26 January — 4 March 2023
Curated by Fabrizio Pizzuto

Maja Arte Contemporanea is delighted to host PEARL, the new performance by Marta Jovanović.

The staging is by Sauro Radicchi.
Special thanks to Davide Dormino and Janneke Leenders.

In terms of its chemical composition, a pearl is a crystallized calcium carbonate, known as aragonite, shaped as a sphere. Its structure is given by concentric layers of calcium generated by living tissue: usually, the mantle of molluscs such as oysters, bivalves, and gastropods. Conularids are also believed to have produced pearls; these were, however, made of calcium phosphate.

Etymologically, the term pearl comes from the Latin pernula. Originally, the name was given to the shells containing the pearls; it was chosen because the former were shaped like pigs’ hind legs.Pernula, short for perna, in fact, was the term used for ham; it was then borrowed to indicate the similarly-shaped shell.

Upon observation, what is most striking about the pearl is its structure. Its name is its second remarkable feature. A vision of something missing lingers in the name. It does not tell by association, allegory or metaphor, but rather by recalling the place where it was first used, almost branding this into the pearl. This odd relationship can illuminate the way we look at other things as well. A corner, then, is not just a corner but carries with it all the implications and possible meanings of a corner. The body of the actor and that of the viewer can also become other than they seem. Even more provocatively, the position and layered structure of the small spherical objects or pearls can be used to form a square. Delicate as a pensive and out-of-time work by Mark Tobey, the pearls come together to become a painting. Finally, the performer intrudes upon the scene bringing to it her idea of what one ought to do within a space or with an object. Removing the ambiguity from a text – a monologue neither needs nor appreciates a response – her presence moves only to invite reflection. In turn, the latter is laden with echoes and allusions; it is born from mediation and meditation, and becomes tremendously contemporary. Through the performance, we graze a visual journey that morphs into a mental one through the medium of a silent bow.

Fabrizio Pizzuto

Selected works

Marta Jovanović
Pearl, 2023

Exhibited Artists

Marta Jovanović


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