The exhibition presents a series of works that were inspired by the frescos that used to be part of a church, Chiesa di San Silvestro in Folzano (Brescia), visited by the artist during one of his visits in town. Augustas Serapinas was fascinated by the fact that these frescos, realized for the church interior in 1930, were later removed for no apparent reason in 2010, which made him reflect on the concept of preservation.
The work of Serapinas is often characterized by and consists of an empathetic re- appropriation and reinterpretation of elements he finds in the history of the places and organizations within he is working which inspire his artistic creation. In the case of this exhibition, what the artist found was in his opinion the most interesting aspect of the Chiesa di San Silvestro history: the removal and substitution of these frescos, which he found by accident in one of the local restores studio. The works that resulted from this research, and will be presented in the exhibition, reflect on the different changes these frescos went through, throughout the years. It is a clear example of how the history could be constructed by choosing which period is to preserve and which to eliminate.
The frescos were removed from the wall using the stacco technique - the process of detaching fresco painting when an animal glue is applied to the painted surface and then two layers of cloth (calico and canvas) are applied, left to dry, and later stripped off the wall, pulling the fresco with them. Because of that the viewer is exposed to the backside of the frescos - the side that is usually impossible to see. But once it is treated and glued back to the surface the frescos could be easily recreated to its original state.
Augustas Serapinas leaves the future of the frescos open. It has the potential of going back to the past and being reattached to the church walls if needed. Or it can reappear in the future in a different form and context. Or it might stay as it is, hidden and always waiting for another time.
Courtesy of the artist and APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia