We are happy to announce the opening of Your Silent Face, an exhibition featuring Luca Andreoni’s latest project Inferno 1911 and a selection of works by Zhou Siwei, who makes his Italian debut here. The exhibition will be opening on Tuesday, 15 December 2015 at 6 pm at VIASATERNA, Milan.
Inferno 1911 is a photographic series produced entirely by Andreoni in 2014, immersed in the Grigne, a mountain massif in Lombardy. Well known among mountaineers and alpinists for the beauty and variety of its rock climbs, at the start of the last century it was the stage used for a number of scenes of Inferno, one of the first epic movies to be made in Italy. Produced by Milano Films, the feature-length movie was a cinema adaptation of Dante’s journey into the underworld, with path-breaking special effects and editing techniques.
Like Inferno, Andreoni’s work also absorbs the hostile environment of limestone and fog to plunge the spectator into a suspended and enigmatic atmosphere, one where photography, the medium of choice to penetrate into the folds of reality, turns into a means of concealment. And of loss: of the surface of things, of orientation, of peace of mind. With Inferno 1911,Andreoni investigates a middle ground: this is not a question of seeing but of glimpsing. Focusing our attention on a portion of his images, we are given a host of minimal and unexpected details (vegetation, people, objects…), but no certainty. The relentless effort of looking, understanding and discovering remains, literally stripping the skin of white drapes of cloud and fog from the mountain. Along an equally ambiguous path which, by tending towards a constant ascent, seems to lead to the gates of hell.
Zhou Siwei’s work is not bound up in the use of a specific medium or artistic discipline. Over the course of his career, begun in the mid-2000s, he has shifted between drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. His works always include one or more repeating patterns, reflecting the Kantian theory according to which “patterns are the transcendental link between the sensuality of observation and the concepts of reason.”
Simplicity is the starting point for his work, which develops through a cyclic process of repetition, evolution, progress, often applying various levels of colour, one after the other, thus with the same gesture triggering continuous change. Siwei’s works thereby provoke a constant perceptive whirlwind: they change at every successive gaze according to a logic of endless instability. They put the optic-retinal concreteness in contact with the variable of individual experience (gestalt) and the “world of ideas”. They are open to infinite interpretative possibilities, exploiting the force of a number of elementary particles.
Ambiguity, stratification, concealment and discovery: these are the terms that unite the works of Luca Andreoni and Zhou Siwei, and which articulate exhibition itinerary. Albeit in different ways, both question the onlooker’s ability to see, interpret and understand. They both remove and reveal at the same time. Experience, rationality and mystery meet and clash in a limbo midway between nature and artifice, where the thrill of the unknown blends with a silent sense of the absolute.
This is the third exhibition of the two-year programme curated by Fantom for VIASATERNA, a new space for contemporary art inaugurated in Milan earlier this year.
Your Silent Face Luca Andreoni and Zhou Siwei Opening: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 6 pm From December 16 to March 11, 2015 VIASATERNA Via Leopardi 32, Milan www.viasaterna.com