At the core of this poetic odyssey is a film, titled Warm Shadow # Intro, 2019. Debuting during the show, the 2’30’’ film depicts a pair of female legs coming out of the water to a speeding heartbeat and just as quickly submerging back into the stillness of water. The effort of this underwater mastery is the underlying theme of the new body of work presented in the show – the suffering we go through to leave a trail behind, the way we mark a life and the way life marks or at times scars us.
For 1982 Ozzola, who’s work often spans multi-faceted medium from photography and video to sculpture and installations, introduces century-old techniques that herald his artistic patrimony. Born in Florence, Italy, the artist reprocesses the technique of detachment to create his ‘strappi di affresco’. Using this difficult and expensive modus operandi to preserve sections of wall paintings, the artist produced a series of works titled Walls that reflect on mankind’s compulsion to create and tell stories. Walls revive his interest in three-dimensionality and further demonstrate the artist’s versatility and command of multiple disciplines. ‘Gli strappi di affresco’ or ‘tearing’ are comparable in nature to a video still. ‘All of the walls define a time and a place,’ says the artist. The public is invited to experience the physical and psychological processes that contribute to how the individual disseminates legacies and experiences.
The sculpture, ‘Tus lunares son estrellas’ [‘Your moles are stars’], incorporates the use of another ancient technology of casting molten metal inside a negative form. Bronze leaves are artificially created by the liquid metal flowing through linked piping. ‘To make something artificial there is an order in the universe,’ Ozzola comments, ‘everything is created from one single matter.’ The exhibition culminates with another series titled, Charts. Inspirited by the concepts of chiromany– from Greek kheir (“hand”) and manteia (“divination”)– and traumatic events that leave scarring on the skin. ‘There is something in us all, urging us to follow one path or another, to take action or not. Some lines we are born with, others that result from surviving a [traumatic] event. These are all positive experiences that define our vitality.’
And so throughout the exhibition, elements of contradictory nature evoke conflicting responses attune to a life’s experience – every story has two sides, every rose comes with a set of thorns. From the stillness of the water in the film, coupled with the increasing intensity of one’s heartbeat setting the viewer into a state of “anxious serenity”, to preserved, marked parts of walls that are so fragile and personal despite their roughness, to a series of bronze plants – representation of mortal life immortalised by its medium of bronze, Ozzola once again impeccably captures the sensitivities of life experiences.
‘We are thrilled to welcome back Ozzola into our program with never seen before works that are more sculptural than ever yet still contain the poetic subtlety that is so prevalent in his photographic works,’ said Mila Askarova, founder of Gazelli Art House.