At CAMeC in La Spezia, works by duo Antonello Ghezzi lead from Earth to Hyperuranium

From Oct. 7, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024, works by the artistic duo Antonello Ghezzi arrive at the CAMeC in La Spezia, taking visitors from Earth to Hyperuranium.

From Oct. 7, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024, the zero floor of the CAMeC Modern and Contemporary Art Center of La Spezia will host the exhibition Terra Cielo Iperuranio by the artistic duo Antonello Ghezzi, curated by Eleonora Acerbi, with critical esto by Cesare Biasini Selvaggi.

Fifteen works will be exhibited through which it is intended to acquaint the public with the work of the duo, composed of Nadia Antonello (Cittadella, 1985) and Paolo Ghezzi (Bologna, 1980), focused on lightness and magic. Conceived by the artists themselves, the exhibition itinerary divides the works on three levels - Earth, Sky and Hyperuranium - according to an itinerary that is not necessarily chronological, but thematic, intended to accompany the visitor on a journey of discovery, to enhance thinking and train the imagination.

The first room corresponds to Earth, the place of relationships, where Antonello Ghezzi’s first major projects find their place. One will be able to break down walls with soap bubbles, through the work Blow against the walls. One will be able to question the oracle with T’Oracolo, a project born in 2010 that has seen its form continually change, yet keeping unchanged the mechanism whereby “I T’Oracolo and you will be the oracle for someone else.” A simple work, made up of slips of paper and only questions, it is nevertheless charged with universal tensions that drive humans to understand one another. Also on display will be the installation Attesa dell’amore (Waiting for Love), a large mirror that decorated the waiting room of the Pistoia train station in the late 19th century and that, passing through the duo’s workshop thanks to the interest of the Vannucci Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Pistoia, has seen the inscription that gives the work its title engraved and illuminated: an invitation to mirror oneself and read oneself in the waiting for love, the keystone of the first room. Allowing the passage to the second level was one of the most important works for the beginnings of Antonello Ghezzi’s career: The Door that Opens with a Smile. Located almost in the center of the room, but placed at the gateways to Heaven and Hyperuranium, the installation allows anyone to pass sideways; crossing it, however, leads to another dimension, and a smile is the only key to access it.

The second room, dedicated to Heaven, attempts to lift the feet off the Earth, still only slightly. A few hanging flags, reproducing the Milky Way, frame a small imaginary office, where people can sign their Milky Way Citizenship. It is a political work meant to remind the visitor how the vastness of the universe can be an opportunity for humankind to look at the stars and figure out who one really wants to be. The work Tying the Earth to the Sky features a photographic print on a back-etched mirror, in which we glimpse a performance that took place in 2021 amid fields and hills immersed in darkness. Clouds are for Antonello Ghezzi a metaphor that speaks of lightness, hope and an imaginative elsewhere. An entire wall displays the clouds that the artists made by exploring different media, from paper to mirror to marble. Reinforcing this concept is the Ladder to Fetch the Clouds, made of wood at least in its most earthy part, but soon morphing into blue ink to a cloud of the same color. Bridging the third room is a large installation placed in front of the entrance door in the center of the room: Alla Luna is a treadmill that at the beginning of its journey had the figure 384,400 km on its display, which is the distance between man and the Moon.

The third room is dedicated to the Hyperuranium. Already from a distance, in the other rooms, a large starry sky could be seen. The work, titled 27 06 1980 20:59, comes from the Ustica Memorial Museum and reproduces an exact map of what the stars looked like on the day of the tragedy. A large traffic light that emits blue light hangs high in the room. Straight out of a Gianni Rodari fairy tale, the traffic light gives the Green Light to fly. Dominating the space is an all-blue reredos above which sits a desk and its chair. This is the installation Al di sopra del rumore di fondo and is a place from a fairy tale invented by the artists for Villa Rospigliosi in Prato, where artist pirates once lived. The last work is an installation made from a NASA photograph, exhibited at CAMeC thanks to the availability of Fabio Gori and Virginia Fabrizi, which is intended to offer a possible key to the interpretation of the entire exhibition. A rather dark sunset landscape, in which it is nevertheless possible to make out a bright dot. The title, Self-Portrait, reveals the intent and meaning of the image: the Earth seen from Mars, that is, humans seen only from a little further away.

In the bathroom on the zero floor there is a trace of Toilet Project, a project that inaugurated the collaboration between Nadia Antonello and Paolo Ghezzi.

The long corridor is occupied by the work Stringere lo spazio di me e te: ceramic sculptures are hung and each form was created thanks to two people shaking hands around a piece of clay. Visitors can take part in this performance by bringing to life a precious stone that will reveal the invisible.

On the inter-floor leading to the Museum’s terraces is a strange writing desk. It consists of a mirror with the inscription Scrivimi and a top on which rests everything needed to write and send love letters: paper, envelope, pen and stamp.

Finally, on the museum terrace is the duo’s latest installation, The Judge’s Chair, which is meant to recall the typical elevated seat used by the tennis referee, except that there are two seats instead of one.

“At the culmination of this exhibition, an operation already in itself created by two artists and not just one,” Nadia Antonello and Paolo Ghezzi explain, “the work perhaps invites us to return with our minds to our journey, considering again the other from us, where the human relationship accompanied us and took us by the hand to fly higher and higher, never alone, always with someone or something returning our gaze.”

The exhibition is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Image: Antonello Ghezzi, Via libera per volare (2020; installation, 135 x 90 x 50 cm). Photo by Antonello Ghezzi

At CAMeC in La Spezia, works by duo Antonello Ghezzi lead from Earth to Hyperuranium
At CAMeC in La Spezia, works by duo Antonello Ghezzi lead from Earth to Hyperuranium

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