Energy and memory can be drawn from the places we inhabit and experience, generating identity. It is hard to move away from these vital environments, bearers of positive and negative emotions, or there is a need to put some distance to rebuild a new phase of life. In the personal history of each individual, place represents the foundation of everyday existence and the structure that hosts, even temporarily, the experiences and representations of memory. Sonia Andresano’s artistic research is built on the appreciation and observation of these relationships. In Allegra ma non troppo, Andresano’s solo exhibition at AlbumArte curated by Daniela Cotimbo, these movements have been highlighted by focusing on the works produced over the last three years. The observation of small life fragments – viewing and listening to details often missed and not heard – is developed in both videos and digital photos.
There seems to be a willingness to stay and put into action what has been, reversing the act of looking and living time in space. Place and time are both reset to zero. Perception and memory, the emotional dimension, are incorporated in a condition of space-time that places the spatial and temporal fabric within a single homogeneous entity. Actions and experiences are also altered by the “territories” in which these take place, in the linearity of time which appears to be closed: experiencing this in a circular and flexible dimension seems to also characterise the final stages of the health emergency.
The time preceding the reopening of the exhibition space is detailed from the video that gives the exhibition its title. The empty rooms of AlbumArte are enriched with sounds coming from outside. The research boundaries loom over the theme of movement. The small sculpture of a white fly, a witness which has been part of Andresano’s work for several years now, wanders through the recently reopened spaces where everything is suspended, starting again with loads of energy and great unknowns. The place acquires a new image, during and after the waiting period, when the exhibition activity resumes. The video seems to have no movement, but this can be found in tiny details.
The images are still, the point of view is lowered and the inside dominates the outside, which can be discerned from the noise and a few open views. A circular time also seems to guide the other videos on show, from Che ci faccio qui (What Am I Doing Here, 2019) to Trammammuro (2018) and the video installation Mio padre e suo figlio (My Father and His Son, 2017); the images rebuild a conceptual map of past and present, of relationships and personal stories closely linked to places. The photos have an equivalent conceptual matrix: they dwell on another state of knowledge, where fragments and empty spaces similarly speak of a valued dimension to be observed and recorded.
Veicolo cieco (Blind Vehicle, 2020) is a sculptural work in resin that represents the other side of Sonia Andresano’s narrative: it is impossible to look back, vision is blocked by the opaqueness of the surface. What should be the rear-view mirror of a truck loses its function, preventing all image reflections. From sculptural language to performative action, the narrative logic is traced on an ambiguous and repetitive dimension; the artist, who appears in the videos and photos, is the conceptual key that develops the story. The thread uniting the works on display is evident in Per filo e per segno (Word for Word, 2018). In the small photos depicting the artist while she is knitting, the woollen thread, digitally captured, continues in the graphic sign on the wall, holding together the two planes of action, between creative time and concrete space.
Sonia Andresano. Allegra ma non troppo, curated by Daniela Cotimbo, was presented in Rome at Albumarte in July 2020.
images: (cover 1) Sonia Andresano, Exhibition view, AlbumArte, 2020, foto: Sebastiano Luciano. Courtesy Albumarte (2) Sonia Andresano, Exhibition view, AlbumArte, 2020, foto: Sebastiano Luciano. Courtesy Albumarte (3) Sonia Andresano, «Mio padre e suo figlio», 2017, Installation view (details), AlbumArte, 2020. Video installation, 3’ 41” minutes, foto: Sebastiano Luciano. Courtesy Albumarte (4) Sonia Andresano, «Mosca bianca», 2018, Installation view, AlbumArte, 2020. Digital photos, print on hahnemühle matt fibre paper set on forex, wooden frames, 53×36 cm, foto: Sebastiano Luciano. Courtesy Albumarte (5) Sonia Andresano, «Veicolo cieco», 2020, Installation view, AlbumArte, 2020. Transparent resin, 83x14x21 cm, foto: Sebastiano Luciano. Courtesy Albumarte