How many times in Italy have we heard of a neglected cultural heritage left to the neglect of time despite its inestimable identity, historical and artistic value? The deconsecrated church of San Carlo and San Donnino, in the heart of the historic center of Cremona, is further evidence of a history of abandonment and decay, but also of rebirth. After being owned by the parish of Sant’Ilario, the seventeenth-century church passed into the hands of the Moreni Foundation, only to end up on sale on the eBay platform. Purchased by a private individual and restored within the constraints imposed by the Superintendency, last September 15 it reopened its doors to visitors to host the new SAN CARLO project, created to promote contemporary art in the Cremona area. Glitches, a solo show dedicated to the French artist Servane Mary (Dijon, 1972) and created in collaboration with APALAZZOGALLERY (Brescia), thus inaugurates the new exhibition season specifically designed for a place that is a symbol of the memory of the city and its community.
The contamination between past and present is real and not trivial; the three monumental paintings, each placed at the three internal perimeter ends of the church, blend with the surrounding space and, for a few seconds, their surfaces seem not to be distinguished from the walls visibly marked by the passing of the centuries. If the plaster is irregular and damaged by humidity, the perforated sheets have a pictorial randomness that refers to the same unevenness of the space that welcomes them. The name of the exhibition and the works, Glitches 1, Glitches 2 & Glitches 3, refers to the defects and formal errors that the artist wanted to voluntarily impress on the laminar support. Their façade, therefore, is no longer flat and free of imperfections, but alive and worn, creating a clear parallelism with the evocative atmosphere of the place and merging with it. At the same time, the use of pegboard, an industrial material very widespread in the USA, and of bright colors, such as the silver background or the pop drips that recall a certain gesture typical of American Expressionism, detach themselves from the historical events of the church to approach to a more contemporary artistic language.
The repeated grid perforations of the panels cause an optical distortion typical of abstractionism, while the subtractive synthesis color model (CMYK, English acronym for the terms cyan, magenta, yellow and black) recalls the usual printing processes. Servane Mary thus succeeds in conceiving an unpublished corpus of three works (5 meters x 5 meters) that fit perfectly into the space of the church of San Carlo, while remaining faithful to her style. In fact, the artist has always used different media, mixing multiple artistic techniques to investigate social and political issues, such as mass culture or gender issues. On the other hand, her research line is not so far from the aims of the exhibition project, that she makes use of artists already established on the national and international scene to imprint an active dialogue with the local community, promoting comparison and exchange of visions. The aim of bringing the widest possible audience closer to contemporary art now unites many institutions, not only in Italy, and succeeding in this task is difficult, but SAN CARLO could prove to be up to the challenge.
Servane Mary. Glitches
Progetto SAN CARLO
15 settembre 2021 – 19 dicembre 2021
Chiesa San Carlo e San Donnino, Via Stefano Leonida Bissolati, 33, Cremona
Solo su appuntamento: firstname.lastname@example.org
Installation view, Servane Mary at San Carlo, Glitches 1 & Glitches 2, 2021, spray paint, acrylic and silkscreen ink on laminated pegboard panel, 192 x 192 in. (487.6 x 487.6 cm), ph courtesy San Carlo Cremona
Servane Mary, Glitches 2, 2021, spray paint, acrylic and silkscreen ink on laminated pegboard panel, 192 x 192 in. (487.6 x 487.6 cm). Photo credit: Daniel Terna, ph courtesy San Carlo Cremona
Contemporary art historian and critic. Graduated in art history at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, during her specialization she works for the Pistoletto Foundation, where she works alongside the artist Nico Angiuli in the production and artistic direction of The Human Tools, winner of the Italian prize Council. She concludes her studies at IULM with an experimental thesis in collaboration with the Vincenzo Agnetti archive. Currently active in the research field, she carries out her project within the archive and writes for various art magazines.