Exhibition Title: TRA COLOR CHE SONO SOSPESI (Among those who are in suspense)
Artists: Aqua Aura & Lidó Rico
Dates: 03. April - 28. Mai 2021
Location: Luisa Catucci Gallery, Berlin Exhibition with the support of Stiftung Kunstfonds I
Allerstr. 38, 12049 Berlin
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n the frame of the program NEUSTART KULTUR Io era tra color che son sospesi, e donna mi chiamo` beata e bella, tal che di comandare io la richiesi. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto II Gran duol mi prese al cor quando lo 'ntesi, pero` che gente di molto valore conobbi che 'n quel limbo eran sospesi. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto IV Among those was I who are in suspense, And a fair, saintly Lady called to me In such wise, I besought her to command me. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto II Great grief seized on my heart when this I heard, Because some people of much worthiness I knew, who in that Limbo were suspended. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto IV The unusual situation the whole world faced over this past year, forced most of the people to experience an unsettling feeling of suspense. The sequence of Lockdowns, the restrictions of movements, the interruption of daily habits left us with a feeling of fragility, and precariousness, and for many the difficulties or even impossibilities to work properly made us feel closer to Virgil and the other souls that Dante Alighieri suspended in Limbo -the after death place where he left the great but not catholic minds hanging to an eternal wait. At the same time this suspension reawakened the attention on existential issues and pushed humanity to reargue the “Übermensch” attitude we developed as society - and single being - since a way too long time.
We became more aware of the consequences this attitude brought, and still has, on our civilization, on the environment, as much as on our psyche. Since many years the work of Spanish artist Lidó Rico and Italian artist Aqua Aura investigate through different media this themes, so to present a dialog between these two artists seems during these times, mandatory. Being also 2021 the 700th anniversary of the death of legendary Italian poet Dante Alighieri, and being his description of Limbo weirdly fitting the feelings inducted by the repetition of Lockdowns, to dedicate to him this exhibition seems absolutely proper. In TRA COLOR CHE SONO SOSPESI we propose a dialog between the latest series of works by the meta-photographer Aqua Aura - presenting his dystopic views of a post-nature post-humanity future, where the feeling of void wait seems to be all what’s left; and a selection of works by Lidó Rico referring to the fear of the void created by the lack of survival of the knowledge acquired in life, when confronted to the inexorable flowing of time. In the gallery’s front room, the big white empty spaces of Aqua Aura’s series “Farewell Rooms” give to the viewers an immediate feeling of suspension. Elegant and bright, deprived of any visible life form, these rooms refer to the private mental space where the intellect reorders, clarifies, classifies the ideas either to plan the next action in the world, either to work on the inner balance by letting the redundant mental constructs go. The interiors, while having a clear baroque imprint, are transposed into the contemporary aesthetic by the totalitarian use of the color white. On the other hand, in a new shift to the past, their elegant and discreet forms, and the stasis that dominates the scenes, transport us to the bourgeois intimacy of those spaces of thought already described by the Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi at the turn of the 19th century, as they would subtly remind of the innate predisposition of the soul to elevate. “Considerate la vostra semenza fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza" Inferno, Canto XXVI “Consider ye the seed from which ye sprang Ye were not made to live like unto brutes But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge” Inferno, Canto XXVI In the same room we will find the installation of great impact of the suspended sculpted heads by Spanish artist Lidó Rico, titled “Secadero De Pensamiento”. For Lidó in a person is included the whole of humanity, and in that sense the individual is considered as a container of universal perceptions and ideas, on top of being a collection of independent and individualist thoughts. The work expresses the concern about the destiny of the concepts and ideas assimilated and formulated by a person throughout his or her life, after measuring with a long amount of time. If it is in the brain -world of ideas- that houses the true strength of