PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea

December 10, 2006

14th December 2006-12th February 2006

Curated by Francesca Pasini

Opening Wednesday 13th December 2006, 6.30 p.m

PAC Padiglione dArte Contemporanea
Via Palestro 14 Milan, Italy

Tel 39 02 76009085

The PAC continues its 2006 programme with an exhibition by Grazia Toderi, presenting new works created for the exhibition alongside a broad collection of her previous videos. Italian opera houses are a central part of the works of Grazia Toderi (Padua, 1963), one of the most interesting personalities to emerge from her generation of Italian artists over the last decade. Her latest works, seen for the first time at the PAC, were created last summer in co-operation with the La Scala opera house in Milan. Grazia Toderi has made videos of great beauty of other theatres, including the La Fenice opera house in Venice, the Rossini opera house in Pesaro, the Massimo opera house in Palermo, the municipal opera houses in Ferrara and Modena and other, smaller and less well known theatres. These places are so important to the musical, artistic and architectural culture of Italy, and by taking a fresh look at them, Grazia Toderi proposes an interaction between our cultural heritage and the contemporary language of visual art. Toderi has also frequently used the central plan architecture of Italian, European and American arenas and stadiums as major themes for her work. Her images of this architecture, reprocessed and enhanced with lights and movement are transfigured into starry bodies, which act as the vehicle and the point in which cosmic and human space become one. The whole of the PAC is caught up in a continuous stream which evokes that relationship between earth and heaven.

The image of the La Scala opera house is the subject of two projections of the new video work, Scala near (Black Scala), 2006. Both have been toned to suggest the darkness of the moment before a performance begins. In one projection the image is from the front; in another the image of the opera house is double, forming an ellipse surrounded by stages so that it turns on its own axis. The black oval, a germinal and secret nucleus, creates a hypnotic attraction. On the one hand its elliptical shape recalls her previous work on stadiums, while on the other it suggests a large mouth similar to those of the portraits of the personalities in Platos comedies or Bomarzos Garden. This black ellipse becomes a symbol so deep in meanings as to become impenetrable.
The other new work is entitled Rosso Babele (Babel Red), 2006, and consists of two video projections. A reddish matter swarming with lights is created by superimposing shots of the city, from which a tower, formed by hundreds of layers and levels of transparency, rises, crumbles and collapses. This is a modern Tower of Babel, which is intertwined with a multitude of indistinct cities, where increasingly the profound meaning of language fluctuates between growth, multiplication and destruction, between an excess of information and an impoverished message. The title is linked to the night tone of sodium vapour street lighting. It is a reddish colour which cannot be found on palettes and which Toderi calls Babel Red, because it is mobile and indeterminate to look at and also because of the obsessive superimposition of layers which surrounds the Babel we are moving through.

The exhibition contains a large sequence of video projections including: Zuppa delleternità e luce improvvisa (Soup of eternity and sudden light), 1994; Nata nel 63 (Born in 63), 1996; Ragazzi caduti dal cielo (Kids falling from the sky), 1998; Il fiore delle 1001 notte (the Flower of 1001 nights), 1998; Il decollo (the Take-off), 1998; San Siro, 2000; Diamante (Diamond), 2001; Q, 2003; Mirabilia Urbis, 2001; Milano, 2003; Empire, 2002; Rendez-vous, 2005.

Catalogue by Skira with texts by Joao Fernandes and Francesca Pasini.

The exhibition is organised with the support of TODS and Epson Italia.

PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea
December 10, 2006

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