MEDIA CROSSINGS (PAPERBOATS, PAINTING AND PHOTOGRAPH)
December 4 | February 4, 2009
For some time, Valentina Loi has examined the role of medium as an expressive and creative tool in the conception of a work of art. While video remains at the core of her artistic reflection, she has recently explored the potential of other techniques such as photography, painting and installation, in the analysis and development of an idea. These media are in constant flux: as photography merges with painting it leaves a physical trace that obliterates the mechanical aspect of the medium; painting revives the instantaneous aspect of photography; video recreates a moment, an event, or a performance and ties together the concepts addressed in painting and photography.
At first, the confrontation of these different languages was a struggle; the quasi-antagonistic relationship that resulted was expressed in Loi’s Arm Wrestling (2003). Now the grouping of these languages has evolved into a more harmonious body of work. Loi adopts a playful and childlike approach to her work as she contemplates the experience of traveling and orientation. Through these media, the gestures of paint take possession of the places she has visited and give her work a sense of direction.
The places visited and explored by the artist are lived through the different media used. When unaltered, photography shows reality as it is. Once it is retouched with the childlike gesture of painting, drawing and erasing, the image takes on a new value and taps into a new dimension of memory. These are no longer images of the places that the artist has been to during her travels; the reality of the photographic instant is now gone. The viewer is faced with a reinterpretation, a new direction and orientation as though seen through the eyes of a child. Each person is invited to supplement the gaps in the partial landscapes or images with his or her own adult experiences.
These infantile gestures become a metaphor for the past, the present and the future. They offer a symbolic force that encourages us to explore where we come from: our heritage and, above all, the creativity that we express through a simple gesture on a photograph.