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EXHIBITIONS

Filippo Berta “The Impossibility of Balance” and Guerra de la Paz “Tableaux. Traces of a hidden (hi)story” at Augeo Art Space, Rimini

Filippo Berta “The Impossibility of Balance”


The video Sulla retta via (On the straight and narrow) (2014), featuring a performance created especially for Rimini, shows a line of people moving along the foreshore of a deserted beach. Each is concentrated on his/her own footsteps, trying to follow the fleeting border defined by the waves as they leave a feint trace along the point where the elements, water and earth, clash against one another, united and separated at the same time. The attempt of the individuals to lay down a perfect line along the edge of the waves is, however, one that remains unachievable given that the path sought after is continually broken. This impossibility is caused by the perpetual and irregular movements of the sea, which become an evocative metaphor of man’s impossibility to find a balance between his own intuitive-emotional nature and society’s role in influencing and corrupting the individual essence.

This state of continuous tension lies at the heart of Filippo Berta’s analysis, for via the micro-narratives of performances staged by common people, he investigates that particular human condition which through restrictions, mechanisms, and the dynamics of society reveals an irreconcilable dualism, reflected here in the search for a borderline.

The protagonists of Homo Homini Lupus (Man is a Wolf for Men, 2011) are wolves who, on a desolate stretch of land, fight over a flag, as if it were a highly-prized prey. The flag, historically a symbol of territorial and national identification, represents the thirst for power and superiority over others.

The wolf, a pack animal, characterised by extremely hierarchical social structures in which every animal has its own specific role, vigorously defends its own authority both inside and outside the group through a violent survival instinct. In the photograph Homo Homini Lupus the two wolves are pulling on the Italian flag, yet neither really manages to have the upper hand, and the struggle – following the logic of submission of the opponent – goes on and on deliriously.

In Déjà vu (2008), six couples of identical twins form two mirroring teams on a theatre stage, pitted against one another in a tug-o’-war. The single ropes, each bearing a red mark halfway along, never create a single straight line: the two teams, identical on the outside, differ in terms of tenacity and strength; thus the balance is broken continually, underlining a form of dualism in which no one is ever really capable of dominating the other.

Thus the human being is (de)formed by society as it penetrates individual consciences and conditions mental behaviour, guiding the individual towards standardised roles and towards an intrinsic sense of competitiveness. Highlighting the tension and the existential abyss incurred by this dualism, through the work of Filippo Berta we thus draw closer to the search of the causes and conditions of these mutations, yet also closer to the identification of a more profoundly human nature.

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at Augeo Art Space, Rimini

until 8 June 2014

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Filippo Berta “The impossibility of balance” installation view at Augeo Art Space, Rimini, 2014

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Courtesy: Augeo Art Space, Rimini.

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Guerra de la Paz “Tableaux. Traces of a hidden (hi)story”

Our imagery of the civilisations of yesteryear is based on leftover fragments of architecture, on objects, clothes, on grand narratives and individual testimonies: all this is cobbled into a distorted story which only just leaves us room to make out what happened, and which is not capable of bringing together the lives and experiences scattered beyond those facts that we look upon as certain.

The multifaceted work of the Cuban duo Guerra de la Paz analyses the conflicts and the conditions of contemporary societies, of the individual and of consumerism through installations, videos and sculptures which always foresee the use of recycled garments. Produced on the basis of traditional artistic media and languages, which are put to the test through unexpected combinations of materials, their works take everyday life as a starting point to create stories in which long-gone and contemporary eras are evocatively amalgamated, generating a new form of poetics based on the ephemeral seasons of life, of being and of nature.

For the exhibition at AUGEO, the two artists have developed a further chapter to their research from scratch, this time regarding the archaeology of footprints and of human histories. A tableaux – made up of fascinating and hyper-detailed artefacts, towering columns, a great three-dimensional wall-mounted work made up of coloured bricks, and hybrid sculptures which blend classical and postmodern representation thanks to the use of faces masked with white fabric – evokes an ambiguous archaeological site, on the verge between creation, destruction and (re)birth.

The clothes used tell hidden and silent stories, of places and traces of individual identities, of past lives, of emotions and energies which, once de-contextualised and recomposed to form sublime works, trace a suspended universe, coexisting with a rainbow of the infinite shades of the human condition.

The chromatic spectrum and the careful choice of fabrics also reflect the pictorial background of Guerra de la Paz, who through garments which once belonged to strangers, create works which reveal, discern and grasp distant biographies in order to give them a new lease of life. Reinterpreting the past through the eyes of the present, the artists thus set off a reincarnation process which draws us into this all-enveloping world of theirs to trace and grasp our own roots, to interpret the moment in which we find ourselves, and to make out the direction in which to continue.

Claudia Löffelholz

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at Augeo Art Space, Rimini

until 8 June 2014

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Guerra de la Paz “Tableaux. Traces of a hidden (hi)story” installation views at Augeo Art Space, Rimini, 2014

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Courtesy: Augeo Art Space, Rimini.

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