Curated and Text by C. Costanzo
GIUSEPPE VENIERO PROJECT
sound design: JUANCHI FRANCO
As part of the show “DINTORNI | Luoghi circostanti per l’arte 2019 – ISOLA ISOLE” the curatorial group “Attraverso” is pleased to present the exhibition project “Intermezzi”, ideated by Nélida Mendoza and hosted by the Giuseppe Veniero Project.
Thanks to the contribution of a large and heterogeneous group of artists and curators, the show, with specific attention given to the territory and centred on the theme of islands, intends to offer an original and polyphonic analysis of contemporary society.
The proposal by Nélida Mendoza – a Paraguayan artist active in Italy for many years – is not only in harmony with the manifestation’s general theme but also offers the occasion for getting to know better her most recent output which is devoted to multiple variations of the landscape.
Born in Asunción with political exiles as parents, Nélida Mendoza studied and lived in Buenos Aires before moving to Italy. After twelve years in Carrara, where she devoted herself to the study of marble, she moved to Sicily where she began to examine the (personal/universal) condition of migration and of her own origins with regard to the territory.
The troubling experience of exile sparked off her urgent need to find her own landscape. The repeated and continual shift from one place to another is an unsettling journey that has coincided with her life itself .
The island – Sicily – has thus become a halfway house imposed on the artist’s life as a place in which to develop new narrative researches and speculations. This is the case of the show “Intermezzi” that presents a series of lightboxes resulting from the superimposition of various drawings accompanied by a sound track. Dictated by biological reasons, as well as others, the transversal themes of uprootedness and nomadism, central to Nélida Mendoza’s art, spark off thoughts full of meaning and extremely up-to-date.
The wish, connected to migration, to overcome territorial and geographical boundaries refers back to another crucial aspect of the artist’s aesthetic analysis: memory. Nélida Mendoza’s work is open to the study of the narrative structure inherent in landscape, in the sense of family memory, hereditary endowment, and the journey in itself becomes the composition and narration of a space, as physical as it is symbolic, that has been regained.
In her aesthetic research, journeys, which also imply the crossing of a frontier, are nourished by private and collective, intimate and shared places, and tend towards the arrival at an identity-making landscape that is always a narrative pretext.
This tale, entrusted to the drawing and the calligraphy of the lightboxes, is participated in with great efficacy by sound, something that amplifies the evocative capacity of the landscape itself. The soundtrack, the outcome of a recent stay in Latin America, gives us a complex sound landscape, one familiar to the artist. At times menacing, the sound becomes completely at one with the spatial situation of “Intermezzi” and imposes itself as the expression of the implicit short-circuit between the natural landscape and a social-political landscape.
The landscape, extrapolated and isolated, inquired into and listened to, recorded and communicated, is recreated by the artist as a tool for reflection and, finally, the occasion for an agreement between the public dimension and the private universe.