Elisa Bertaglia and Anna Turina
Curated by Chiara Serri and Arianna Beretta
Date: April 10th, 2015/June 14th, 2015
Opening: April 10th, 2015 @6PM
Nest as birth, as place. As origin. As space. Elisa Bertaglia and Anna Turina are the protagonists selected for this beginning itinerary. Two works of art antithetical, but related in content. Bertaglia and Turina weave together, they compare and give both a sense to a double-solo exhibition with a curious dialogue.
“I met Anna Turina in the Summer 2013 during an art show called La Voce del Corpo in Osnago. Hired there for the artists selection, I have the opportunity to know her work through numerous applications and I’m impressed, being interested in her artist research and her ability to work iron, determinately but gently. I begin to want to know more about her. So, in September of the same year, we started our collaboration. I present the Mode On project for Immagina in Reggio Emilia, and I support her with the installation Home Sweet Home. It is a collection of roccoli, small birdcages which attract birds during the hunting period. And, as they actually do, they want to capture the spectator’s attention and, subsequently interact with the collective thinking. Our collaboration continues. During the Fuorisalone 2014 I plan an event in which art and fashion join. Into the German fashion designer Tom Rebl’s showroom, Turina’s art work and Francesco De Molfetta’s sculptures are side by side. Is it a loony match? Maybe. In October 2015, I’m the curator of Tutt’intorno an exhibition in the picturesque space Quadreria Bovaria Reina in Malgrate, where Turina displays with Eracle Dartizio, Chiara Paderi and Nicolò Quirico. And now, in a nice brianzola location, Anna Turina is together with Elisa Bertaglia. I meet Bertaglia during the art fair Set Up 2014, thanks to Chiara Serri (see the following article). I’m in front of some small paintings from the collection Milky Way and I feel immediately interested in it. I’m curious to know who is the artist behind this narration. I have the chance to talk to Bertaglia and I discover an even more intense expression of the metamorphosis she paints. It takes a few months before we start working together. It’s November 2014 and I have the opportunity to take part in The Others (Turin, 2014). I decide that Bertaglia has take part of my projects. I exhibit Bertaglia’s installation entitled Bluebirds, the first collection, which develops around the macro-theme of nature. The artist’s perspective steps over the simple way of looking at the natural environment, for its essence of landscape, of bucolic and idyllic Earth, and its dramatic and atrocious elements. The focus is on unexpected peculiarities, deep and intrinsic. The team Elisa Bertaglia, Francesca Manetta, Monia Ben Hamouda and Ryan Contratista, stand out for their stylistic elegance and accurate organization. This project, Naturalized, takes place in the capital of contemporary art, Turin, in the female jail Ex Carcere Le Nuove. It is great success, as well as a good start. Just one year after our meeting, and in the same place, I present a project for Set Up 2015, Bologna, Nei luoghi dell’essere. A doppio senso. It’s January and the second collection of Bluebirds is showed close to the art works by Lucas Beaufort and Eracle Dartizio. Bertaglia in this spot of artistic and international liveliness wins the painting award Casa Falconieri of Bilbao. All can say is ‘Just, carry on like this’ ”.
For this exhibition, I try to merge Bertaglia’s paintings with Turina’s sculptures, and viceversa where, in a nutshell, the aim is bringing back to memory those moments of birth and origin. There, where everything begins: character, education. Nest.
“To a kid, time always drags. Suddenly you’re fifty. All that’s left of your childhood… fits in a rusty little box”. From Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
Anna Turina’s imaginary does not let us indifferent. Her work and sculptures, made with iron, bring us back to the golden age. The childhood that we miss and where we want to come back. Someone with the sweetness, someone with the melancholy of those who knows they have forever lost their innocence and happiness. We approach with dreamy eyes birdcages inhabited by tiny beds with bars or chairs from which are plants shoots, sure to get into a fantasy world. Gnomes and fairies that will show us the way to discovery and growth inhabit the same world. Small objects hovering over unstable equilibrium within geometric structures, solid iron. We feel to be in front of a safe home environment, where nothing happen. And we get excited by the vibration of our soul to the wonder that sculptures by Anna Turina arouse. But let’s move on. We look with our eyes – and hearts – at the profile of her creations. How happy were we when we were children? Was our childhood lacking in frustrations? Or rules imposed and really never accepted? Or might prohibitions have prevented our real evolution to our becoming adults? Anna Turina, working on the ambiguity of an apparent pacify vision, shows how our personal growth should (necessary? This is the big question) go through constraints, rules to follow, broken promise and broken dreams. So here is that the cages are opened, you “lacerate” to leave dreams and hopes flee away. That little house of our childhood is perhaps no longer that golden cage we remembered. The rocking horse become an insurmountable obstacle, that peak to be reached through hard work and commitment. And who knows if we will go there. You need to have the courage to read the work and the poetry of Anna Turina. The courage to look at yourselves, your own “primordial” history to recognize that growing up was a path. Full of obstacles put the same family environment that forced and bond us to daily necessities and to the contingent. Therefore, is there no hope? Yes, hope exists in our minds to mature adults and we are aware that, struggling every day, they just are we hopeless? Remind us of a quote by Georges Bernanos. “Our out of childhood, we must suffer very long to come back to it”.
Following the blue bird
In the famous play of the Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1911, The Blue Bird embodies the mysteries of nature and life. Source of numerous film adaptations, including The Blue Bird of Walter Lang (1940), starring from Shirley Temple, the féerie tells the initiatory journey of two brothers in search for the «secret of things and of happiness». Symbol of hope for Hesiod, imprisoned at the bottom of Pandora’s box after the leakage of all evils, as the story by Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy tell and to which it refers to Maeterlinck, L’Oiseau bleu becomes synonymous of metamorphosis and transformation. These themes are dear to the Venetian Elisa Bertaglia (Rovigo, 1983) that called Bluebirds one of her collections of works. This artistic production on paper A4 and A5 marks the beginning of the collaboration with Martina Corbetta, continues in a solo exhibition in Banca Sistema in Milan in collaboration with Arteam. As in that occasion Elisa Bertaglia shows some unpublished works, together with new works from collection of Drifwood (2015), the monumental triptych from which the eponymous cycle having established was born, a good cooperation with Anna Turina. Since her Academy, nature is the centre of Elisa Bertaglia’s work. Through the study of classical texts and memories of Polesine, it offers a reading dreamlike and visionary. They are small and large compositions of built from a personal repertoire consolidated over the time. Her work, in fact, is full of human figures, animals and fragments of landscape, and it is associated with a strong symbolic value. She depicts Children with concealed faces as an allusion to universal. Wolves, herons and snakes as a metaphor for protection, instinct and compulsion. Rocks and leaves are the last footholds of a fluid universe in which there isn’t any above and below, in which everything can have its double. The loss of the horizon line often falls over. If in the past the artist worked only on paper, focusing more on the mark than on the colour and creating works of small format included in compositions parietal, in the two series exhibited in Seregno you notice some interesting changes: on one hand she adopts the “pictorial” solution for landscapes of water and stars in shades of blue and green (Bluebirds), on the other hand she pays attention to the mise-en-scène (Driftwood), also in relation to the positioning of the figure on the sheet and technical innovations of the recent experiments on canvas. Proportions change as well as materials and the colour balances, what remains is the same plot of rare poetry that has always distinguished the Elisa Bertaglia’s work, echo of a fantasy world, a magical-religious dimension interwoven with archetypes, myths and legends.