Curated by Pietro Gaglianò
Carmon Colangelo – L’unità ritrovata
“yo claramente la veía desde todos los puntos del universo.
Vi el populoso mar, vi el alba y la tarde,
vi las muchedumbres de América,
vi una plateada telaraña en el centro de una
negra pirámide, vi un laberinto roto”
Jorge Lusi Borges, El Aleph
In one of Borges’ most famous stories, the protagonist discovers under a common stairwell a small iridescent sphere, whose radiance is nearly intolerable: The Aleph, is a portal that contains overlapping and distinct views of the universe from every possible vantage point. Borges’ literary invention contains an element of alchemy that is reminiscent of the theosophical traditions of the past. The story raises the curtain on a cultural condition that began to manifest itself problematically in the nineteen fifties ((the story was first published in 1949), during a time in which the technologies of visual reproduction and telecommunication were emerging.
The last century saw an inexorable ablation of consolidated coordinates of space and time; the uniqueness of the perceptive experience that is linked to our sensory tradition went completely up in smoke. The age of the mechanical reproduction of the work of art, with the loss of its aura which Walter Benjamin – with much foresight – wrote about in the 1930s, introduced to a rhizomatic and polycentric conception of the human condition which only fully came to fruition in this millennium. Humanity, after centuries of anthropocentrism, lost its way again with the spread of widespread connectivity and immediate communication (almost literally we could say, and in the words of Rosalind Krauss – without a significant medium as a tool to process data) of images, sounds, and in the end even the same active presence. All this becomes visible, or perhaps perceived, thanks to artists that have given life to it, synthesizing in different forms this perceptual simultaneity.
The works of Carmon Colangelo interpret in a very original way the perceptive fibrillation of the self in juxtaposition to the flow of information and the elaboration of images that distill the world into small and sizable elements that contain images that are quickly discernible but at the same time incredibly vast, and amplified through the layering of ideas imbued with an immense cultural patrimony. Every single work by Colangelo proceeds by way of oppositions and juxtapositions that under a more considered observation reveal a powerful continuing narrative that is anything but banal. It is with a contemporary sensibility that Colangelo practices a form of inedited archiving. “Because the world is round” presents itself as an alternative map for interpreting the world and the elements that come into play gain new significance. The prints represent maps whose images have a dual function of signifying both their literal meaning and as a legend that helps to interpret them. In this sense Colangelo’s research distinguishes itself from the autobiographic works of Gerard Richter or the collective narratives of Christian Boltanski and Thomas Hirshhorn. Moreover, the graphic manipulation, in both the distortion and the layering of images and marks declares a cartographic willfulness to build rather than simply replicate and represent the dissolution of the global narrative, as is the case in the recent work of Camille Henerot.
The most direct and illustrious references – to be read in a context that is constantly evolving – are the lost atlases of Aby Warburg (the most important art historian whose influence on contemporary criticism has yet to be written) built maps of a "constant memory" able to restore the complexity of the world. In a similar way, but coming from a different perspective, from one end of the contemporary visual universe to another, the works of Colangelo confront themselves (both those that are assembled combinations as well as those that deal with addition) and show amazing lines and new paths.The works of Carmon Colangelo also possess the power of a procedural choice summarizing the digital languages applying the techniques of “traditional” engraving and monotype. All this contributes to a unit re-found in the formulation of a new centrality possible for the point of view of man in the modern world.
January 9 – January 13, 2015
mon-fry 10:00 am – 9:00 pm – free entrance
SRISA Gallery of Contemporary Art – Santa Reparata International School of Art
Via San Gallo 53r, 50129 Firenze