Sguardo sul tempo - Chiara Seghezzi
Marta weaves as signs of a very personal code.
Endowed with a special sensitivity typical of every artist, Marta works on precariousness; her artworks are delicate and they can break, be ruined, but that’s part of the game. The message that the artist wants to convey through her creations refers to the precariousness and fragility of our historical present and our society.
The artworks often have two faces: the intervention of Marta is on both sides and this is an interesting aspect of her production. A constant is in fact the duplicity; there are two sides of the gauze on which she works, and then two points of view, two combinations of the elements that generate two different solutions. Two stories, two tracks.
The last theme she is facing is time, the dimension in which the passage of events is conceived and measured. It is a concept of time which refers to the theories of St. Agostino; that is, time is understood as an extension of the soul, due to a perception of the person who, although living in the present, is aware of the past thanks to the memory and of the future in virtue of waiting.
It comes to mind the Bergsonian concept of “original time”, that our conscience knows by intuition, and which is composed of moments that are qualitatively different from all the others. Time as a flowing stream, such as being and becoming, as past and present.
The artworks are conceived as fragments, situations, moments pulled from the flow and translated into sign language, an alphabet that communicates on a different level than the sphere of consciousness. It’s about traces, signs that contain in their essence the interior story of the artist, almost an automatic writing, a code in which the flow of emotions and thoughts take form by themselves in an almost meditative state, with which Marta realizes her artworks and which she translates in the action of sewing.
A repetitive action, that requires attention and accuracy and at the same time gracefulness. The sewing is an operation that requires slowness, therefore, time passes and is recorded by the artist’s work. It refers to the woman’s activity par excellence.
The value of the boundary is another aspect of the reflection of the artist. Boundary is a concept that crosses all existence, from Philosophy to everyday life. The boundary contains a duality, a distinction between what is inside and something that oversteps it; it can have positive or negative valence in a double sense. Within the boundary there is the well-known, you have the security. Crossing it means to break the rules and to challenge the “unknown” which by definition arouses fear as not known and not measurable. But at the same time the boundary is a constraint within a limited sphere that undermines the freedom of action and thought.
Marta, in fact, reflects this semantic duality. The boundary for the artist becomes something that can be overcome, which stimulates action, therefore, interpreted in its positive value to go beyond. On a technical level this aspect can be perceived also in the frames that do not block the artworks, which, loaded with meaning, become a support of the artwork without forcing it into a limited space. That is why sometimes very light gauze hangs only on the upper side of the artwork and it is held by wires on the remaining sides.
The frame, often in iron, becomes the instrument through which the artwork supports itself, giving it the appearance of floating in space. The study of the supports is an integral part of Marta‘s work. They can be simple stems of very thin iron, held to the ground by a heavy base that keeps them in position, which in turn, like a chain, sustains the gauze. Once again we can analyze the duality of the art piece; the frame as boundless but also as a support, and at the same time, the reflection of the contrast between the iron, strong, durable, rigid and heavy and the lightness, fragility and precariousness of the gauze that makes up the artwork.
Observing the surface of the artworks at compositional level, we see a greater density of interventions in the lower part of the surface, the wires weave and intersect at some points with greater intensity, as to give the idea of heaviness, complexity and chaos. If we gradually proceed upward, the tracks melt and almost disappear, thus giving greater breath to the white gauze working as a support. This is not a Vacuum-Absence; complexity vanishes and everything resolves in a higher order of calm and peace. This is the translation in art of that kind of dimension that, if we were in a religious context, we would define spiritual.
Despite an apparent difference between the two parties, the work expresses a profound equilibrium and is compositionally balanced. Often the two spheres, the “lowest” more visceral and heavy and the “highest” more ethereal and light, are brought into contact by extensions which go up from the bottom, almost floating upward, defying gravity and passing the boundary. According to an image-based reading, these may be interpreted as some kind of intuitions, moments (we refer to the idea of time and its fragments) in which there is a link to the stream of life that puts everything in connection and from which we can draw on a subconscious level.
“Maps of Time” is an emblematic work concerning many of the concepts discussed so far. It is an iron structure, therefore solid and strong, circular, which acts as a support for the light and delicate gauze, on which the artist intervenes weaving signs through a texture of wires. “Sign calls sign”, so Marta tells her writing on the canvas, and this gives rise to her stories.
