from 10.13.2023 to 10.15.2023
LIFE GOES ON EVEN IF EVERYTHING ENDS
The materials of the works here are all vehicles of heat, and fire is their common denominator. Positano‘s works (Vessel in Green II, Vessel in Green III, 2023), floating in the middle of the room, tell of a new (beneficial) organism able to emerge from the ashes of a fire. They, resembling cinerary vessels or urns-which contain ashes where rebirth is truly possible-tell of a new life, different and unprecedented. In contrast, the fire staged by Zampella (Look from the Fire, 2023) is the incipit of the narrative and, at the same time, its climax. The before and after merge into one: are we facing something that is being born from (and thanks to) fire, or are we witnessing the gradual cessation of existence? We stand in awe as we watch history shatter and reassemble. Death and life – and their not openly revealing themselves – give way to a long shiver down the spine, hot with excitement or icy child of fear.
Such crisis of the viewer is given by the very ambiguity of reality, which in the works of the two artists is resolved and postponed until proven otherwise. A narrative made of possibilities, almost always opposing, poised: what burns, at this specific juncture, will perhaps be swept away or serve for something else. What remains is ash, this is undoubted, falling to the ground and transforming into new forms. Matter burns, adapts and struggles to regenerate itself, poised between something that can no longer live and something that must continue to be.
Moreover, an ancestral relationship with matter is present in the two artists’ production. Zampella works the earth, uses it as if it were a pigment, hybridizes it and makes it iridescent. Clay itself is transformed precisely thanks to fire, taking on a new form that preserves within it the earthy seed. Positano, on the other hand, modifies the material and undermines it. What appears to be metal is actually paper or a material far removed from what we thought it was: in nature, weight, quality and preservation. Fabrics become tails of jellyfish or other animals with soft, attractive coats. Gilded and lacquered surfaces deceive us, hiding a deeper and more enigmatic truth. The desire to exhaust matter-and our beliefs-coincides with the oxymoron on which the entire exhibition rests: art is doubt, never answer.
1 O. Wirth, Il simbolismo ermetico nei suoi rapporti con l’Alchimia e la Massoneria, Edizioni mediterranee, Roma (2009), p. 140
ArtVerona 2023, pavilion 12, stand CB4, section “Curated By”, installation view
Andreas Zampella, Sotto al cuscino, 2023
clay, oil and enamel on canvas, 80,5×59 cm
Winner of the A Disposizione Veronafiere Award for art
Maria Positano, Sun disk, 2023
paper clay, food dye,epoxy putty, restoration wax, pewter casts, 43×43 cm
Andreas Zampella, Stanza con finestra, 2023
oil on canvas, 29×32 cm
Andreas Zampella, Presa velata, 2023
clay, enamel and oil on canvas, 10×15 cm
Maria Positano, Vessel in Green III, 2023
cast & oxidized paper pulp, velvet, embroidery, chains, corn beads, brass, steel, gold wax, 12x12x120 cm
Maria Positano, Sprouting in Green (with fabric), 2023
paper pulp, corn beads, chain, velvet, pewter and epoxy clay, 75×22 cm
Andreas Zampella, Sguardo dal fuoco, 2023
oil on canvas, 24×20 cm
Andreas Zampella, Uccello d’argilla, 2023
clay, graphite and oil on canvas, 55×69 cm