Raucci / Santamaria, Naples
Corso Amedeo di Savoia, 190
artists & participants
The research of Cathy Wilkes (Belfast 1966 - lives and works in Glasgow) is structured on an individual vocabulary mainly based on personal experiences. In the artist’s works each element adopts a strategic importance in the representation of experience. Through painting, sculpture, installation and video, intimate and poetic tracks are designed, reconstructed, through long and reflexive process, having care of every little detail. Stories that let themselves be told and recalled through objects, emptied of their common sense and assembled so they don’t lose their distinguishing characteristics, the conscience of those who have owned them or the memory they contain. Cathy Wilkes reveals a hermetic artistic event, supported by a narrative ability and a puzzling and at the same time fascinating conceptual strength. The approach to her universe isn’t always easy, as one often finds fragments of life and events which are difficult to decode; so the emotional factor becomes fundamental to enable a gradual intellectual perception. A destabilizing intent, never an end in itself, which results in environmental seductive compositions, modulated with elements derived from an intimate context, often inhabited by dumb but emblematic dummies. Inanimate human forms, as fleeting appearances that make the landscapes seem asphyxiated and emotionally recognizable. For her second solo exhibition in the Raucci/Santamaria gallery, Cathy Wilkes realizes a spiritual dimension that requires an effort of attention, conceived by the artist as "a concentration without thoughts." Following a specific and personal way of thinking through the perceptual emptying, a knowledge is developed so that past skills are set aside and the objects reveal their essence, almost coming back to a stage of pre-awareness, as well as for the babies. A representation of reality in which even a number of small and delicate paintings, made of subtle geometric and chromatic connections, contribute to a characterizing and enigmatic atmosphere of suspension.
“Superveilance” - Mat Collishaw
Reflections on the ambiguity between reality and representation, on the never unique value of an image or a word. Mat Collishaw (Nottingham 1966 - lives and works in London) leads the viewer to an unconventional perception of issues related to crime news, myth, history of art, eros, dreams and man’s primitive nightmares. The artist questions the icons of all times, calling for a new vision, sometimes intimate sometimes provocative, moving away from a passive acceptance. Introducing a disruptive element that twists or changes reality, without ever neglecting the aesthetic value, he creates a movement of attraction and repulsion, which poses the problem of the very existence of images and their meanings. Since 1993 Collishaw, at that time emerging representative of the Young British Artists, has established a lasting relationship with the Raucci/Santamaria gallery presenting today his sixth personal exhibition titled "Superveilance”. A compound word that has many aspects, playing with the sense of surveillance opposed to the need to rip the veil of appearances. So in "The Island of the Dead", inspired by the famous painting of the symbolist Arnold Böcklin, a 3D program plays the passage of light in the 24 hours from sunrise to sunset revealing, in the blackness of night, the reflection of the beholder. The exhibition also includes three tree stumps where instead of the concentric rings used to measure the age of the tree trunks, runs a vinyl record that plays the sound of birds singing and the rustle of leaves. Nature and mechanics are hybridized, the memory of life has a voice through technology. In the exhibition two lithophanies on corian which, thanks to the effects of transparency, show a contrast between the image and the value that it assumes in collective imagination. A clash that sees the reproduction of the tree "Major Oak", a symbol of Nottingham connected to the figure of Robin Hood. A tree that should be long dead and instead is kept standing with the aid of props and structures, like a tourism billboard: the lights on the back of the trunk and branches pulsate, making a ghostly effect, an X-ray in which twigs take the shape of a tangle of veins. "The ecstasy of St. Teresa" instead reproduces Bernini’s sculpture, balanced between religious pathos and erotic thrill; through a system of horizontal backlight, the saint’s profile, as if touched by an unearthly light, slowly appears making material and tangible an ethereal semblance. A path which shortens the dichotomy between life and death, physical and spiritual, in which the contemplation of reality becomes distorted, and observation is deceit.
“Superveilance” - Mat Collishaw