(These and Those. The Enigma of Time)
a cura di Daniela Lancioni
9 April - 11 July 2010
The Palazzo delle Esposizioni presents an installation by Giulio Paolini entitled Gli uni e gli altri. L'enigma dell'ora, specially created to coincide with the exhibition "La natura secondo Giorgio de Chirico" (Nature According to de Chirico).
Among the leading exponents of contemporary art, Giulio Paolini (Genoa 1940) made his debut on the art scene in the early 1960s, and was one of the main figures in the Arte Povera movement. He has always conceived of the work of art as a dizzying vision capable of evoking a potentially infinite number of other visions and of embracing a time span that extends to the whole of art, past and future.
Beginning with Disegno geometrico of 1960, his first known work, a canvas on which he completed solely the geometric squaring that anticipates every possible image, Giulio Paolini sets out from the idea that every work of art draws on a single, enigmatic model. An idea that is reflected in the anti-modern conception of the great Metaphysical artist.
Enigma, expectation, absence, melancholy, and future possibilities are the great themes that highlight Giulio Paolini's affinity with Giorgio de Chirico. As is shown by some of his historic works, such as the one presented in the exhibition "Campo urbano" in Como in 1969, in which he uses the phrase Et.quid.amabo.nisi.quod.aenigma.est? (And what will I love if not the enigma?), also present in a self-portrait painted by Giorgio De Chirico in 1911.
The exhibition at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni consists of a single large installation conceived as a sort of cosmogony within which the artist scatters traces and fragments of the bodies and the nebulae that inhabit the universe, roughly ordered like the face of a clock, the enigmatic emblem of circular time, and along the axes of an X, a symbol of the unknown, but also a trace of the first geometric squaring that continues to guide the artist's dizzying visions. This nucleus unwinds in the middle of the space, in the ample confines of Room 9, while on the back wall a series of images fade into each other. Various figures appear, life-size, seemingly intent on observing something through a large frame that soon turns out to be a doorway. These figures "seem at the same time to observe us, too, who in turn are observing them", writes the artist in the text that accompanies the work: excerpts from the text can be read on the exhibition panels, while a recording is played at low volume as part of the installation. Here, as elsewhere, Paolini expresses his dislike of exaggerated claims about social role of the artist. "In order to be authentic", he has stated, "a work must forget its author." And it is an author other than himself that he allows to direct the series of images projected on the wall. In fact the various ways in which he declines the outline of the frame or threshold begin with Giorgio de Chirico's Nude Self-portrait (1942).
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with texts by the artist, Daniela Lancioni and Maddalena Disch, and images of the installation.