De Labore Solis
An exhibition of Luca Francesconi
September 10th- October 8th, 2011
The work of young Italian artist Luca Francesconi is centred upon the search for the absolute, a sort of spiritual quest bringing art back to it’s most sacred intentions, whilst at the same time summoning our very immediate environment. Motivated by the idea of natural cycles and of the harmony between elements, Luca Francesconi’s installations seem to re-transcribe the grace of time, rebuilding an ideal space where the primitive can dialogue with the present and where intuition’s own pulse mimics the organic movement of the stars. This instinctive practice is deployed through the poetic usage of objects and forms that seem to have been eroded by time, constructing a primitive, spontaneous form of language which is kept at a distance from one’s intellect.
Luca Francesconi’s work oscillates between the tangible present and mental imagery, elementary reality and surges of fantasy. The materials that he uses are often sourced from the artist’s immediate environment, such as rocks and wood found in a riverbed. Sculpted by the flow of the water and by the force of the wind and the rain, these scattered elements, which are either reworked by the artist or presented in their found state, are as much presented as rudimentary materials, pure fragments of a palpable reality, as they act as clues to an ancient untraceable harmony. Through the use of formal and symbolic echoes, the artist presents an intimate and cultural mythological world where the past resurges, evoking a sense of melancholy whilst paying tribute to the present moment.The works allow us to virtually travel through the first steps of art, from cave painting, primitive rituals, Roman and Ancient eras, right up to cubist drawings, and to the sculptures of Brancusi and Gonzalés. The organic is often harmoniously presented in tandem with the functional. Their spatial proximity, which is meticulously considered by the artist, generates a rhythm, establishing a balance between the forces, seemingly to bring these dispersed elements together into the same cycle. The uncluttered aspect of the installations, comprised of a limited number of elements, makes each object seem precious. The small and the modest claim a rapport with the immaterial and the infinite. “Installing the work in its space is a greater act than it’s material creation. The work needs space in order to exists and in turn that space will define the nature of the work” explains the artist.
The primordial role of this spatial organisation is to allow the works to be considered through ‘emptiness’ and the ‘fullness’ that the artist installs between each element of the installation, taking into consideration the effects of light and shadow, verticality and horizontality as well as perspective and proximity. Luca Francesconi’s works invite the spectator to analyse the very exhibition space.
For his first exhibition, “De Labore Solis”, at Galerie chez Valentin, Luca Francesconi has decided to present an installation of sculptures and other objects based around the theme of the sun’s movement. Imagined as both a natural element and a metaphysical symbol, the sun refers to the spectrum between all that is infinitely big and infinitely small. As the centre of our universe, an immobile force field, the solar star gives humans their measure of time. The artist pays particular attention to the presence of light invoking the concept of the alternating day and night. “Night and day do not exist in the universe”, the artist explains. He makes us “accept the truth according to which we interiorise the world via a lexicon of global perceptions concerning voids and rhythmic pauses between one thing and another. Depth is nothing but superimposed perspectives, intervals, the return of materials establishing a rhythm, bending space and determining time.” Thus, day and night become imaginary constructions; the first measuring instruments created by man to explain natural phenomena and to allow us to locate ourselves with in the infinite. In fact, for the artist, all is simply a game of light and shadow in which the nature’s veritable principle resides. The exhibition therefore becomes the location and moment of a “circumstantial night”, “just like a pause in a never-ending musical flux”. The objects that the artist presents are linked by a force, which is both familiar and remote. Favourite objects, relics of time, they together compose a rhythm which connects the tangible world to it’s totality.
Clara Guislain (translated by Eliza George)