Duality is translated with even more firmness, while intervening on both sides of this disc of gauze; both sides, as two stories, as two points of view, as two combinations of events that arise from the same elements. Duality is the constant in the work of Marta. The artwork is completed by a gauze, which is connected to the disk through the wires by means of which these stories have been drawn, almost as if it was the starting point from which originate thin umbilical cords, able to assemble according to many possibilities on both sides of the disc. An origin, a source from which creation begins.
Looking at the surface of the artwork you perceive fragments of torn gauze, almost lacerated; they want to represent those wounds never healed; the artist works on them with the thread but does not close them completely and the wire is so delicate that it seems to break every breath of wind. We may rely, also in this case, on a double reading; wounds but perhaps even evasions, possibility of leaving a gap, leaving a vanishing point, exceeding the limit of the surface.
While realizing Maps of time Marta weaves the threads of the meetings, as a reflection on those occasions able to create possible futures in the life of each of us, a reflection on the meetings and the links that are established between individuals and which constitute the private and, by extension, collective essence. It reflects on society at large and on the influences that the meetings – clashes of people, cultures and religions have in society within which we are inserted, and that we help to create and modify.
It seizes in this artwork a further overall vision: the gauze from which the threads originate is thin, ethereal, emblematic of the spiritual dimension; the part of the disc, made heavy by the supporting iron, sustains it but also condemns it to more gravity and could be therefore interpreted as a metaphor for earthly dimension.
In the sculptures, long iron structures, almost stems, idols, held to the ground by stone boulders, we find the same poetic. Note the Hope series, consisting of 6 sculptures characterized by solid bases that keep the work erected, which allow the vertical position, while ascending upward, which is opposed to the real sculpture, elegant, thin, almost frail, apart from the physical properties of the material chosen. The upward thrust, understood in the Gothic yearning for the divine, culminate in a game of shapes that seems to translate into the third dimension what is achieved on the canvas by means of wires.
In the upper part, almost as if it was the head of these archaic idols, the structure becomes more complicated, iron signs and forms multiply and branch off, still remaining connected and linked by thin wires which are alloyed in a net by the artist. So she puts them in contact by means of thin ties. Marta speaks to us of connections that, although invisible, allow distant people to become close. She tells us a physical, cultural, social and religious distance, but distance here doesn’t mean emptiness, the distance is rather nullified by the thin wires allowing for the connection between individuals and society.
The complexity of these works is not only given by the dialogue between the various composing parts, but also by the relationship between a sculpture and the other one, a multiplication of connections that gives life to an army of idols, transmitting the metaphysical atmosphere that recalls the disquieting “Le Muse” of De Chirico.
The reflection on time is the theme of the opera “Suspended Time “, of 2013. The artist imagines a ground and its cracks created by desiccation. Desiccation is the testimony of passing time, allowing for the perception itself of the time. The artist imagines these cracks as translating into signs, signs that slowly lift up and acquire an existence on their own.
Such signs are translated into the language of the artist as signs of iron, an alphabet almost entirely personal. Signs wave and suspend in the air, giving life to the installation. The work is composed by a suspended iron structure, upon which is pointed the light that projects the forms on the gauze to the ground. Marta intervenes, sewing the shadow created on the white gauze.
The result is a visual rendering of those two-dimensional cracks from which the idea originates: they are relocated to the ground, even though in another nature, transformed into tracks and signs similar to synapses. We have here an example of how the artworks of Marta can be observed and also how they interact with the surrounding environment, so that the environment itself becomes an important aspect in the art installations. This work also lends itself to another reading: not only a trace of cracks but almost a map of the sky where the constellations are marked, similar in fact to the star charts. So, in depth, a further duplicity, from earth to heaven.
The artistic work of Marta Vezzoli is characterized by the use of feminine action, such as sewing, that requires a long time of realization, becoming moments of meditation, reflection and catharsis.
All this translates into works of signs, made up of tracks and textures whose intensity varies, depending on the emotions and the stories. If the codes are known they communicate a multiplicity of levels to the observer. Dualism is a constant in her work: the concepts of life and death, perhaps arising from her art therapist activity in contexts such as prisons and nursing homes; the earthly and the metaphysical; the near and the far; the fragile and the strong.
Marta’s artworks, in their elegance, fragility and precariousness, also transmit strength and resistance; it is a reflection of our times where, with fallen ideals and collapsed economic certainties, we are at the mercy of fear and difficulty; but the message has a positive value: this crisis and this fragility involving all of us is not limiting and should not hinder; it’s this fragility that will give us the strength to react and restructure a powerful energy, leading to new progress and development, recreating a positive condition after the crisis which swept away a collapsed and imploded system.
