Virginia Garfunkel (Argentina)

Special Prize Spazio Arte dei Mori
photographic art section

15-28 February2008
Vernissage: 15 February - 5.30PM

Spazio Arte dei Mori
Cannaregio 3384/b
Campo dei Mori - Venezia
tel. +39 335 745 7882  


(…) it’s the images themselves who develop their implicit potentialities, the story that they carry inside. Around each image new ones are born, forming a field of analogies, symmetries, contrapositions.
Italo Calvino

The pieces belonging to Then, the City, Posterland and Oasis City conform a cycle, product of the artist's reflections over the bounds linking the man to his cities. Each of these series, as every story does, can be read from the unlimited experiences that the visitor, as an inhabitant, has accumulated within himself.

Then, the City is born as an evocation of an evanescent past, concentrating itself in the original fascination motivated by spaces, a fascination already faded in the observer's present. The absence of this child's way of seeing, understanding this as a way of seeing full of curiosity for the new, filters (and filters itself into) the images, creating atmospheres close to visions. What we see is what is not anymore; the spaces we see are veiled, scenes of a sensation belonging to the past that disappears while we are trying to grasp it. By erasing the frontiers between the figures and their settings, the story told by these images tries to concentrate itself on the look -the artist's, the viewer's-, asking him questions about that emptiness.

The space of the past conducts us to an immediate present, the profuse present of everyday life, with its multiple stimulus still free from the cataloguing process of memory. Posterland places its passers-by on the same plane intertwined with the images that it collects, apparently in a randomly way, from the urban space. This series structures itself as a set of coincidences; we assist to a constellation of diffuse figures and sign advertisings which will solve itself immediately after this instant captured by the camera. These situations stimulate a sensorial palette far beyond the visual field, where the static includes its own dynamism: it is not difficult to imagine the sounds of those streets, or to perceive certain notion of time going by when we look at the photos. They are the ordinary places where every man walks every day, mostly absent minded, in the contemporary visual jungle, where we stop looking, understanding, what we produce.

With Oasis City we follow the path that guides us through these multiple cities. Beginning with a detailed reconstruction, this photographs recreates the massive and chaotic dimension of the modern city, amalgam of concrete growing as a single Babel, soaring towards the skyline. Which is the role that the individual-inhabitant plays in these spaces? He is an author, takes part in their creation, but at the same time he is a minuscule passer-by, taking away his own ephemeral footprints with him. The cubist proliferation of buildings refers us to an absence of limits, characteristic of the anonymous cities in which we have to live.

Whether as an evocation, ludic vision or metaphor, each series approaches some of the many relations that the viewer establishes with the cities he lives in. This interaction is the starting point, and we could ask ourselves with Garfunkel: "which is the bound connecting these worlds, linking the architecture-image and the person-image?” In these figures, where the elements fuse themselves creating a continuity between man and space, the girl from Then, the City becomes inseparable from her park, as well as the buildings displayed in Oasis City depend on the little figure at their feet, and the figure, on them. With their multiple possibilities, with their imaginary spaces, these cities keep on telling us the story of the same and only contemporary city.

More information: Spazio Arte dei Mori, Cannaregio 3384/b, Campo dei Mori - Venezia - tel. +39 335 745 7882335 745 7882

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