22/09/2013 - 09/11/2013
BIONDANI | CECCHIN | SMIRNOVA | TRANSITI
Transits as journeys through space but especially through man. Travels to discover the world, thus finding ourselves. Chances for inner analysis, transformation, better comprehension and growth. As stated by Ekaterina Smirnova, Siberian amazon now settled in Brooklyn. According to her, travel equals freedom: without borders or limits. Discovering new faces, sounds and odours, inwardly creating a renewed and more complex memory. In her huge, hypnotic and deeply atmospheric watercolours, she reproduces the cities she visited: the light and enchanted fogs in Salzburg, the haze of Beijing, Miami’s warm and heavy rains, New York’s skyscrapers wrapped in clouds. Novosibirsk -her birth place- known for its twenty different kinds of snow. Ekaterina always carries along her camera and watercolours. Her works born from a sudden emotion, a note taken on-the-spot, then refined through a long process.
She chose watercolurs to accurately reproduce water, her favourite element, may it be in the form of fog, snow, rain or haze. She changed it into rough and tactile material, taming and being tamed at the same time, respecting and obeying the material’s will. As a result, almost abstract landscapes seized within the dawn’s mist or the sunset’s shadows, whose geographical positioning can be identified only through their title or a distinctive element.
They could be the archetypes of the metropolis, symbolizing a planet filled with huge urban conglomerates. She also paints streets. Grey asphalt arteries, wrapped in fog, crossed by the low beams, the weary figures of heavy vehicles, the signals’ contours. Liliana Cecchin’s oil paintings own a closer perspective. Transits develop within a smaller space, the metropolis. Crowd is now the protagonist, in the streets, at stations, at bus stops, it moves as solid bevies, apparently coordinated but in reality completely unaware of each other. Travellers who even walking side by side through endless subway tunnels, don’t know others’ thoughts, needs and faces. Thus ignoring others’ existence.
An inner isolation and a physical escape, represented through dancing traces, which upon the canvas turn into a graceful splitting of vibrant details as if they were reproduced with al old analogue camera. Passing without considering the voyage, but rather removing it as an obstacle, as if it were a non-time and an unlived, actualized through broad framings whose subjects, mainly shadows or silhouettes, are seized from behind since already passed through. Sometimes, as if the snapshot were taken too late, only the legs and feet of the subjects are seized. The remainder is void, absence, huge floors filled with a blinding light, as absolute as a revelation.
At last, there they are, the travellers. Static as in the terracotta by Nicola Biondani. As an ancient and powerful sculptor, the artist manages to inject monumentality in his contemporary characters (up to the shape of their winter jackets whose brand could be almost guessed). Seated upon their luggage, probably waiting for the next train, armed with their baggage, they are caught in a moment of still uncertainty, a fleeting and precious moment when glance runs after our thoughts while our body rests, satisfied and tired.
The smooth and shining matter, which deeply resembles bronze, is enlightened through light decorations which provide an unexpected grace or decorated with flame red brush-strokes to underline a crucial detail. The pedestal should be noticed too, in the form of a little straw stool or a thin pivot into which the sculpture is inserted as a bayonet, so that it can completely turn. Biondani is able to gift the terracotta with a soft and vibrating vitality, thus conveying through his characters a sensation of discomfort. Hesitation and disillusion, almost futility can be perceived, as in the questioning expression in Me ne vado and in the raised gesture in In Bermuda. As to say: after a long roaming, I got here. But in the end, for what purpose?