Francesco Arena. Tre sequenze per voce sola

march 13 - apr 24, 2019
via a. stradella 7-1-4
Galleria Raffaella Cortese is proud to present the second solo show by Francesco Arena.

As in 2015, the exhibition is articulated in the three gallery spaces, with the same ratio of one work for each room.
Consistent with the artist’s research interlacing historic memory, shared and private, Tre sequenze per voce sola
[Three arrangements for a solo], marks a new chapter in Arena’s poetics. The title, taking after the “sequenze”
by composer Luciano Berio, conceptually unfolds the partition of the show: three works by three stories, each
narrated by a single voice, where history, time and space are blurred.

In via Stradella 7, Angolo Scontento (Hommage à la mort de Sigmund Freud) [Discontent Corner] is a hollow
triangle suspended above the ground. The copper sculpture, matt on the outside and mirror polished on the
inside, encircles a seated person born in 1939, the year of Sigmund Freud’s death: he tells the story of his life.
The work embodies the temporal distance between a permanent act (Freud’s death) and the now. The idea of a
death commemoration is analyzed through its opposite: a life, the one of the performer, started at the decease of
the founder of psychoanalysis. The sculpture is destined to change in time: the performer will grow older year by
year as the distance to the year of Freud’s death, until it will not be inhabited anymore.

The second story is to be heard in via Stradella 4, from a magnet tape recording. This sculpture blends time and
distance. There is a formula to calculate the maximum distance between an horizon and the person gazing at it.
Linea finita (orizzonte) [Finite line (horizon)] is an acoustic sculpture. If, for example, the eye of a person is 170
cm above the ground, the maximum observable distance will be of 4.700 m. On the tape, whose length is the one
of this calculated distance, is recorded the observer’s personal history, which he himself has previously recorded.
The work becomes a portrait that can be eventually commissioned.

In the third act, protagonist is the silence on a truth too long concealed. On a plinth running through the center
of the space in via Stradella 1, rests Marmo con 3274 giorni [Marble with 3274 days], excavated to contain a pile
of pages from an agenda. The number of pages corresponds to the amount of days from October 23rd, 2009
and October 10th, 2018, the first being the day of the mediatic announcement of Stefano Cucchi’s death while
in preventive detention. The second marks the day of the testimony that incriminates four agents of the Italian
military force for the beating that led to the captive’s decease. For 3274 days this violence crime had been denied
by the corps as well as by a good portion of Italian politicians, even though evident on the victim’s body.

The works composing the exhibition are three non-fiction narratives. Cyclically, motifs undercurrent Arena’s
production come back and are investigated anew: the fascination towards the numeric domain, often determining
the formal aspect of the works, the reflection about the flowing of Time and the concept of monument as memory
and sign.