Sophie Ko, Petra Lindholm, Laura Pugno, Marco Strappato, Giorgia Severi, Cosimo Veneziano, Adéla Waldhauserová
Curated by Andrea Lerda
Landscape is alive.
Landscape speaks, sounds and draws the spaces it consists of.
It is made of earth, air, water, lights and shadows,
of gestures, actions, occurrences and intentions,
of voids and solids.
Landscape is not inside our mind, it is in our hands and in our eyes.
In line with a well-established path of investigation focusing on landscape as a ‘topos’, the exhibition Beyond Landscape aims to present and keep track of the practice of seven young artists – both Italian and international – whose artistic research deals with the same issue.
The term “landscape” has always referred to a given fraction of the natural environment which, by convention, is clearly delimited and characterised by peculiar aesthetic and formal attributes. However, in the light of new critical approaches and debates, it could be argued instead that landscape is a mere mental construction which men have been imposing upon themselves over time.
On this basis, the Beyond Landscape project seeks to emphasise the complexity of defining exactly the boundaries of landscape, due to their constant evolution and their close relationship with the dynamics of the social, cultural and economic sphere.
This project thus represents a chance to put forward further, more nuanced perspectives capable of shifting the focus away from the mere aesthetic or contemplative experience of landscape, which has been typical of this genre from the very beginning.
Accordingly, landscape is considered here not just as an artistic typology but also as a tool of analysis, enriched with new values and in dialogue with the present time.
Crossing the limits as a way to create new landscapes is the concept Gerardo Mosquera illustrated in the catalogue for the exhibition Lost in landscape (Mart Museum, April 5 – August 31, 2014). Mosquera highlights how, depending on the approach adopted, “landscapes are able to change the way they communicate with us: they may be more ‘social’, ‘subjective’, ‘cultural’, ‘mystical’, ‘aestethic’, and so on. Our subjectivity, experience, culture, ideology and social circumstances all influence the way we perceive, process and interpret landscapes”.
Beyond Landscape presents a select group of works which, in different ways, deconstruct the preconceived idea of landscape. The aesthetic experience offered to the viewer deviates from the habitual ways of presentation and representation. It rather follows formal solutions which hardly refer to what we are used to recognising and identifying as ‘landscape’: new narratives are suggested here in which there is no unity between vision and representation. The different mediums employed – sculpture, installation, photography, drawing and painting – together bring about an aesthetic outcome where, significantly, the object and the subject diverge from each other altogether. This last crucial point summarises the primary purpose of the show: namely, to talk about landscape without landscape. Because landscape lives somewhere else, it lies beyond any convention and is reshaped every instant by the passing of time as well as by the events which accumulate within our globalised world. A world now free from those spatial-temporal limits and mental barriers which formerly prevented thought from following hyperlinks and deflagrating in all possible directions.
Special thanks to Boccanera Gallery, Alberto Peola arte contemporanea, Franco Soffiantino Contemporary Art Productions, The Gallery Apart.