This year I was invited to take part in the exhibition "Personal Structures - Identities" which is hosted by the European Cultural Centre in Venice. It runs throughout the duration of the Biennale, finishing November 24th 2019 and I'm showing in Palazzo Bembo which is on the Grand Canal close by the Rialto Bridge.
I chose to make an installation in two interlinked parts, dealing with the themes of transformation, voyage, memory and ritual.
The first part, La Biblioteca Oculta (the Hidden Library) is made up of books which have been transformed and sealed using cords and iron to make them totally inaccessible but which contain, nevertheless, stories, adventures, poems, ideas and memories. They become objects of power with the knowledge of what they may contain. Interspersed with the books on the shelves are items which serve as metaphors for the book’s possible contents.
The films in gilt frames, showing voyages through passages, chambers, tunnels, corridors and stairways, accompany the physical works as augmentations.
Two ritualistic ceramic figure watch over the passage to the second part where a succession of red mask moulds, sometimes strangely appearing as positives, lead to “La Gran Marea” (The Great Tide).
Here is “Assembly”, seven figures which are the casts of the moulds on the walls. Behind them the vessels rise into the darkness. The film here (available soon!) plays with the ideas of transformation implied by the moulds and masks.
Generative sounds focus attention, separating the space from what’s outside.
As an artist I always hope my work will affect, in some way, those who experience it. Can an explanation interfere with the viewers intuitive response to the piece in question?
In the end It has to be personal but, even though many might agree on certain aspects of a work, there is always a part which remains private to them. It’s in this part that the mystery and poetry reside.