Arising from a moment as peculiar as the current one, the project L’orecchio di Dionisio evolved in an almost natural way; rather than an exhibition, it operates as a concrete and significant gesture at the center of which is the act of Listening. It aims to stand as a different presence within the ever-growing, accelerated proliferation of visual communication of these times, developing a “visibility of the invisible”.
This is a refounding act, a breath, a song to start anew from a unique moment perceived globally; an “offbeat” approach, an impulse to simplicity, a reflection upon which to rebuild.
The immediate reference is to the Ear of Dionysius, a real place in Syracuse. The cave recalls the shape of the ear and the empty gallery spaces recall those of a cave. Acoustics and sound are the elements that bind them together in this project.
L’orecchio di Dionisio becomes a voluntary “interference” within the collective and international “noise”; a possible soundscape where images are evoked by sound and therefore neither defined nor enclosed by their presence and insistence.
The three gallery spaces each present a sound work by three artists: Miroslaw Balka, Simone Forti, and Marcello Maloberti. Therefore, the project investigates a possible and temporary new way to present a different experience, all within the gallery space, convinced of its indispensability as a place, after the artist’s mental and physical study, in which the first “founding elements of Art” occur.
In via Stradella 7 Simone Forti is present with a sound recording from one of her performances, Face Tunes (1968): the profiles of seven faces drawn on a large scroll unfold slowly from left to right, as if they were a “score”. The profiles were translated into sounds in real time through a slide whistle at the end of which was a rod. The performer, keeping the whistle parallel to the sheet, followed the profile of each face thus playing the instrument and creating the “composition”.
61 x 59 x 31 / Sereno è (2006/2017) by Miroslaw Balka becomes a declaration, a contradiction, a wish, a prediction, a hermetic poem. All this, and numerous other meanings, are released in the rhythmic intonation of the two words from Drupi’s song, performed by the singer.
With Cicerone (2018) Marcello Maloberti takes us back to the past at via Stradella 4, speaking about Lorenzo Lotto. The words we hear describe a fresco that is evoked within the empty exhibition space. The walls are “painted” by the colors of the voice of the guide of the Suardi Chapel in Trescore (Bergamo).
Miroslaw Balka was born in 1958 in Warsaw (Poland). He lives and works in Warsaw and Otwock (Poland). Comprising installation, sculpture, video, and drawing, Balka’s work has a bare and elegiac quality that is also underlined by the careful, minimalist placement of objects, as well as the gaps and pauses between them. Balka’s work deals with both personal and collective memories. Selected solo shows include: 30/5780, Galeria Labirynt 2, Lublin (2019);[(.;,:?!–...)], Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice (2017); DIE SPUREN, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (2017); CROSSOVER/S, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2017); Nerve.Construction, Muzeum of Art MS1, Lodz (2015). Selected group shows include: A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women, Muzeum Susch, Susch (2019); Travelers: Stepping into the Unknown, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, (2018); Venice Biennale (2013, 2005, 2003, 1993 and 1990); XXVI São Paulo Art Biennial, São Paulo (1998) and Documenta IX, Kassel (1992).
Simone Forti was born in 1935 in Florence (Italy). She lives and works in Los Angeles. Forti has been a leading figure in the development of contemporary performance over the last fifty years. Artist, choreographer, dancer, writer, Forti has dedicated herself to the research of a kinesthetic awareness, always engaging with experimentation and improvisation. Investigating the relationship between object and body, through animal studies, news animations and land portraits, she reconfigured the concept of performance and dance. Forti’s recent and upcoming and performances include: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2020); Centro Pecci, Prato (2020); ICA Milano, Milan (2019); Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel (2019); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2018, 2014, 2013, 2009, 1979, 1978).
Marcello Maloberti was born in 1966 in Codogno (Lodi), Italy. He lives and works in Milan. Maloberti’s artistic research draws inspiration from trivial events and urban contexts. His observations go beyond the ordinary evidence of everyday life experience thanks to an often estranged and visionary neorealistic approach. Maloberti emphasizes the relationship between art and life researching new approaches to photography, video, performance, installation, sculpture and drawing, as to form a contemporary gesamtkunstwerk. Recently, his artworks have been shown in institutions such as: Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan; Museion, Bolzano, MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow. In 2018 he realized a performance for Manifesta, Palermo, and at Centro Pecci in Prato. In 2016 he took part in the 16th Quadriennale d’Arte, Rome. In 2013 he participated to the 55th Venice Biennale (as part of the Italian Pavillion), the Thessaloniki Biennale, and the project All’Aperto, Zegna Foundation, Trivero.