Disturbance: the new installation by Daniela Coman...

Disturbance: the new installation by Daniela Comani at Fondazione La Rocca

Disturbance is the project curated by Francesca Guerisoli, inaugurating her artistic direction at Fondazione La Rocca (Pescara). Daniela Comani, for her first solo exhibition in Abruzzo, created the site-specific work in the first room, which titles the entire exhibition.

Daniela Comani, Perturbazione, 2023. Ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist and Fondazione La Rocca

The two large spaces that made it are highlighted by two opposing main colors, black and white, accentuating the transition between one and the other, without, however, breaking the text-image connection. In fact, we find it clear from the outset that this pairing is the cornerstone of Comani‘s aesthetic, which is evident in the essential and strong display of the works, and that of the exhibition project, in which she brings out the concept of a profound crisis.

Daniela Comani, The Beginning The End / L’inizio La fine, 2014-2020, installation view. Ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist and Fondazione La Rocca

Entering the path, probably the side that most catches our eye is the floor, on which we walk shortly after the entrance. Disturbance consists of a black carpet that the visitor steps on, and a sequence of twelve texts, which we also find in the artist’s book of the same name, included in the installation. The dark layer we see on the floor is actually a screenshot, taken while loading an image of a 3D topographical map, and enlarged ad hoc to fit the 130 square meters of the room. Looking at the grid’s guiding lines, we do not understand where they take us; the route that the segments and white hatches form is actually the result of a random arrangement, leading the eye to estrangement.

Daniela Comani, Perturbazione, 2023 (dettaglio). Ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist and Fondazione La Rocca

The disturbance continues as soon as we approach the weather forecast, in the form of framed prints arranged side by side, which the artist has extrapolated from actual weather bulletins. The catastrophic image gradually emerges, in a chromatic crescendo of the background, ranging from white (serene) to complete black (darkening), which prevents us from reading the text itself. Comani appropriates these short descriptive periods, and makes them into scenarios describing a tension to decay, and submits them to the audience, exploiting individual perceptions to lead us through a tunnel in which we precipitate from full light to total darkness.

Daniela Comani, Le novità editoriali a cura di Daniela Comani, 2007-in corso, installation view. Ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist and Fondazione La Rocca

In reverse, we move from shadow to light when we enter the second room of the exhibition, a white cube in which the initial combination is confirmed as the absolute protagonist. In the left aisle towers The Beginning The End (2014-2020), a wall installation including a diptych and a three-part print, facing each other. The collection of quotations taken from 212 novels, one from the beginning and one from the end respectively, is then realized in the final work. While in the print they are all reported as individual figurines, the diptych is the symmetrical summation of their fusion, a tale in which the two opposites meet halfway, in a dystopian collision. Appropriation, in this case, consists not only in the mixing of the artist’s archived phrases, but also in the occasional change of the gender or name of the characters, transforming them into the first person feminine.

Daniela Comani, Fine, 2007-2008, installation view. Ph Paolo Dell’Elce, courtesy the artist and Fondazione La Rocca

In Novità editoriali a cura di Daniela Comani (2007-ongoing) the artist also applies this manipulation to the titles of the classic novels she owns, and they become a series that in Orlando’s Library takes on the appearance of a real personal library in the wall niche, from which to choose our next reading. As we try to understand the ironic shift generated by this pattern, turning to the right we clearly read the word END. This is the last page of the novel La coscienza di Zeno (Italo Svevo, 1923), enlarged and framed, in which the author launches an apocalyptic prediction. Fine (2007-2008) encapsulates the last act of a journey that makes us question with some bitterness about fate, the individual and its socio-environmental impact, in the ubiquitous groove of one of the greatest expressions of the Western world: language.

Cecilia Buccioni


Daniela Comani. Perturbazione
curated by Francesca Guerisoli
19/11/2023 – 10/02/2024
Fondazione La Rocca – Via Paolucci 71, Pescara


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