Massimo Vaschetto “And for a very short period of time I was left, like an idiot, without any pain at all.“ at Baleno, Rome
BALENO is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Massimo Vaschetto (*1980, Turin).
The title quotes the book by Hervé Guibert À l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie (1990), in which the author writes, in the form of a diary, about his daily life taking as starting point his HIV’s diagnosis. The disease progressively becomes a life companion, as if it were to be loved as a part of his own body, in the struggle for healing that is nevertheless unhoped-for.
The works’ iconographic references are sourced from heterogeneous yet converging contexts. The theme of the crucifixion intertwines its religious roots with the BDSM’s culture; the portraits reference a series of medical- scientific photographs of the early twentieth century and illustrate the positions to be held during a radiography scan; the outcome of a sexually transmitted disease’s test is partially covered by the map of a sex club, redrawn by memory. A 1961 interview with a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital patient is reproduced in an audio installation, and is placed next to an engraving on metal plate.
Assumed as a laceration but also as suspension, certainty, judgment—and sometimes closely connected to pleasure—pain remains an indispensable element for the organism’s, species’, and nature’s defense. The experience of illness and pain, lived or dreaded, becomes a moment of one’s self and other’s understanding.
At Baleno, Rome
until 15 February 2020