There is the ghost of a body that wanders in the exhibition space. We don’t know its gender, nor do we know its height or weight. Indeed, we don’t even know if it is the ghost of a human being. But we know that there is. It passes through and animates objects, moves between images, navigates the fleeting apparitions, materializes itself within decorative elements. It seems almost paradoxical that the word “ghost” – from the ancient Greek φάντασμ – has its etymological roots in the term φαντάζω, “to show”, as if its very nature revealed to us that the space of mise- en-scène is governed by a substantial ambiguity.
Anna Franceschini’s research and artistic practice have always investigated the expressive potential of this ambiguous space, uncovering and exacerbating the paradoxes of being on display. For the exhibition TU SEI LA NOTTE, at Galeria Vera Cortês, this survey takes the shape of a phantasmagoric body that infects and destabilizes the gaze, questioning the ontology of the object and its relationship with the mise-en-scène. Between transparency and opacity, the experience of TU SEI LA NOTTE suggests that exposure and concealment are not types in opposition, but rather the condition of each staging. After all, being on display fundamentally links the art category – as we know in modern Western society – and the goods category of the late-capitalism. Sure enough, Franceschini’s aesthetics is in intimate dialogue with the anonymous products of unbridled consumption, embraces their forms without an author, shares their sordid and inglorious destiny.
In her screen-cum-video TU SEI LA NOTTE (2019), three wigs of different colours engage a spasmodic and erotic dance on a pole dance intermittently illuminated by a strobe light. The film insists on the texture of the wigs and on the organic residues they retain, through an almost fetishistic mode that intends to instil the doubt that, perhaps, the hypertrophy of goods does not go hand in hand with impoverishment of the sensible experience, but on the contrary amplifies and democratizes it. As Gilles Lipovetsky and Jean Serroy have pointed out, what defines the current hyperconsumption capitalism is a kind of trans-aesthetic creativity – no less cynical and aggressive than that of early capitalism – which exploits the aesthetic-imaginary dimensions on a generalized scale for generating profit.
Courtesy of the artist and GALERIA VERA CORTÊS
Photo: Bruno Lopes