AboutRITA URSO is pleased to open the exhibition The Line of Sight, which presents a selection of works already shown in the gallery since 2001, gathering them around the fascinating and mysterious theme of gaze. It is the glance that "exposes" the subject in painting and presents it to our eyes, revealing the invisible. Its implications refer not only to the relationship between the artwork and the observer, between what is looked at and who is looking at it, but also to the creative process itself and the making of work of art. In the exhibition space all gazes of the works sink into our eyes and always remain relevant in a continuum of visual relationships, hence the title of the exhibition. The viewer finds himself ideally enveloped and observed, almost scrutinized. The mechanism that emerges is a mutual exchange, a dynamic that runs on different temporal levels and provides a device for reflecting on the contemporary world and art itself. Thus, in Gauguin (2010) of the artist Thordis Adalsteinsdottir, the figure’s wide-open eyes open onto ours. The temporal dimension called into question is the dreamlike one that stimulates a deep state of melancholy and instability of the self. Gauguin is imprisoned on a flat surface, in absence of perspective, because it is abundantly covered with bright paint. At the same time the harmonious flower patterns, in which the body seems to be immersed, indicate a redeeming dimension, and therefore a possibility of happiness and rebirth. The photographic image of Renata Poljak Alice Or Where I Am Not Afraid (2002) also refers to a dreamlike fantasy: the artist is self-represented with closed eyes, perhaps asleep, lying on a field of red poppies. Here, a state of uncertainty and disorientation in front of the reality of Croatian society and communism are merged, with an awareness mixed with the desire to go further. The present prevails motionlessly in Life Interest (2008) by Jelena Tomašević. The time appears suspended in the gaze of a woman oppressed against a large window, representing the impossibility of realizing herself in a world where stereotypes prevail, a black and white reality deprived of any emotional element. The painting seems to burst into an everyday life scene where places of affection overturn in mental prisons, difficulties and psychic disquiets, small and big violence that upset daily serenity of domestic menage. In 20.12.53-10.08.04 (gemellini) (2005/2006) Moira Ricci weaves present and past. She intrudes into old photographs of her mother to indelibly imprint her presence even in a time that has not been shared. The artist’s eyes observe her, inquisitive but affectionate. With a brave look willing to put into play her own emotionality, she generates a mirror effect in the viewer of her work: it is an act of love towards her mother, a form of elaboration of loss, which however takes further strength from the radical questioning of the relationships between the viewer and the object of the gaze.
The smiling couples, taken according to a "happy family" cliché, which Adrian Paci pictorially immortalizes in Icons (2001), seem not to look directly at the viewer. Their eyes, set, are probably directed towards the lens of a camera. Those faces have already lost their individual identity and what counts to them is the new identity of the couple, which the photographer tries to fix. With simplicity, the artist is addressing the collective power that social gaze has, expressing an ambiguous attitude that first seduces the spectator to enter a sort of private album of memories and then prevents him from penetrating it through placing an ideal model in front of him.
The present is also connected to the Emanuele Becheri's gaze that, powerfully directed to the viewer, seems to reveal the dimension of the genesis of his work. Drawings Va, pensiero... (2013) become the condition in which the figures can accomplish and define their world. The artist self-portraits himself in bizarre ways, experimenting with different disguises, mutilated, helped by sticks that serve to maintain his fragile balance in an upturned world, and laying bare his own condition as an irreverent marionette that laugh at themselves and at their audience, to show the artist’s infinite potential for metamorphosis. The enigmatic and disquieting gaze, presented by ZAPRUDER Filmmakersgroup in Cordiale. Studio sulla visione binoculare. Ritratto di dama B e G (2017), provides a reflection internal to their artistic and cinematographic practice, on the consequences of a stratigraphic conception of time, often made of overlaps rather than scrolling. The cross-eyed, lateral gaze, on the one hand, fragments the vision by dividing it into two points of view, on the other, subtracts from it the perspective encounter that allows a deep dimension, typical of 3D cinema. Giada Giulia Pucci with Umano. Vestizioni al suk di Torino, 4/10/20 (2020) represents, finally, a timeless, absolute, primitive look. A witness to the memory of the past but also a documentation of the future. The scraps found in the street with which she dresses and protects herself become symbols of humanity, her gaze is similar to that of all peoples of all times and records all the existing worlds. It is an instrument for survival because, abstracted from the context, it analyses reality and extends beyond it, towards nothingness, towards the end of the world. The eyes of works on show are reflected in ours and introduce a plurality of possible timelines and worlds. The reciprocity intrinsic to the act of seeing therefore constitutes not only an encouragement to know and to become aware of the reality that surrounds us, but also to resist the difficulties of dark moments, such as we are experiencing, also thanks to the support that those gazes around us can provide.