Le concezioni della materia - Christian Iorio
The meaning of Marta Vezzoli’s material “Oltre il limite della conoscenza la ricerca” (Beyond the limit of knowledge the research) takes its shapes wriggling from the actual convention.
Testing is the only imperative that guides the art of doing within the various folding of space and time. Sometimes in these no-places, the artist connects opening up a sort of breathe, and, sometimes she reinvents new categories, opening up her wish. There is a research of meaning where the artist rediscovers her need of gesture.
With this practice that triggers a fusion of mechanisms between creative vision and intuition, poetry takes its place like an independent organism, like a sort of motivation for information. Shapes means a possibility of color and material, like an opening of possible influences. At the research of materiality, Marta Vezzoli’s transfers into her artistic creativity, a sculptural reminiscence, a strong preparation, a pulsating intermittence that leaves the corporeal idea of a transformation.
Within her oeuvres there is a mix technique of precise notes connected between with parallelisms that appear to be empathic, telling a story of private and obscure places, between a plastic play of visible objects and our sense. Perspective visions materialized into geometries, unveiled contours that express a sense of indecision, attempts of overcoming the conventional dimension, translations of human precariousness: colors and materials together. Marta Vezzoli’s language tells about a worried and metabolized past, tries to be born again with a new creation, goes back to the chromatic skills like the modern school tells, re-building the picturesque progress of “impulsive explosions” said Renato Barilli.
This new and more mature painting is more aware of and, at the same time, condemned to instability and confusion. An interior motion, human frames, historical distances, attempts to belong to somewhere, these are the basic feeling of Marta’s oeuvres. Complex traces of jute that become scenery of a living representation, iron and stone figures that interface each other up to falling into each other, metallic elevations and reflecting shadows. There is a strong idea of communication that continues into Marta’s oeuvres, a sort of sign that tries to explain the mechanical dynamics of human relations, a human story that becomes an open book. Our open and indefinite gaze at Marta’s oeuvres.
Il tempo dei Legàmi in Marta Vezzoli - Eleonora Ferrari
In the past few days I reflected about the word “connections”, what are they? What do they mean? Then I have started to search for…. A connection is something that connects, links more things together or more people together. “it is something with which is possible to connect or put together. Undoing and getting free from connections. The connection can be a friendship, a family and blood relationship. A close and intimate connection. Connection between two or more facts, connection of ideas, connection of words. In chemistry, a connection is a set of forces between two atoms or group of atoms, allowing the associated reunion not to be weak or anyhow lasting for some time in order to speed up the existence…..”
Marta’s oeuvres deal with the thematic of connections that interweave, fade away and, at the same time, are indissoluble, allowing a deep research of the various splits of human kind. She reflects about those connections which are at the base of our nature and, sometimes, we would like to destroy and break, but, we cannot, as the artist says “to let go away”, because somehow they allow us to be what we are and are part of us. Marta is constantly at the research of herself and of the other, a constant transformation. There is a strong layer of her oeuvres, visible signs and tangible steps of emotion, feeling in contrast, of a complete path but is not finished yet which is a step-by-step growing and changing. There is not a certain road that goes through, but through gesture, now impulsive, now quiet and through rich and alternative spaces, there is a need, not pre-built, to reach out harmony, which goes beyond what is visible and brings us towards the deepest part of us. At the end the result is never the definite arrival but a stop-over and nearly an idea of arrival/break which becomes the true discovery.
* Enciclopedia Treccani Online
Convivium di riflessioni sul senso dell'esistenza - Federico Buelli
Following the free path of contemporary art, Marta Vezzoli’s oeuvres undertake an opposite movement of signs in compare to recent electronic means.
She takes the opposite meaning of physical values and, in her paintings and sculptures, expresses the manual-artisan taste.
The manual steps are the technical reflex of her signing skills. Through the use of the iron rod, the sculptural research represents the image which is dematerialized, abandoned and reduced to the minimum, de-built, and emptied to its original function.
The physical and mental architecture is out of shape in the space regaining geometric styles, slashes, signs and volumes which are reduced to a minimum towards the essence of the shape itself. The iron rods act as what is left of the object, its soul and though, and their snaky and simple geometry allows the light to reflect both shapes and dimensions, creating emptiness and fullness, essences of life and projections of shadows.
At the same time, this simple essence of iron lines, subtle, unsubstantial, without a mechanism, can be found in her paintings and sewed traces. From the monochromatic sculpture where the reflex in the space of the iron rods makes a color, to the picturesque geometry of the pure, materialistic, doughy color like the use of the iron elements and still the lighter use of cotton threads applied in support or sewed onto the canvas and in the surrounded space.
