Sophie Ko “Sporgersi nella notte” at Renata Fabbri arte contemporanea, Milan
Renata Fabbri is glad to present Sporgersi nella notte (Leaning into the night), Sophie Ko’s second solo show at the gallery.
The title of the project invites to look towards the unknown, to take a step into the dark, to let go on our supposed certainties and question ideas and images that sound as much familiar as they are remote from our everyday experience. In this exhibition Sophie Ko explores concepts of “sacred”, “saint” and “earth”. Through her works, the artist intends to re-appropriate and tune into the meaning connected to those notions that might now appear as anachronistic. This is leaning into the night. Dispelling fear, protecting and healing others, these are actions that are conventionally associated to the figure of the saint. As much as it might appear out of date, the idea of sacred maintains a universal connotation, and so does the sense of belonging to one same mother earth, which somehow still characterizes a majority of cultures across the planet. We can shed light onto what we acknowledge as one of our most precious gifts, we can weave together a net of images bringing forward such shared relation, one that could hold together those symbols defining us across diverse cultural paradigms.
Sophie Ko has produced the first chapter of this project at the Open Box where she presented San Martino: a work made of earth and pure pigment, suspended between painting and installation. A layer of earth on Earth, open to create a path. Martino di Tours’ famous gesture of cutting his mantle to share half of it with a beggar, conciliates a rupture with a unifying action, a salvific act which resonates across the centuries to reach us today. For the exhibition at the gallery the artist presents a new body of sculptures and installation pieces. By re-positioning a range of existing objects and performing minimal interventions, each work gives shape to the allegorical apparatus defining the identity and the actions of different saints. A mirror is obscured with a thin coat of golden pigment, denying its usual reflecting function. Set next to the lightness and ephemerality of small floral compositions, dark and heavy sheets of lead are moulded so to suggest the sinuosity of a drapery.
Along with these artworks, the artist presents a new monumental and metamorphic polyptych titled Terra e cielo, which expands on her famous Geografie temporali. In this series, image and physical pressure enter in relation with gravity, which constitutes not only a disintegrating force, but also a formative principle. The composition is mutating, the pigment gradually falls, time marks its passage. However, the temporality of each Geografia temporale, is not merely linked to processes of destruction and exhaustion: the meaning of the image is not consumed, neither is our need to return to it and question it. Like Federico Ferrari has written, “when everything in our time has become calculable, determinable, dependent on human will, the artwork restores the appearance of the unknown”. In the present day the unknown coincides with our very own earth, it corresponds to everything that leans and stretches beyond mere function.
until 28 April 2018