CURA.

FRANCESCO ARENA
TRE SEQUENZE PER VOCE SOLA

Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan
March 14th – April 24th, 2019

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Press Release

As in 2015, the exhibition is articulated in the three gallery spaces, with the same ratio of one work for each room. Consistent with the artist's research interlacing historic memory, shared and private, Tre sequenze per voce sola [Three arrangements for a solo], marks a new chapter in Arena's poetics. The title, taking after the "sequenze" by composer Luciano Berio, conceptually unfolds the partition of the show: three works by three stories, each narrated by a single voice, where history, time and space are blurred.

In via Stradella 7, Angolo Scontento (Hommage à la mort de Sigmund Freud) [Discontent Corner] is a hollow triangle suspended above the ground. The copper sculpture, matt on the outside and mirror polished on the inside, encircles a seated person born in 1939, the year of Sigmund Freud's death: he tells the story of his life. The work embodies the temporal distance between a permanent act (Freud's death) and the now. The idea of a death commemoration is analyzed through its opposite: a life, the one of the performer, started at the decease of the founder of psychoanalysis. The sculpture is destined to change in time: the performer will grow older year by year as the distance to the year of Freud's death, until it will not be inhabited anymore.

The second story is to be heard in via Stradella 4, from a magnet tape recording. This sculpture blends time and distance. There is a formula to calculate the maximum distance between an horizon and the person gazing at it. Linea finita (orizzonte Gianluigi) [Finite line (Gianluigi horizon)] consist of a magnetic tape as long as the distance between the observer and his horizon, on which he recorded his story: the point of observation, in this case Gianluigi, is 168 cm above the ground, determining a tape 4.630 mt long. That contains a time of recording of approximately 6 hours 46 minutes and 8 seconds. The work becomes a portrait/self-portrait that can be eventually commissioned.

In the third act, protagonist is the silence on a truth too long concealed. On a plinth at the center of the space in via Stradella 1, rests Marmo con 3274 giorni [Marble with 3274 days], excavated to contain a pile of pages from an agenda. The number of pages corresponds to the amount of days from October 23rd, 2009 and October 10th, 2018, the first being the day of the mediatic announcement of Stefano Cucchi's death while in preventive detention. The second marks the day of the testimony that incriminates four agents of the Italian military force for the beating that led to the captive's decease. For 3274 days this violence crime had been denied by the corps as well as by a good portion of Italian politicians, even though evident on the victim's body.

The works composing the exhibition are three non-fiction narratives. Cyclically, motifs undercurrent Arena's production come back and are investigated anew: the fascination towards the numeric domain, often determining the formal aspect of the works, the reflection about the flowing of Time and the concept of monument as memory and sign.

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CREDITS
Courtesy the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano.
Ph. Roberto Marossi

OTHER TIPS
“Fantastic gardens, hybrid creatures, bouquets of epiphytic stories, synthetic fragrances and mythological machines, but also colours, crystals, songs and infrasounds which could be intended for us humans as much as for our contemporaries: plants, animals, minerals, breaths and chemistries, waves and bacteria, are just some of the ingredients that make up the porous landscapes of this 15th Lyon Biennale.
The artist takes into consideration some well-known artists of the last decades, insinuating doubt into certain dominant narratives, forcing us to look differently at or adjust our focus on existing works. At Istituto Svizzero, Milan
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, artists like Cézanne and Matisse took up this motif to express evolving notions about the body, changing ideas about pleasure, one’s relationship to nature, and how the longing for the new (in art) potentially renews a broader and more inclusive understanding of what it means to live with or against societal changes. Greene Naftali, New York
Antoine Levi, Paris
Galerie Perrotin, Paris
Peres Projects, Berlin
C L E A R I N G, New York
HangarBicocca, Milan