The painted and sewed action relives the same slashes, the same geometric drawings of sculptures, and shares with itself the personal poetry of the artist. Two technical languages that walk together onto precise paths in order to represent the post-modern reflection about the meaning of life, work and human transformation, like a sharing reflection of the meaning of life.
Legàmi in-dissolti di Marta Vezzoli - Francesca Porreca
Marta Vezzoli. Legami in-dissolti (“Not-Fading Connections) Pavia, Spazio per le Arti contemporanee del Broletto 25 February – 11 March 2012 Opening with performance and video-installations realized by Terremototeatro and Antitesi Sonore. The personal exhibition of Marta Vezzoli dedicated to the sequences of oeuvres named “Not-Fading Connections” main oeuvres of last November in an exposition in Galerie de l’Europe in Paris.
As main purpose, the recent oeuvres of the artist, focused on connections as experiments and contaminations of different techniques – the sculpture, as main creative origin of the artist, and painting, portrayed by abstract signs sowed together well and truly – as poetic research about relations between the individual and everything that surrounded its universal message. The texture appears and disappears within these oeuvres connected together the threads within a careful research of color and sensation generated by the interchange of fullness and emptiness, transparences and reflected shadows; the Ariadne’s thread seems to extend between installations, paintings and sculptures and allows to get closer to the labyrinth of art, without losing itself, encouraging to get deeper into the story line that unties under the spectator’s eyes.
The synthetic sign that characters Marta Vezzoli’s sculptures finds itself in the primary and essential shapes that appear in the painting, emphasized by the color as main poetic strength.
The “fluid” sensation, suspended within dream and reality which are then amplified by “poor” materials but rich of history, at the same time, throughout the artist who speaks about herself. The parts, sowed together, are found both in installations and picturesque oeuvres, and participate to throw together once again shapes and colors outside the surface.
This has shown an original attention to the traditional practice both of the feminine universe and the perseverance of connecting together the subtle signs. By the careful selection of materials – jute, iron, cork and different cloths-, these complex oeuvres express a communicative ability, a careful meaning and a research which is, at the same time, urgent and patient, as the same connections which are always important in everyday life
Francesca Porreca, historical responsible in Musei Civici in Pavia
il senso della mia ricerca artistica, fra Arte e Arteterapia - Marta Vezzoli
Art as Intimate Reflections on the Meaning of Existence
My artistic career has developed throughout the years, starting from the study and the interpretation of ancient and modern architectures, with particular attention to abandoned factories, of which I have appreciated structures, lines and gear – comparable to huge sculptures – which gradually regained the strength and determination of nature. Fascinated by this relationship between structure and nature, I have tried to analyze and interpret how these entities are bound, creating works with soft stones and iron, which have allowed me to create primary and synthetic forms that tend to the essence through signs, scratches and volumes.
It is almost as stripping and taking away what is not necessary, from full to empty, from surplus to essential, from surface to depth. The iron sculptures – dimensional designs that communicate with the space surrounding them through shadows and can be moved and take new forms thanks to the absence of a true point of support – become the metaphor of a reflection on the meaning of time and existence.
In the paintings and installations I’ve seen the poetry of industrial archaeology and, especially in recent works, the most intimate reflections: spaces that can be sought, found and occupied. Encounters, relationships, Connections. Contrasting elements that necessarily seek and find match points: the elements of existence, with their contrasts and conflicts. Alternating solids and voids, transparency and shadows reflected.
That is why my artistic research has developed more and more the theme of Connections: Connections made of thoughts, experiences, encounters. The basis of my research is the idea of confrontation / encounter between what was and what it is, the transformation of time that goes on with its relentless pace of changes.
My work as an art therapist – particularly in the field of delinquency and mental deficiency – has become increasingly significant in such a research, embracing the threads of the canvas and of the iron in order to become an integral part of the artworks.
As an art therapist I deal with difficulties and I work in situations in which you can clearly and pragmatically understand the true meaning of limits: the limit of space, time and freedom in prison, cognitive and physical limits with the elderly and mental and thought limits with psychiatric and mental deficiencies.
Then, what is this limit? What are its origins? Which meaning can this limit have from time to time? And so what are the projections for the future?
Connections with life, Connections with the past and with the parts of the past that still live in the present.
Connections with a present that is affected by uncertainty and fragility.
Connections with a future that is partly unknown and partly certain.
Time with its many times.
Here I am, reflecting upon time and the value of time through my works. The past time, the present and the future.
