Not at First Glance
International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana
Not at first glance
The exhibition is made up of impressive settings inspired by nature and the worlds linked to it. Reality and fiction are intertwined so as to give space to the reinterpretation of the places in our imagination. Thus, the real landscapes and the landscapes beyond either seek linkages between past and present or simply mislead us into an illusion that they exist.
The journey created through the Aria buia therefore stems from a connection with the real world, describing abstract and green layers while at the same time concealing tragic events of the people of the past in the darkest corners of the world. Archaic attraction to nature directs my interest to a metaphorical journey that transcends from a tangible reality to an imaginative level thus creating a non-existent landscape on the verge of reality: Boutade.
The new image comes to life in the work series Night Volumes through the synthesis of shapes and dark tones of colors merging into an essential abstraction of Gauzy green, where reflections and translucency interlink with light and almost simulate an image imprinted upon the retina of the eye.
Looking at Silvia Mariotti’s works of art is like listening to Brad Mehldau’s compositions; full of lightness and sensuality of which they are pervaded, they can overwhelm even an inattentive observer who begins to wander in them and becomes an unaware explorer of the forests of symbols. Green leaves are like the notes that bind the images into a melody. The passage between reviving reality and the creation of fictitious images, which the artist carries out in her own research, continually slips through scenographic installations or photomontages, dreamlike dioramas and three-dimensional shadows. Each time we are faced with an altered dimension of reality or with reality itself which the latter proves to us how alterable, deceptive and magical it can be. In the rustle of the leaves the flow of water sneaks in, the slow movement of a hammock sways the cry of a nocturnal bird and the peremptory light of a neon indicates the way to read some works. Silvia’s photographs are voluptuous in presenting a nature that takes possession of the places of the drama with the dizzying eroticism that makes you want to look at them. Yet among the works that I prefer, in addition to the Aria buia series (and while loving the artist’s entire opus), are the ones featuring the sky as a theme: the slipped one, collapsed as after an evening of revelry by 10 Parsec and delicate skies made of sandpaper, of its rough elegance inserted into their frame through a lateral slit, which lets us imagine it as something sliding and therefore changing, which can slip away, like memories, like years, like life.
And yet it is so unyielding and eloquent. These small objects are so dear to me perhaps because of the fact they openly show a bond with the art of the past and their homage to the artist’s practice of manual work in the studio. Or perhaps because the sky is what, in Silvia’s photographs, is less seen but rather perceived, a discreet presence at night, a pagan light of twilight.