humanity, it is in the impermanence of our bodies, that the conflict of our inevitable decrepitude and the lost of our intellect’s archive are experienced. In "Secadero De Pensamiento", the multitude of suspended heads silently sight while hanging in the wind of oblivion. “«Noi veggiam, come quei c'ha mala luce le cose», disse, «che ne son lontano; cotanto ancor ne splende il sommo duce. Quando s'appressano o son, tutto e` vano nostro intelletto; e s'altri non ci apporta, nulla sapem di vostro stato umano. Pero` comprender puoi che tutta morta fia nostra conoscenza da quel punto che del futuro fia chiusa la porta».” Inferno, Canto X "We see, like those who have imperfect sight, The things," he said, "that distant are from us; So much still shines on us the Sovereign Ruler. When they draw near, or are, is wholly vain Our intellect, and if none brings it to us, Not anything know we of your human state. Hence thou canst understand, that wholly dead Will be our knowledge from the moment when The portal of the future shall be closed." Inferno, Canto X The other pieces by Aqua Aura included in the show are works from other series by the Italian meta-photographer, created during his forced isolation caused by the pandemic, hitting so harshly his hometown. Futuristic frozen landscapes embedding the last traces of humanity, Museum Halls embedding the last frozen traces of nature, and macroscopic human cells transformed in flowers, make the viewer immediately understand that the artist’s reflections on Nature and ecological matters, as well as his reflections on the beauty, the fragility, and even the toxicity of humankind, are the real protagonists of these rooms. If it is denied to the ecosystem to be the perfect environment for carbon based life to exist, and if it is denied to the human anatomy its role of vessel for thoughts and feelings to exist, the future of humanity gets denied of any positive prediction. «Per ch'io mi volsi, e vidimi davante e sotto i piedi un lago che per gelo avea di vetro e non d'acqua sembiante» Inferno, Canto XXXII Whereat I turned me round, and saw before me And underfoot a lake, that from the frost The semblance had of glass, and not of water. Inferno, Canto XXXII The concept of metaphysical landscape is common as well to Lidó Rico, as we can appreciate in the other pieces included in the show, like in his series “Oracle”. There he uses his hands as a sacred space to embrace the disturbing encapsulated scenes-landscapes pushing the viewer to ponder on the answer of the silent enigmatic questions emerging by them. In not dissimilar way to Dante Alighieri in his Divina Commedia Inferno, Lidó Rico stages the miseries of humanity in his tiny circles, not forgetting to include the observer by a sapient use of mirrors, but at the same time he offers a light of hope through the use of a massive dose of irony. We should all be constantly aware of not taking our selves too seriously. restammo per veder l'altra fessura di Malebolge e li altri pianti vani; e vidila mirabilmente oscura. Inferno, Canto XXI We halted to behold another fissure Of Malebolge and other vain laments; And I beheld it marvellously dark. Inferno, Canto XXI Downstairs in the Project Room we will find the dramatic video installation by Aqua Aura titled SHELTERS - On the very nature of light: sculptures shaped like icebergs containing videos of a time-collapsed 24h Nordic lights. In this installation the weather’s mutability, from sunshine to stormy, from daytime to nighttime, and the choice of trapping it in the inside of alabaster sculptures, is a clear metaphor for an inner journey, exactly like the whole Divina Commedia. Even if Dante did find himself wandering in the Forest Dark, and Aqua Aura wanders in iced landscapes, and even if one was clearly manifesting and exalting his religious and political beliefs, while the other one is presenting in a subtle way and with no words what is sacred to him, the soul search toward elevation and the intent to inspire the public to reflections out of the ordinary, make us choose SHELTERS as the perfect piece to end our journey in honor of the most known Italian poet of all time. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura che' la diritta via era smarrita. Ahi quanto a dir qual era e` cosa dura esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte che nel pensier rinova la paura! Tant'e` amara che poco e` piu` morte; ma per trattar del ben ch'i' vi trovai, diro` de l'altre cose ch'i' v'ho scorte. Inferno, Canto I Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say What was this forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more; But of the good to treat, which there I found, Speak will I of the other things I saw there. Inferno, Canto I