The wait (and urgency) of life and the (patien) wait of death.
Quick and urgent actions are woven with slower and patient actions: sewing.
Sewing as a chance to recover an everyday, old, concrete gesture: to hold together, to fix, to create.
Actions that mark the slow pace of reflections. Reflections that follow the rhythm of sewing.
In my study of art there is always an attention to the “different” and the various nuances of the society. The encounter with the Other, with different cultures, different lives, different possibilities.
Contamination of languages.
Le forme delle cose nel recente ciclo pittorico di Marta Vezzoli - Mauro Corradini
It was Merleau-Ponty to remind us the coordination of the science of painting, that specific science “that is not expressed in words” as visible and comprehensive only through “oeuvres that truly express natural things”; it is a painting of pictorial and silent science that exchanges on the canvas the shapes of things “not hidden”, as Rainer Maria Rile wrote about Rodin a century ago Painting is not only that and it is hard to express it in words: it is a short cycle (these are the last pages of a book, still to be written: Marta is a young artist who has lots of time to write it and maybe she could deny some parts), the young artist who did not start straight away to paint abstract shapes. We can ask ourselves the contradictive relation between word and sign, meeting and conflict, graphic and linguistic discovery where the second one tends to reveal and explain, while the first one to reveal the true shapes of things using a methodology far away from being a verbal language.
Maybe there is just a painted grape, similar to a real grape? There is still somebody who is able to deny that Caravaggio’s grapes were not really grapes, like the ones that we pick up in September in our vineyards?
Marta Vezzoli, with her soft and certain signs, sedimentations and traces, has given a rhythmic performance leaving behind the geometric rigor. She searches for a dream (“the dawn”) with her shapes like the limited and impossible moment between a dreamt life and eternity, so similar to her. “Connections”, “afterlife”, “in-finite breathe” are some of the titles of this journey that describe the invisible struggle and seek for a dream, an emotion and a fear. However, she does not want to talk about them. Instead, she tries to translate them into signs, colors, materials, gatherings of lines and spontaneous performances; she does not want to write out the universe of a dream with soft colors closer to her soul.
The surfaces appear like fragments of a wall and, at the same time, escape from the collapse of the entire wall; only a particular remains to gather the different elements, linear with rounded, soft with hard, the defined clarity with the opening to the infinite, which is the imperfection and the aspiration, the limited place and the destination, the possible landing place and the need of fear that frightens..
Marta’s surface is this gathering of contrast elements, as only painting in itself is able to harmonize; starting from colors that have a private flavor like every trace appears to be; as from every trace emerges a sort of tension up to create an unity. The image tries to translate everything as order and measure; painting makes a disorder and a chaotic moving of thoughts which find on the surface of the canvas a rhythm that allows the internal shadow to appear. The reality of the reality can be abstract. Painting does not want to solve the world problems but tries to find a firm point from where it is possible to read sweet sensations and go through private feelings, while the author works on the canvas.
This operation is in compare to life and probably it is just in this way because it is like a spontaneous or at least pre-rational conversation between the author’s hand and the white paper, from where tiny traces emerge and nucleus of these “things” can reveal and be within us; everything that surround us and that we all know. These exploitations of sudden signs of happiness do not have a rational reason and, slowly, it is not necessary to be rational in order to understand the shapes of things around us. It is easy, every now and then, to overcome the precise borderline between dream and life – it is the author that whispers the words – so consistent and reliable, so nit and precise, easily reachable, just leaving the imagination taking possess of our gesture. And then everything goes back to order, sign, line, measure and colors as this is the nature of Marta’s things and the true meaning of life that she tries to affirm and show, tracing free lines on a white sheet.
I segni di - Marta Mauro Corradini
From the catalogue: “APOKALYPSIS BLU-ES” by Mauro Corradini Page 6
“….From more than different Marta’s signs: projection over the infinite, as a necessity….. Marta does not write a diary on the other hand, it comes from plastic oeuvres that she produced over her artistic career…. Marta searches the infinite breathe, with abstract shapes….Marta’s art has a double dimension of signs and colors on a direct and strong clue that comes from the sign and the movement of colors in order to build up an emotional sensation; as both reason and emotion, Apollonian and Dionysiac, two dimensions of our being in the world, try a difficult coexistence. With energy and wonder, with coherency of a limit constantly reminded and overcome, like art itself would try, on its own, the difficult oxymoron of complete in-finite, rigorous and rational contrast and coexist with imaginative and emotional. Difficult oeuvres…..”.