An atavistic dialectic in the philosophical, scientific, religious, psychological and ontological spheres, such as the one represented between body and soul, triggers the project Il corpo d'aria (The Body of Air), presented by the artist Christian Fogarolli (Trento, Italy, 1983) at the Alberta Pane Gallery in Paris.
Körper-Leib is a terminological dualism of German origin that merges and splits at the same time the word "body". Körper refers to the body in objective and material terms, while Leib in subjective terms, relating the body to aspects of lived life and the soul. Starting from Descartes, this dualism becomes technical-scientifc and applied to the medical, psychoanalytical and psychiatric sciences. On the body reduced to a "thing", on the organicity of feelings and thoughts, neurosciences and, consequently, pharmacology have then been focused. The later aims, through chemical balance, at revealing knowledge and curing internal disturbances.
Christian Fogarolli's project Il corpo d'aria is based on these premises and presents some works that investigate the relationship between instrument, body and soul in the spaces of the Alberta Pane Gallery in Paris. The works attempt to explore some contemporary issues and problems in relation to the body and the mind, which are elements scientifically considered as a simple organic mass that can be modified, cured and redeemed. The research represents an evolutionary phase and is coherent with the artist's entire path based on a contemporary vision of illness, deviance and treatment approaches.
The project on display leads to a critical view of the body, seen as a simple organism and often reduced to the categories of today's natural sciences, such as biochemistry and genetics. The installations and the photographic works, which have been specially created, have been conceived starting from these thoughts and in reference to how science, by definition, denies itself as a consequence of the birth of new premises. This implies a constant loss of meanings to the detriment of causes towards a utopian truth.
In Ideas for an Emotional Theory, Jean-Paule Sartre says that a face uses the same muscular, arterial and nervous energy in the act of laughing and crying, but we cannot say for this reason that laughter and crying are the same thing. The loss of the "meaning" of laughter or tears will lead to the consequent hegemony of instrument, technique, and mater. The works that compose Il corpo d'aria seem to form an aseptic space for investigation and operation through diagnostic methods. They are composed of photographic images from archives of medical institutions, found objects such as instruments, artificial lights, and chemical liquids. By continuously blurring symptom and cure, Fogarolli evokes the contemporary paradox in which development and technical reason can be themselves part of the problem.
Christian Fogarolli is an Italian artist born in 1983. In 2010 he obtained a Master course in study, diagnosis and restoration of modern and contemporary ancient paintings from the University of Verona and a Master's degree in conservation of cultural heritage from the University of Trento. His research focuses on the relationship between visual art and scientific theories/disciplines and, similarly, how the later have used the artistic medium to progress. His works are an attempt to question the hierarchical relationship between different species; the normative attributions of deviance and disease and the canonical methods of museological, scientific and archival categorisation. His practice moves from historical research in different forms of expression, from environmental installation to photography, from sculpture to video. He has shown his research in shows such as dOCUMENTA(13); the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rovereto, Mart (2013); La Maison Rouge in Paris (2014); Foundation Museum Miniscalchi Erizzo (2015); de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam (2015); 5th Moscow International Biennial in Moscow (2016); Hunterian Museum in Glasgow (2017); Gayté Lyrique in Paris (2017); Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2017); Galleria Civica Mart, Trento (2014-18); Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles (2018); MAXXI, Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2018); Hrdlicka Museum of Man, Prague (2018); Museo Palazzo Fortuny Venezia (2018); Musée de Grenoble (2019). He recently received research and residency awards at the College of Physicians and Müter Museum of Philadelphia and Futura center for contemporary art in Prague (2018).