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Currently on view at the Musivum Gallery in Moscow, Russia is a collection of works by seven young artists who are exploring – some might say exploding – the traditional concepts of mosaic.
The Gallery’s website explains the intent of “Ti Desidero: I Long For You”:
With this exhibition, Musivum Gallery is pleased to introduce seven young artists whose work brings together materiality and concept, tradition and contemporary methodology. Some of the works presented in this exhibition have been created during a period of residency in Russia, while others have been composed abroad, but together they represent an attentive selection of young artists whose work privileges the use of mosaic, reinterpreted in the hands of a new generation.
The show was curated by Ravenna-based art commentator/blogger and MAN contributor Luca Maggio whom we interviewed for this article. Enjoy – Nancie
MAN: You have named this exhibit “Ti Desidero – I Long for You.” Why?
LM: In this case, the English translation “I want you” (“Ti desidero” in Italian) is better translated as “I long for you” because it more accurately describes the sense of need, the expectation and the hope that are in the word “desire.” “Desire” comes from the Latin word “desiderium” which means “no stars” (“de-sidera”). Julius Caesar used the term “desiderantes” to describe his fellow soldiers who waited for battle in a night without stars. The soldiers were not afraid of the dark; they waited confidently because they knew that soon they would walk together with the other legionnaires.
This is the great desire for the Other, as the great Jacques Lacan said, because each of us needs the Other to complete themselves. To believe that each of us is self-sufficient is madness.
Today, the mosaic is able to express even the most intimate aspects of desire. The spectators (and collectors) want the objects mosaic artists make – they feel the art as part of themselves. Thus is created a circle, as it always has been with art, and now the mosaic is an important part of the contemporary art world.
How were the artists selected? What excites you about them individually?
CaCO3, Roberta Grasso, Samantha Holmes, Vadzim Kamisarau, Silvia Naddeo, Matylda Tracewska e Aleksey Zhuchkov: these seven young artists are all different in both their approach to the mosaic and their nationalities. (Italy, Poland, Russia, Belarus and USA). They are some of the best young players in the world of mosaics, though I’m sure I could find another seven and seven and seven … seven is a magic number and the world of mosaic is a fertile land and full of future.
For the selection and construction of this exhibition I want to thank the Musivum Gallery of Moscow and the great staff of the Ismail Akhmetov Foundation. Without them, there would be no exhibition. Without them, one of the most active and attentive lights for the promotion and development of contemporary mosaic in the world would be extinguished.
The best thing about this group of artists is their diversity – from abstraction to figuration – they are non-traditional and always full of new ideas and concepts that the mosaic can express.
The mosaic is not the limited sister of the other arts. The mosaic can do everything.
How do they, as a group, represent the “new generation” of mosaic artists? What boundaries are they breaking? What basic tenets of traditional mosaic-making are they exploring or . . . . exploding?
These artists are not a unit of group or school: as I said before, they are different both in the country of origin and the ways in which they deal with the mosaic. That they should meet within this exhibition in Moscow is one of life’s possibilities: it can sometimes happen. Many of them use traditional tessera and chose a traditional appearance while others have developed new materials for the mosaic.
In any case, the result is always ideal, in the sense that a picture is not presented as finite in itself (it is not like Impressionism) but, for example, blocks the ephemeral time of a television built of stone (the paradoxes of Vadzim Kamisarau )
or reaches the grotesque sense (like Fellini or Monty Python) magnifying food in the third dimension (Silvia Naddeo)
or searches for the “absolute” (and therefore the impossible) both in color (the homage to Russian painter Malevich by Matylda Tracewska)
and in form (CaCO3)
or study a different and parallel operation of another author (the deconstructions of Giorgio Morandi’s still lifes by Aleksey Zhuchkov) to reach a theoretical, Cartesian space,
or become an installation of a dream (or nightmare?) made of silicone, enamels and fabric (the “soft mosaic” by Roberta Grasso).
Finally, there are also mystical themes: the possibility or impossibility of believing or not believing in a deity, a spiritual dimension in today’s world, a question and a desire without definitive answer as the “disappeared mosaic” by Samantha Holmes asks each of us.
In all these works you can find the use of the five senses, but especially the “sixth sense” or intuition, because, I repeat, today the mosaic can do everything.
“Ti Desidero” runs now through December 2, 2012 at the Musivum Gallery in Moscow, Russia
- Musivum Gallery http://musivum-gallery.com/ti-desidero-i-long-for-you/
- Luca Maggio’s Blog http://lucamaggio.wordpress.com/