The Fondazione Merz presents the exhibition In viaggio sotto lo stesso cielo – Traveling under the same sky, from a project specifically created for the Fondazione by artist Luisa Rabbia and curated by Beatrice Merz.
The exhibition evolves around three central works, consisting of a video and two installations, with traveling as the main theme, through an intimate, imaginary and surreal journey.
Luisa Rabbia combines her own world of loneliness, fear, anxiety and personal memories with images taken from other people’s lives. The result is a sort of diary, a narrative that develops through a net of drawings: endless roots, fragments of the artist’s work and clips from her previous videos that are all like blood vessels of a life journey.
This project is a journey in the mid of life, where one day somehow follows the other, between sunrise and sunset; perhaps it’s part of a greater journey that starts with birth and ends with death. It’s the combination of different moments of life, with no particular chronological order, just like we tend to remember the past: they create a story where the viewers themselves can experience their own journey. (Luisa Rabbia)
The video Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008 was conceived during the artist’s residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Luisa Rabbia was inspired by the photographs collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), during her journey through China in 1883, to create an entrancing animated trail: a scenario of images from ancient China on which she composes her personal diary made of drawings, video footage from her previous works and works from the museum collection.
The result is a fantasy-like narrative suspended between the artist’s contemporary personal imagery and historical China, between past and present, where the two women’s lives merge. The images unfold incessantly from right to left accompanied by the music score composed by Fa Ventilato, a New York based Swiss musician, in a rhythm that combines with the two worlds, connecting and then disconnecting them, blending them into a rare composition of visceral sounds that belong to the past, and then to the present again, far and yet inevitably close.
For Luisa Rabbia drawing means writing with images and lines; it is the real-time recording of the evolution of an idea. In the installation The following day, no one died, placed on one of the large walls of the Fondazione, the porcelain marks interact with her father’s ECG as if extending the past into the present, to let that distant moment in time live on.
Finally, among the main works is Under the same sky, based on the encounter between the different cultures emerging nowadays in Turin: Italian, Moroccan, and Rumanian. It is a photographic work that blends the images of these three different countries to create an imaginary landscape on which the artist draws, according to her interpretation of the word “immigration” and to her personal experience as “immigrant” in the USA. All photographs are downloaded from the Web, which has actually become the ultimate source of information for all travelers.
From February 25 to April 2010, the exhibition will be hosted by the Centro Cultural MOCA in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in collaboration with the Institute of Culture of the Italian Embassy in Buenos Aires.