The exhibition programme The Story Behind, curated by Direlia Lazo at NoguerasBlanchard, arrives at its fourth step with Francesco Arena’s solo show Pilastro. Focused on the presentation of works where fictional and real stories arise through images and forms, The Story Behind is the occasion to delve into the narratives of art, the mechanisms of storytelling, the interpretations of memory.
Francesco Arena’s research combines the artist’s personal approach to history with the search for an almost scientific precision: the measurement of distances, weights and heights, often involving the artist’s own body, allows him to express formally the multiple contradictions of history, his own relationship to the past, his re-processing of memory.
On the choice of historical references Arena said “When I choose a fact that informs the work, I’m not doing it to try to discover truth, but to grasp a truth that, starting from the fact in question, becomes a tool for looking at everything else.”
The work on show in Barcelona, Pilastro (Pillar) (2013), consists of a vertical element that connects the floor with the ceiling, like a sort of unfinished pillar that appears as a sort of self-portrait of the artist in space: the clay column is built around a metal prop of the kind used to reinforce ceilings as high as the artist can reach on tiptoe. Positive of left head impression, Roosevelt (2012) presents a small print representing an image of Roosevelt in between a metal imprint of his left shoe. The same process has already been used to do installation / portraits of Churchill, Stalin and Eisenhower. The new performance In my beginning is my end (2013) is presented on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition: the title is a phrase taken from the series of poems ‘Four Quartets’ by TS Eliot.
5 September – 4 October 2013