Sleepers |2014 – 2015

 

 

SLEEPERS, Studios and installations with plastic, plexiglas, collage, acrylics, egg tempera on canvas, different sizes, 2014/2015

Mnemosyne, the last project of Aby Warburg (1866-1929), is an unfinished attempt to map the pathways of art history through western “pathos”. I started to think about Aby Warburg’s work, I collected a lot of western representation of the “pathos”. I photocopy some of these figures in different dimension, and then I copied them on acetate and plexiglass. Most of all I used Ferrara’s court painters of 15th Century, Renaissance paintings and sculptures, but sometimes also contemporary representation of the same “photos”. Sleepers is divided in three sections: Sleepers I, Sleepers II (Hungers) and Sleepers III (Thinkers). This project started between Saigon (Vietnam) and Istanbul (Turkey). Sleepers I deals with the theme of the “human being sleeping”, particularly with the sleeping child, typical of the subjects of religious art in the early 15th century in Italy. This first group of sleepers represents, according to my experience, the years of work spent with the street children of Vietnam. An army apparently asleep but always on the alert that shows all its greatness and disproportion also in the canvas The Sleeper, where it appears a single soldier or sleeping giant. Sleepers II (Hungers) focuses on the female figure and its idea developed entirely in the first year in Turkey. The veil that covers the faces of the figures does not have necessarily a cultural meaning, but stays for the actual need of food. This veil blends with the face, and becomes face itself. As if these figures do not have mouths, Hungers becomes symbol of a hypothetical impossibility to eat and get to food. Sleepers III (thinkers) came from watching international newscasts that showed over and over the beheadings carried out by ISIS in 2014. The decadence of the contemporary man is represented through headless bodies of Western classical statuary. While the legs are still standing, the heads lie on the ground and form a single and almost shapeless, sticky pile.