Vincenzo Castella

07 Mar - 18 Apr 2009

© Vincenzo Castella
SAO PAULO 1988. 2008
C-print en diasec
20 x 25 cm
"The plots are homeless"

March 7 - April 18, 2009

Fúcares Gallery is proud to present the third individual exhibition in Madrid by the artist Vincenzo Castella (Naples, 1952).

Vincenzo Castella seems destined to measure himself against his obsession for absorbing pieces of the world. For years he has manically refined and cared for his reality machine, to the point of making us believe that it can work by itself. It is like a great mechanical eye that moves only with difficulty, ready to take over – almost automatically, as though there were no precise aim behind the tripod apart from putting it in position – any part of the world. Castella’s urban portraits are large without being overblown or huge and unwieldy. They are two-dimensional coffers, kaleidoscopic tiles that absorb a large part of space-time. To absorb reality, of course, means to absorb space.
And the depth and the abyss of details inhabiting the great urban portraits by Castella are a vortex. We enter them, picking our way between volumes, corners, dark patches, in order to discover shadows that have just been cast, ripples, ray of light, and tracks. All in order to capture the whole immense fleeting moment of the life of a landscape, fixed just once by the great eye. Just that once: that one.
But to absorb reality also means to absorb time. A double time. That, above all, which we pass as we enter the image, scrutinizing it and moving ourselves with strange and morbid care amongst his two-dimensional corrugations. The individual time of individual lives that gaze on the great urban portraits without realizing the irony of their being mirrored themselves; they do not think of the myriad traces of individual life that the image has retained like blotting paper and that seem to act as a countermelody to their gaze.
It is as though the image were a membrane through which the person who looks is, in turn, looked back at: from these windows, these beaches, these pavements. We are details looked at by details.
But there is another time within Castella’s images. To absorb time through looking does not in fact stop us from dreaming that in these great urban portraits something else is also happening, even when they are not being looked at. We are not stopped from dreaming that these large sheets of blotting paper change. When they are alone, once we have left the galleries, apartments, museums, and his studio.
Within their frames something begins to move when someone leaves the door ajar, or moves a car, or turns out the light.
It is as though the Castella’s great machine had managed to free itself of its neurotic team and had abandoned itself to its obsessions about total representations and to bring to light, not a perfect portrait of the world, but a real, dirty, complicated, incomprehensible, living world. A small great world what lives without us.
Back into which we might return to move and meet whoever already inhabits it. Who is none other than its restless author: mad for pieces of the world.

Stefano Boeri

Whit the collaboration of “Instituto Italiano di Cultura”

Tags: Vincenzo Castella