Time. Space. Thoughts. The first condition of existence passes through these three concepts. Traveling with body and mind between distant words and near places, in search of a fluid and changing truth. Enriching the eyes, emptying the mind, losing oneself slowly. Living with presence a multitude of unchanging sensations and emotions, which are necessary to give a new reason to reality.
Antonello Scotti (b. 1961) is a master of this concept. A master sophist who leads the viewer toward the transience of existence to discover human wandering, that continues one’s path toward subjectivity and duplicitous reasoning. The artist’s works are an attempt to map out a little road where one can give oneself time to think, extricating oneself from the contemporary tragedy in which time consumes human imagination. The title of the exhibition in Grecanic language I Kammara tu kerù ti pai leggia leggia, which in Italian means “the room where time goes slowly”, comes from this line of thought. Existence is a room filled with objects, experiences, words, all accumulated with the passage of an inwardly time marked by questions and experienced in wonderment for the future. Scotti’s art relies heavily on the discovery of what surrounds the human in both its tangibility and its imagination. It is a search – turned into art – for a personal stance, directed to stand in at world of opposites, contradictions, fluidity. Everything is constantly changing, the impermanence of things imposes slow reflection on what one knows or attempts to know in order to have something to tell in a shoddy reality.
Antonello Scotti returns after many years of his career to Naples with a solo exhibition at NAMi gallery, in curatorial dialogue with Maria D’Ambrosio, constructing an exhibition that marks his own time as a guide for others. A twenty years long story of artworks – produced from 2002 to 2022 – identifies some places of the heart as personal rooms of reflection. Through the use of photography, pencil on paper and glass etching, an artistic journey is outlined in which the chromatic harmony of the works on display underscores the absence of absoluteness of thought: at times one has the sensation of being enveloped in a uniform gray that, contrary to its meaning of obsolescent color, emphasizes with awe the mutability of existence.
Time and space are immortalized in Scotti’s photographs by showing and linking those distant territories, belonging to the same artist, which outlined his philosophical-artistic thinking. The horizon line of the photographed landscapes multiplies and invites the viewer’s reflective eye to go beyond what is finite. Some of these photographs are flanked by circular glass plates on which the place names of certain countries are engraved, constituting a kind of poetic cartography. Through the use of pencils of varying softness, the master Antonello gives life to two works on paper in which the white, fibrous surface is ideally “transformed” into another material, on which the artist drew the words truth and err in their Greek transcription. This work represents the perfect marriage of thought and its concreteness: the two Greek words are phonetically similar, but they have completely different meanings, just as subjective thought and its representation are different. The diptych Questo Paesaggio further evokes reflections on human thought: the two words engraved on the glass are the first and the last of a book borrowed by the artist used to make the viewer imagine all that there may be in the midst of an imaginative landscape, a landscape in which time flows precisely slowly and allows one to discover one’s own reality.
With this exhibition Antonello Scotti wants to communicate how beautiful it is to wander through life, to lose oneself inside and out and then find oneself again, to scan a necessary time for one’s self and to admire the mutability of life.
Antonello Scotti. I Kammara tu kerù ti pai leggia leggia
N A M I gallery art&design
Via Carlo Poerio 9, Napoli
19/12/2022 – 09/02/2023
Art Curator, graduated in Visual Arts and Cultural Mediation, born in 1995, lives and works in Naples. With constant research on emerging art, he also reviews exhibitions from his Instagram profile and collaborates with several young artists to write critical texts.