OXYGEN OXYGEN Text by Maria Chiara Wang
On the occasion of the first edition of La Vita dell’Arte, I left you with the following episteme: as long as Man lives, so will Art.
But if this assumption is true, its opposite is also true: as long as there is Art, there will be Life for Man, Art - in fact - is oxygen, ...'oxygen oxygen' freely quoting the title of the series realized by Mario Schifano at the end of the 1960s.
This second edition conceived by A60 Contemporary Art Space comes at the end of a year in which the resource of which we have felt the greatest shortage was precisely air. The works on show, while reflecting contemporary reality, also compensate for the suspension - hopefully only temporary - of our lives, giving the public back that calm deep breath that has often been lacking in recent months.
Through the talent and the skill of the artists, the air first becomes thought, then form and matter, materializing in painting as well as in drawing, photography, video and whatever other medium creativity and the surrounding environment have made available to them. Thus we find ourselves before works such as Qin Jie's Breath + Space + Dropping Sludge, in which the title makes explicit what is represented in the moving images, or Xing Liye's videoE112.18, N37.21, in which we can perceive the warm temperature and the dusty smell of the wind blowing across the white canvas of the installation filmed.
The focus - in works such as 99.99999% by Xu Yuting, Go Between by Dennis Oppenheim, 056 by Huang Zilin, Picking Up Images In The Metro by Sun Zeming and Hexiang by Ou Wenting - then shifts to the theme of the relationship between people in physical space.
To the relationship with the domestic environment address, instead, both Dong Jiayuan's Response lithograph, in which the constriction of a narrow and closed space is felt, and Zeng Jiachen's Missing Home 3D models, which outline in a few essential lines the corners of a house in relation to which the author seems to find himself in a condition of involuntary exile. From intimate, private spaces we then move on to urban architecture - new perimeters in which we have found ourselves forcibly circumscribed - outlined in works such as Natura Morta - Still Life by Chen Shuyang, Poetry-Arles by Dai Yang, Figure e Città in the versions by Giandante X and Jean-Joseph Sanfourche, 99.04.21358 by Dada.Ryan and It's xxx km away from my home by Hu Shu.
Another important protagonist of this group show is Nature, with its open spaces and those boundless landscapes where we increasingly wish to project ourselves, but which even more often only relive in our memory, as in POST_TTCARD by Marco Raffaele or in Old Weekend by Cui Baoyi, where the colours of the vegetation are reduced to the transcription of the memory of a past trip; then we come to the multicoloured works Paesaggio con Casa Rossa by Mario Schifano and BiFlowers 10795 by Maurizio Galimberti, the former barely hinted at, the latter hyper-detailed. In Root Yarden's A Born Of A Goddess, the contact between man and nature becomes real to rarefy again into thought in Wang Yuanfeng's lithograph Stunning view of luxuriance.
Lastly, there is no lack of more reflective and introspective works, nuanced and blurred narratives, transpositions of an subconscious that seeks to find expression on canvas (Bao Fusheng's Interpretation of the Combustion), rather than on paper (Liu Li's Memories of a Short Love Story and Domenico Spinosa's Composition) or on video (Chuai Tong's La Favola, Deng Yunfei's Underflow).
Starting with these brief hints, each spectator will be able to construct his or her own path and narrative within the spaces of the A60, finding further common threads. The works on show are numerous, many more than those mentioned here as examples, and it is up to the public to discover them.
I take my leave, addressing to you the invitation that Giorgio Marconi wrote to Schifano on the eve of the inaugural exhibition of his first exhibition space: "Dear Mario, work, turn off the telephone and forget all the problems of this world" and - I add - draw from Art every atom of oxygen that you need to feel Alive, to stay Alive.