This exhibition, a fertile dialogue among the sculptures, paintings and drawings of four artists: Benjamin Degen (USA), Paula Cortazar (Mexico) and Michele Mathison and Alexandra Karakashian (South Africa), is to stimulate reflections and personal visions on what it means today to cross and explore different geographical and cultural territories.
The fil rouge of the exhibition are the paintings and works on paper of Benjamin Degen: an itinerary of geographic trespassing, of migration, with the artist exploring how bodies move in a landscape in which the tension, fatigue and uncertainty of a safe haven are expressed in a way which is almost hallucinogenic, teetering between degeneration and redemption. The feet, hands and bodies transmit the swirling strength of the physical and psychic energy in movement: they walk on the land, in the water, then rise to climb over walls and barriers. A universe in which Degen investigates and experiments with the fluidity of the body and the lines and colours as they strive to escape from the compressed space of the canvas. His painting is as vibrant as the complexities of reality itself: his palette is composed of colours that are apparently “anti-realistic”, the strokes are broken, sharp, the lines seem series of dashes, at times labyrinthine. The composition becomes a fluid space, a meta-cosmos in which overlapping elements, human and natural, reflect each other generating undefined geographies of the image. As regards his works on paper, these are presented as chapters, each an precise inscribed word that become titles for each stop over along an erratic journey.
The other artists, on the subject of ‘the journey’, the route, define and recall multiple horizons, that underline what we have lost and what we have been able to preserve, opening to a reflection on the several possibilities of making the world in which we live, from which we come and to which we are going, intelligible as well as our “being in the world”.
In all these works, the artists’ sentient body becomes a conscious body, embracing the earth over which it travels, one becomes the matrix and nurturer of the other along a route full of memories, disorientation, a sense of inner instability, risk and utopian tension as we move toward a possible sustainable future bringing us together and reconnecting us to it and ourselves.
So an exhibition which is a social, cultural and existential journey, to be understood as a crossroads where the present of the passages and materials mix with the past of our memories and the uncertainty of our near future. A journey that generates losses and regrets but also visions and expectations.
So a cartography of conscience as well as a cartography of places.
Inner Landscapes curated by Marina Dacci
14th November – 21th December 2019
GALLERIA ANNA MARRA
via sant’angelo in pescheria, 32
00186 Rome, Italy
Photography by Simon d’Exéa