Artist: Lara Favaretto
Venue: Franco Noero, Turin
Exhibition Title: Sucking Mud
Date: April 18 – May 26, 2018
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Franco Noero, Turin
Galleria Franco Noero is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Lara Favaretto, the first to be shown in the spaces at Piazza Carignano 2 in Turin.
Sucking Mud is the title of a poem by John Giorno. When isolated from their original context, the words convey an idea of drying out, eliminating the soft superfluous mud and reaching down to whatever is most solid, compact and permanent below. A process of removal taken to the extreme, an action that aims to reach down into the very basics and strip them bare, arriving at a stage in which matter has not yet become an actual “thing”. The materials in the exhibition are stripped of any narrative detail and of any figurative clue, revealing themselves for what they really are, defenseless and sincere. The strict economy of expressive means, and the curtness and objectivity of the works are like a straightforward classification of materials, but in the form of objects, reproduced in a catalogue or shown in an appropriate place. The apparition in an art gallery of materials that are called upon to express nothing more than their own intrinsic qualities, devoid of any adjectivisation, and in the most mimetic manner possible, immediately leads to a misunderstanding.
Salvaged metal tubes, worn down by their previous use, form a grid above the visitors’ heads in the first sequence of rooms in the gallery. They form a pattern, a suspended, interrupted order that dominates and defines a proportional ratio. They thus add a further level of relationship to the one that exists between the human figure and the volumetric and architectural qualities of the place it is in. The presence inside the tubes of woollen threads in the primary colours – red, yellow, and blue – is a quotation from the serried, forceful geometries of a painting by Piet Mondrian, superimposing them on the existing space.
In the hall of mirrors that gives onto Piazza Carignano, a large platform covered in textured sheet metal penetrates the interior almost entirely, establishing itself as a new horizon, raised up from the existing floor. It creates a space of its own, suspended between the flying grid traced out by the tubes and the floor below, allowing visitors to interact with the proliferation of their own image, which is returned to them horizontally by the platform and reflected, even though not clearly, in the antique mirrors on the walls. Footsteps on the sheet metal create a familiar noise, taking us back to the temporary structures of bumper cars at a funfair.
With the work on six large-format found paintings, the traditional visual encounter with the work of art is brought into question. Cocooned in green wool yarns of varying thicknesses, the canvases painted by others and chosen by the artist are hidden from sight and transformed into monochromes of great objectual and tactile quality, forming a selection of greens and a reduction of their nuances to the minimum.
Once again, there is a change in plane and what turn out to be tangible traces of decay appear sublimated on the floor in the corner room. The grooves and holes of woodworm carved into the parquet are filled with a valuable material, gold, which in a subdued and apparently heedless manner, picks out a precious web on which we continue to walk.
A plaque of solid silver enamelled with royal blue letters appears to follow like a courteous but imperious invitation to make an offering, inserting coins into a slit cut into it: a gesture that, considering the place and the circumstances, has no precise or predictable outcome. It wavers between a hypothetical act of generosity towards the community and, conversely, a tangible appreciation of the ideas expressed by the artist’s work, by fully accepting its clear but once again equivocal request by purchasing the work itself. Another reflective material, brass, laminated and left untreated, covers the outer surfaces of the large volume that occupies the last room in the gallery, creating an ideal cenotaph to an artist, the late Bas Jan Ader. The plates are destined to show the inevitable process of oxidation over time, and the marks that will accumulate as the work is shown in various places.
The noise of works in progress, which accompanies the whole exhibition like a sort of ground bass, comes from the other side of the walls and doors of the rooms. It points to the existence of an elsewhere and to events away from the place where one is. Exactly what they are is ambiguous and not easy to decipher.