiar echoes with the individual artistic voices, spread between two almost identical exhibition interiors. Thus MIRRORED STORIES is a dual exhibition, a study in (impossible) symmetry, an attempt to outline a dichotomy of a singular narrative and a representation. Structured through a mirror-like surface borderline, this exhibition sets up a conversation, an exchange between subjectivities and too, it does challenges the singularity and integration of an artistic expression. It is a device, a looking glass, an investigation of a surface tension: an exhibition as its own double, a space of an I and the Other, a shade and a shadow, an approach to the ambiguities of a real. The show constitutes its own self-portrait in a delirium of trompe l’eoil and deception as a spatial and temporal experience of a split subject. Manipulating this experience through a tension between proximity and distance, it proposes a perceptual game, where both sides of a story are reflected through a symmetrical topography of two parallel museum’s interiors. These are in fact two exhibitions as the show’s concept is based upon such quasi-schizophrenic division; it is a reenactment of itself in a time of being and in a space “next door” with the actors present, petrified in a gesture of a not yet accomplished process. Constructed upon such dispositivo speculum, the exhibition is a mirror as a desire to expand the space beyond its physical confine – a miracle of a surface, a site of discovery (of being’s own image) but also of distancing (from being’s own image), a continuous generation of an image (Agamben), powered by the presence of the one who looks. It suggests ambiguity of storytelling and the construction of a story itself. Here, in such a mirrored display, the self appears as both detached and bounded, and such doubling turns the field of the visible into an extension of the beholder: a state akin to extreme delusion and mental disturbance (Warner).

The artists, invited to this show, explore an image and its essence (painting), its appearance (drawing and watercolor), its doubt (photography), its subversion (sculpture) and its fragmentation (installation). Architecture and space remain the artists’ favorite means of communication and expression – between negotiating and taming, desiring and repelling, between “here” and “beyond”, space is simultaneously a phantom and a physical experience, a miniature which guarantees an intimacy and a grandiosity, able to generate an illusion of infinity by its endless reflection and never-ending unfolding. Thus MIRRORED STORIES are reflected matters, repeated gestures, memorized acts, resonating voices, echoed places, accommodated within the heterotopic theatrics, set up in the Museum “Ladin Ciastel de Tor”‘s enchanted landscape of Dolomites Mountains.

The photographic work of Romana Prinoth (1960) registers fragile moments of an uncanny passage between the real and unreal, between forms and shapes on the threshold of the abstract and concrete. Her series “Untitled” (2010) is an investigation of a surface tension, a fascinating study of perception, where vast water fields remind an impressionistic tableau – a seductive mirror surface, awaiting an author to complete the plot of the magically reflected story, or tempting a curious character to dive into the water’s mysterious currents in search of a lost narrative.

The sculptural work of Peter Demetz (1969) further develops the performativity and spatial manipulations, announced by Romana Prinoth’s photographic “surgery” of reality. Here too, the spectator encounters psychic interiors, dioramas of a soul and a thought, staged within ascetic and anti-monumental miniature-chambers, carved with a unique geometrical precision and clarity within the bright fabric of lime tree wood. Performing the acrobatics of depth and flatness, Demetz’s little theaters of human affairs and private worlds are masterfully illuminated reliefs that challenge the spectator’s perception with their spatial unfolding and seduce with their illusion as well as with their photographic quality of represented world.

Encountering the work of Barbara Tavella (1972), the MIRRORED STORIES’ spectator continues a journey through the Wonderland of Alice’s adventures. The female subject remains in the centre of the artist’s interest in the portraiture of fragility and vulnerability of human body and psyche. Tavella’s drawings and watercolors (sometimes in connection to photography and video, sound/music) investigate the corporeal landscapes of femininity through the theatrical representations of fragmented female body, depicted either as a (colorful) costume of a social pattern or as a reduced to an ornament image, juxtaposed with the idealized representations of a female body from the media.

Captivating silence fills up the empty interiors and landscapes in the ascetic paintings by Claus Vittur (1967). The prevailing sense of abandonment generates a melancholy which foregrounds the late romantic painterly tradition that those paintings seem to quote with an unprecedented faithfulness and commitment. Painted from the photographs, these are found places outside of a real time, idealized sites of an almost biblical primordiality, sublime and innocent, fairy-tale like, archetypal environments but at the same time, bewildered and precarious settings of unknown dramas and psychic tensions, in fact silent and poetic announcements of the forthcoming apocalypse, lurking just around the corner, in the hectic headquarters of a real world.

Mainly conceived in the early 1970s, the rare paintings by Veronica Zanoner (1922) are mind-blowing evidences of an artistic virtuosity. Reminding of poetic sketches, Zanorer’s canvases are intimate impressions of culture and nature, morphing one into another as an abstract and fragile line of thought and vision. The formal language of Cubism with its geometric rigour and compositional awareness and the perceptual mechanisms of impressionism are revisited by Zanoner in her attempt to render the monumentalized version of the surrounding mountain landscape and to sensualize the dehumanized world around. Zanoner’s paintings, however depicting local landscapes of the artist’s own surroundings, are in fact tableaux of archetypal and utopian narratives, beyond any spatial and temporal dimensions, painterly kaleidoscopes of the universe in a vivid state of organic vibration.

Ordinariness and banality but also a stereotype and a cliché perception in relation to the experience of the everyday life lie in the centre of attention of the painterly work of Esther Schena (1976). Her poetics of space is a result of the artist’s practice of everyday life, immortalized in a series of photographic snapshot-like frames of reality, softly critical, although neutral, sincere reports of a travelling eye. For the exhibition MIRRORED STORIES Schena develops a new series of paintings in a close connection to the local community, inviting herself to the houses of St. Martin de Tor’s population and taking inspiration from their most private, domestic environments.

The formally nonchalant work of Kathrin Partelli (1980) is an act of daydreaming the sculpture as a medium of a particular potency and richness. Through a liberating and emancipatory gesture of expanding the space, the artist negotiates the sculpture as a cross-disciplinary collage, between a drawing in space, installation and an architectural construction. Partelli’s anti-monumental oeuvre is a sincere mise en scene of a contemporary ruin, an evidence of a failure… But, simultaneously, it does mark a desperate attempt to rebuild and think anew the modernist patterns and canons.

Museum Ladin

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