Stafano Romano, Movements#2 - Looking for a family, exhibition view
Rebecca Agnes, Raccontami del tempo che non ci è mai appartenuto, han embroidered on cotton, 150x150 cm, 2006
Caterina Nelli, Dragon eye, exhibition view
IO SONO QUELLO CHE NOI SIAMO
Rebecca Agnes | Caternina Nelli | Stefano Romano
February 5 - March 9, 2013
The works by Rebecca Agnes, Caterina Nelli and Stefano Romano, on display on the two floors of the gallery, propose, using different languages and techniques, a reading of the concept of identity that takes its start from the consideration that there is no individuality without belonging: to a society, a cultural system, a group, a family, a place. Io sono quello che noi siamo because it is only in the continuous comparison between us and the others that the identity takes its shape, the awareness of its own uniqueness.
Rebecca Agnes presents a series of three embroideries on canvas: three drawings of imaginary cities, fantastic and almost "space-age", that overlap and are complementary to the words reported on the fabric. They are unseen and unknow stories, tales without a first person narrator, which, then, did not leave any trace and, for this reason, never existed, as the words of the canvas Raccontami (2006) suggest. Rebecca tells us about the impossibility of the existence if not under the gaze of someone else, of the necessity and almost the urgence of relationships. What is seen, that we remember and is documented, is real but at the same time the reality is running away from the logic because there are things which existence cannot even be imagined. It is, then, an identity that tries to assert and redefine itself under a new and different look.
For Stefano Romano instead, identity represents "the idea of belonging and at the same time of the uniqueness of a human being". This is the need for safety that the man is building around himself, identifying himself in a social group and at the same time stating his uniqueness and individuality. Only through sharing and dialogue with people and places around us, a man can build his own personality. Like in the work Movements#2 - Looking for a family (2012): in this photo series the artist got a red iron square made and positioned it in a specific point of the city (Piazza Oberdan in Milan) and asked to some people walking by to get into the square and take some pictures with him. In these works Stefano uses the concept of home as a metaphor for family, and of social group then, and the red square as an architectonical limit, that physical space where relationships were born and developed. Each picture portraits the artist with three other people who he defines as "found families" and develops a reflection that underlines the urgence of confrontation and relationship with someone else.
Caterina Nelli proposes some photographic works where the concept of identity is strongly tied to the presence of an external observer. Her works actually look like a series of overlapping moments, caught by a kind of discreet human eye that focuses the subject and, thanks to a long exposure time, she catches the uniqueness, offering her own interpretation. As the artist herself states "Dittico I (2010) was born from the need to simultaneously perceive two traces of one same time memory". The work is composed by two pieces where a dialogue is taking place, a direct dialogue between painting and photography: on the one side Forgetmenot, a big composition made up of "automatic" nocturnal snap-shots printed on white paper prepared with barium, enamelled and worn by time, photographed during the period of three years, without looking throught the lens but just trying to catch the moments; on the other side EuroFun II, realised at the same time of the snap-shots, where the artist tries to organise on a rigorous painting surface some color layers arranged in a very irregular way.