Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.
– John Keats, “Ode on Grecian Urn”, 1819
The exhibit brings together artists Veronica Della Porta, Olivier Fermariello and Gianfranco Toso for the first time; they take along six pictures and three paintings respectively.
In Della Porta‘s black-and-white photographs the bustle of daily life takes a step back and gives way to the silent, vibrant presence of architectural shapes. All superfluous details are expunged, while the artist sheds light on the details of the buildings by process of elimination. The meticulous choice of materials, including the specific photographic paper used for the prints, which are printed in a single run, extols the images, rendering them comparable to drawings on paper.
In the shots from his series “Air de Famille”, on the other hand, Fermariello draws his inspiration from family portraits taken in the early twentieth century. The complicit relationship, at one time formal and intimate, that connects the photographer to his grandparents gives him the emotional grounding to push the camera beyond its limits and find new energy in the images. In them the beyond and the other jump to the foreground annihilating time and space. By staging the portrait and playing with a particular notion of Otherness, the photographer merges the differences in his roots – he is French-Italian – and regenerates the family album.
On his part, Toso views the creation of shapes as the tension towards a metaphysical and imaginative dimension. He uses geometric shapes to do so, and explores their potential to act as both concrete measurements and shapes evoking transcendental contemplation. Such shapes, which are not immediately perceptible, can only be experienced through an inner awakening. The precise and pure relations at play among all the shapes, instead, seem to outline an idea of perfection that lies – mute and absolute – beyond the bounds of this world.