Allegory#2. Painting Beyond Itself
FuoriCampo Gallery, Siena
curated by Alberto Mugnaini, with Angelo Sarleti.
The show continues a project with Alberto Mugnaini, Angelo Sarleti and Michele Tocca, presented at the temporary space in Brussels, before the summer. In the space in Siena, Angelo Sarleti and Michele Tocca tackle this city’s complex identity, displaying a series of new works, created especially for the exhibition.
“In Siena, in its physical site and within its history, painting becomes ground-specific: It does not reflect or interpret the place, superimposing itself upon it; instead, it sets up a temporary camp on the place, becoming a place, a site unto itself. As if it had been displaced, it anchors itself to the ground, to the land and it witnesses its invisible relics. It takes on colour, and incorporates itself in the terra di Siena.
Painting today cannot fail to have, as its sole surviving frame, its tradition, the history inside which it is contained, and that, to an infinitesimal degree, it is required not only to continue, but also to rewrite, or perhaps reinvent: Painting exists here as a hermeneutics of place, and a channel for its memories to be unfolded in. It can only talk about itself, and reflect on the ways in which it pitches its field, and exists within a language of brush-strokes and colours, and on its position within its time and the way in which it draws itself out of that time, while at the same time exercising its prerogative to say other things, more things, and to engage in dialogues with the place, im-posing itself at the selfsame moment in which it ex-poses itself.
In Angelo Sarleti’s, we see the colours of Siena speak: the white and black of the city’s heraldic arms, and the gold background of its masterpieces. Their syntax takes form, and varies, as it engages with the language inherited from the abstract and geometrical tradition of modernity, in an epiphany that is at the same time heraldic and constructivist, that conceals that which it actually reveals: a coded discourse, an invisible elsewhere, a mathematical frenzy that recounts a number of aspects of the city’s economic history, within the chilling arithmetic of statistical sciences.
Michele Tocca’s painting is a process of questioning, and identification. The works originate on the scene, in the physical place that is investigated and explored. Painting opens itself up to the place at the time its enactment takes place, and sets itself up as an impression that becomes the representation of a trace, a relic of the gaze, and of the fleeting nature of the eternal, of its elusive, everyday aspect”.