Paolo Radi | Alzando lo sguardo
curated by Lorenzo Respi
October 2nd - November 30th 2013
Wednesday, October 2 at 18:30 annamarracontemporanea inaugurates Alzando lo sguardo, the solo-show of Paolo Radi curated by Lorenzo Respi, that includes a large number of work on paper and some of the most recent works in perspex and PVC, materials that are familiar to the Roman artist.
Aniconic surfaces prevail in Radi’s most recent works, treated with opaque siliconsed rubber and translucent polymers, concealing with them primary undercurrent forms which are almost imperceptible. However, in the papers created for this exhibition Radi’s aniconic language has undergone an evolution in the opposite direction, iconic: between the layers in silicone and the sheets of paper there appear images, photographs and writings, quite visible and identifiable. Faithful to his “humanistic” use of perspective, Radi charges the succession of planes on the surface with historical meaning and civic value: each layer testimony of an event, the next bit in a story, the memory of which will only survive because of this extra-temporal layering that suggests to us a critical rereading of the event. This passage has occurred naturally, spontaneously, thanks to a simple daily act. While walking along the alleys of the former Jewish ghetto in Rome and looking around to gather ideas about the area, Radi chanced to glance up, toward the roofs of the houses that framed bits of deep sky. This action of glancing up, took on an explosive power for him: aside from allowing him to observe this part of the city from a new perspective and from an unusual point of view, the act of glancing up became an involuntary metaphor for the his awakening awareness of a painful past and his determination to measure himself with this memory. In Radi’s eyes the buildings, the streets and the writings are all real witnesses of a tragedy in the past, but still alive in the memories of many people. Instinctively he snapped some pictures as he looked up, images of a personal experience deduced from the past but introjected into the present. This becomes the material, both physical and figurative, for the works in this series of unpublished works on paper. Radi is in search of historical photographs, texts and sources about the persecution of the Jews, of the religious symbols and of mute evidence of the folly caused by anti-Semitism, and with them diligently interweaving, by overlapping and veiling, a personal narration of a tragic chapter in the history of the 20th century.
Radi takes a significant step forward along his artistic path: he comes out of his “skin”, goes beyond the superficiality of matter and breaks through that external membrane which had always imprisoned and partially hidden from our view his forms, preventing them from being fully perceived. Radi crosses the boundary between subject and object, infusing critical and expressive consciousness into his paper’s physical state, attualising and representing memory geometrically.