I have always asked myself what works I would make if faced by the Apocalypse. A multitude of extraordinary effects ought to be there. And so should the desperation that implausibility makes true.
Fabio Mauri, La Resa, 2002
Up to what point are we disposed to renegotiate our certainties, and which strategies should be put into play for producing alternative versions and visions to those established by history, politics, the market, and time?
We search for balance, certainty, and stability and, in a period such as this, one in which solutions are quickly pinpointed, the demolition of questions and the reduction of complexity to opposite poles of values seem to be something common to many communities in order to control potential criticism or panic. When, however, the world's constructions become ironclad entities they easily end up as "unmotivated buildings": so isn't it perhaps better to surrender to this risk and suspend our own being in front of such simplified methods and approaches to reality, things, and knowledge? To raise a white flag would then mean confirming a choice not to undertake forms of control or to overcome ideologies; this would then imply a wish to look, search, and recount by going beyond the surface of reassuring acceptability that we have constructed.
So this show—promoted by Studio Fabio Mauri, Associazione per l'Arte L'Esperimento del Mondo—gathers together some examples of contemporary research in which a basic starting point is leaving behind the traditional system of analysis. La Resa (The Surrender), an unforgettable work from 2002 by Fabio Mauri, is both a real and an ideal start to such a procedure.
Devised specifically for the marvellous architecture of the Venice Serra dei Giardini, through the use of videos, installations and performance, this project offers, not solutions, but alternative views and narratives, new images, hypothesis, behaviours, and diversified strategies for analysing individuals, perception, space, images, and social dynamics.
Expect amazement, enjoyment, doubts, and nonsense: what the project has to give us can include all these and, as Mauri has said, we can "perhaps discover new peaceful alternatives".
The exhibition, a collection of “symbolic flags” that assert unusual strategies and visions, has been conceived as an itinerary based on two principle languages: environmental installations and video, and performance. The starting point is, in fact, La Resa, a white flag raised on a structure of scaffolding pipes that Mauri created in 2002 and which is now installed in the garden in front of the nursery. The artists' works will dot the spaces of the venue, both inside and out, to create a map of situations and possibilities with which it is possible to identify.
The show includes various modes and themes to which different logics are applied: nature is recreated and reflected in the works by Ivan Barlafante (Giulianova, 1967); a futile territory is made with British air in the work by David Rickard (New Zealand, 1975); there are the surreal scenery and the ruins by Rä di Martino (Rome, 1975); imagery is auspicated by Alessandro Sambini (Rovigo, 1982); time takes form as vibrant metaphor in the work by Elisa Strinna (Padua, 1982); there are the erased, re-written and designed pages by the wide visual alphabet of Fabrizio Cotognini (Macerata, 1983), and the identity and the idea of “belonging” developed by Ruben Montini (Oristano, 1986).
In their linguistic, conceptual, and visual diversity, which can be quite profound, these artists and their works have in common a fairly strong and evident performative element which is seen in an active relationship with the viewer and with time. Having been invited to identify with the situations proposed by the works, the viewers of FLAGS become, then, "explorers" invited to undertake a journey through diversity.
In order to make this voyage into an alternative critical universe even stronger and more intense, during the exhibition period the public will have the unique possibility of participating in performances and screenings.