Renata Fabbri is pleased to announce the exhibition Silva imaginum by Sophie Ko Chkheidze (Tbilisi, Georgia - 1981). This Georgian artist, who has been living in Italy for some years now, presents a series of works sharing similar materials and supports but are part of a single symbolic and allegorical trajectory aimed at investigating the enigma of the image: its genesis, fragile existence, death, and metamorphic resurrection.
In the first room, in counterpoint to a few large black panels, which stand like gothic windows bearing the ashes of images (Hymns to the Night), we find a small painting with pure sky-blue pigment (Die blau Blume), displayed at eye level. A little further ahead, almost unnoticed and to the side, is a “fresco” made of dirt that will give balance and roots to this metaphysical dialogue and duel between ash and color. Next is another room where, arranged at the four cardinal points, small fragments of incombustible remains stand out: fragments of images that, totally incomprehensibly and unexpectedly, have been saved from the fury of flames. A metaphor of “what remains” within a society of the spectacle, where images are burned at incredible speed, thus making obsolete all forms and all “imagination” in few years, if not few months.
On the gallery’s lower floor is another series of incombustible remains, titled Waldgaenger (homage and reference to the work of Ernst Jünger and his “rebel” figure who struggled against the destructive frenzy of nihilist society), and seems to indicate the possibility of salvation or, at least, hinting the way towards a large pink panel (Dawn), where the collapse and motion of color seem to show how the shapes (well beyond any will or intention, including the artist’s) cannot stop appearing even when all seems lost.
In the last room is the sudden appearance of a “large glass” where life is conserved (small bird’s nest twigs, butterflies, etc.), and becomes a sign, index, and symbol of a present world, where all existence receives the grace of its presence. A world – where silent tributes to the work of Claudio Parmiggiani may also be heard – that is, perhaps, even beyond images and that which survives of images in the devastation of the iconosphere, as what is called today, as an analogy with the atmosphere, the cultural climate which we breathe daily in our – amusing and estranging – Internet, social network, virtual world lives.
Upon leaving the exhibition, one gets the feeling of having crossed a forest of images (Silva imaginum), almost as if in an initiation rite, whose coordinates and keys to interpretation are open and entrusted to each spectator, to individuals who may encourage and regulate themselves to be free and liberate their gaze onto a new outlook.
The show Silva imaginum by Sophie Ko Chkheidze will be accompanied by the second Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea notebook, a limited-edition artist’s book, with an essay by Federico Ferrari and an original work by the artist. This publication, and the entire exhibition, are the result of intense and profound collaboration between the artist and the philosopher that resounds in a game of echoes a la Baudelaire, amidst images, thoughts, and feelings.
Sophie Ko Chkheidze was born in 1981 in Tbilisi (Georgia). Lives and works in Milan.