il manifesto March 13th 2009

The installations of Carola Spadoni

Sites of resistance between America and India

For an artist that is mostly a filmmaker and whom is used to watch, select and capture the images that flow before the camera, to produce pieces made of textiles, embroderies, printed paper and small fragments from her childhood memory, it is not so obvious. Althought Carola Spadoni made it, in fact she made it a point, tiptoeing her way through a new path to make an eccentric “post-production”.

To touch the immaterial has become a real necessity over the years. The installations that compose the exhibition ‘The Sudden Outpost’ at the Galleria Cesare Manzo (in vicolo del Governo Vecchio in Roma, the solo show is on view until March 20th) represent a prismatic world, a kind of patchwork of various experiences: from the proustian madeleine of the seventies (a slogan about Moro made of letters of embroideried pieces of textiles sawn on a granma’s like blanket, like the sweet old couch’s plaid covers) to the intermittence of the heart about the on the road, trips shot on super 8 that through a strange fil rouge end up interweaving – in the rooms that host the exhibit – a dry Arizona with the mandalas about India and its colors (the first mandala, was shown at the Mart museum of Rovereto, for Eurasia).

If we cannot narrate reality as a whole block, as if in a mockumentary, also with a strong plot, Carola Spadoni chooses then an unorganic process layed on a wrapping paper landscape with spiked cactus and flashes of life. Its the emotion within that wraps the whole: “the fragments used are also evidences of the unease I feel living here now. The outpost of the title becomes a place to observe from, and also a shelter to escape and hold on to…”. The banners act as a magnet of buried memories, as if going through a mental attic (with the peculiarity of the mind of an eccentric traveller of the imaginary), they are like ex-voto of various cultures which the artists spreads in the gallery, referring one time to american lullabies, another to common sayings (will pick up iron, will clean basements) sawn and embroidered with the colors of the italian flag and a final touch of uzbekian jewelry. In each one found objects gain a new life, affective pieces that escaped the oblivion of time and fast consumerism.

The lightboxes, of a fogged chromatism, capture frames from the film shootings in Arizona made in 1993, an unedited flow of lights and open land, until – as an interruption to the desolation of rocks and sand – the natives appear, seized in a ritual dance and lost in an ancestral network with their predecessors. The anti-western by Spadoni is also in this film shootings that keep the States apart in history, making them swallowed by the silence of the far deep suburbs. The ready made of various nature exhibited in the gallery – photos, embroideries on textiles, videos – become grids of a possibile fairy tale without borders within the spirals of the mandalas. Silk, cotton, tulle, and antique paper assemble parts of “souvenirs” from the traveling in Rajasthan, while elsewhere, in a photo shot in Arizona, the fluffy writing made by the artist floats: Stay Gold, keep your innocence.

Arianna Di Genova