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Arco | Galleria Civica G. Segantini
23 juny - 15 september 2013

Curated by Veronica Caciolli, Denis Isaia, Federico Mazzonelli
In collaboration with Mart Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto

Some of the most common relationships that we have with the territory originate from the modern separation between nature and culture: aesthetic enchantment (the discovery of the landscape, natural imagery), the secularisation of nature (scientific research), the government of space (measurement, maps, measuring techniques), simulation (technological research), cosmological interpretations (new spiritualism and the 'ecosophies').
The final outcome of this complex process is a sort of 'hyper-territory' or 'heightened-territory': an overlapping of which techniques, biology and stage sets that define the contours of our present.
The/Natural is an attempt to outline these contours through an exhibition itinerary drawing on historic documents and works from the collections of the MAG and the Mart with production by contemporary artists. Within this framework, the exhibition encompasses a range of different forms of imagery and expression. The historical vision that emerges from the attempt shifts away from the oppositional dialectics on which modern historiography has been constructed, and attempts to amalgamate the various kinds of research in an empirical fashion with the aim of conjugating their continuity and discontinuity.



Luca Bertolo, Et in Arcadia ego, 2007-2009

Like three suspension marks, the three plates from the Et in arcadia ego series join up the beginning and end of the show. These common plastic plates are used as palettes, and the artist leaves them to dry after use. Time after time, the layers of colour build up until spontaneously creating a landscape. The process and result thus cite from and deconstruct the great tradition of the ideal landscape. The natural landscape, from aesthetic vector of contemplation – at times tragic, at other times idyllic – becomes the space of linguistic interrogation: be it ironic, bitter, pleasant or unhearing. Within the perspective of the exhibition, the works of Luca Bertolo mark a further step towards the assumption of a new awareness with regard to the natural sphere.


Roberto De Pol, Water, rubbish bin, electrical cables, joints, gutters, metal sheet, wood, adhesive tape, plastic, electrical pumps, timer, rubber tubes, tubes, screws, 2010
Giuseppe Canella, Plenilunio, 1840

The works by Giuseppe Canella and Roberto De Pol are in a close dialogue. Plenilunio, an intense nocturnal landscape in the throes of Romanticism, is enveloped by a rain machine which ironically takes its title from the materials of which it is made up. The naturalistic dimension, not a secondary element to this early 19th-century view, and the artificial sense of the simulator, overlap in an ambiguous perceptive invocation, suspended between the physical element and the visual datum. The irreconcilable polarities of nature and artifice end up sharing the same experiential space, as if in search of a new and incomplete synthesis.


Lorenzo Casali e Micol Roubini, Atlante Silvestre, 2012
Umberto Moggioli, La valle dell'Adige, 1916

Umberto Moggioli and the duo Casali & Roubini share the same subject. In La valle dell'Adige, one of the best-known works by the Trentino painter, the mountain is depicted with a grandiose gaze. The notion of nature that Moggioli wishes to hand over to the spectator is complete, true and full; the intervention of man floats upon its surface as if it were a calm sea. Instead, there are various other considerations that pour forth from the video by Casali & Roubini. Although the mountain offers glimpses of natural contemplation worthy of the greatest heights of Romanticism, it comes across as a whole held together precariously. Human intervention no longer decorates nature within a harmonious perspective, but rather it seeps into its very biological cycles. Thus, the natural and the artificial come together to form a new synthesis in which its paradigmatic instability seems to be in search of a narrative capable of understanding it.



Giovanni Ozzola, Stellar fireworks, 2013
Peter Anich e Blasius Hueber, Atlas tyrolensis, 1774

In the central room, the well-known Atlas Tyrolensis dialogues with a recent work by Giovanni Ozzola. According to the Atlas Tyrolensis – one of the most important maps in modern cartography – territory is an object that may be represented through measurement. While the work of the two brilliant Tyrolese scholars distances the observer (man) and the observed (the territory) and ushers in the principle that it is possible to measure and control the environment, Stellar Fireworks – in search of a new relationship with that which lies around it – is an attempt to tune into a broader register. For Stellar Fireworks, the creation of an all-enveloping environment is the vector of a new form of cosmology in which distance, far from being a tool of analysis, forms the basis for empathic research.





Off-site project
Riva del Garda | Museo
Luca Coser, It's always another story, 2013

Off-site is a project developed alongside the exhibition entitled The/Natural with the aim of establishing a connection – both physical and of contents – between the two exhibition venues of the MAG (Galleria Civica G. Segantini di Arco, where the exhibition will be staged, and the Museo di Riva del Garda, in particular its Picture Gallery).

Due to the inclusion in the exhibition in Arco of a work housed at the Picture Gallery in Riva (Plenilunio by Giuseppe Canella), and hence its temporary absence from the wall of the Riva Picture Gallery, a contemporary artist was called upon to ‘reinvent’ this empty space. With a view to developing an unusual site-specific project, and given the need to link two contexts physically distant from one another (albeit functionally and culturally similar), the artist Luca Coser suggested using the space left empty by the 19th-century work to project a video, serving as a sort of ‘window’ suspended between the real space of the museum and the virtual space of the image reproduced there. It's always another story is the title of the video, and it is the outcome of an idea that is both simple and complex at the same time. In this case, the aim was to ‘re-examine’ the traces that had been deposited on the photographic imagery of Garda over the years, and thus symbolically ‘alter’ the path of history in a minimal, delicate and even poetic fashion. The artist does not seek to make a clean break, but makes do with minimal variations, concentrating in fact on old black & white views of the lake, often of its restricted horizons, on which he deploys minimal interference strategies, with disarming simplicity placing white where the black was and vice versa. In this sense, Coser seems to go about a ‘rewriting’ of history, just as poetical as it is radical, updating the figure of the artist in the sense of the demiurge: a physical and imaginary body in search of the impossible, unaware of what the end of the journey holds in store, intent on making his way across unexplored territories, not so much because they are unknown as because they may be constantly reinvented by his own hand and mind.