Gallery: Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Artist(s): Angel Vergara
Opening / Event Date: 18 Nov, 2023
Closing / End Date: 16 Mar, 2024
Novalis Art Design is pleased to present “da dove sto chiamando”, Italian artist Andrew Iacobucci’s first solo show in Asia supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong.
In these works, the exploration delves around the limits and struggles of language. When thoughts need to be translated into something to be communicated and understood, they have to shed some of their ambiguity and the most liminal aspects of meaning. We all share that moment when we feel utterly unable to express what we felt or a complex thought that sounded perfectly formed in our mind in clear sentences. That indecisiveness, that feeling of inadequacy, that clear feeling that words are futile devices or incomplete.
Language is a code: to be understood it has to be shareable, cleared from every kind of personal experience and limits in one’s communication skills. This inevitably leads to a loss, or at least a simplification, a process that we learn at school by gradually exploring language and its aspects, its rules, grammar and logic. It’s almost like the process of getting an object in focus while using a camera: the object loses its blurred contours and acquires a definitive, unmistakable shape. Children in their first school years make their first attempts at communication mostly through scribbles and drawings. They are still in a process when their expression is not yet encoded into proper language. Those drawings, carefully collected and then embroidered through industrial methods on canvases of different fabrics, are the means through which the artist explore these topics. All of these scribbles hold meaning, now impossible to understand, hidden behind those apparently chaotic forms.
But the meaning itself is not the focus of this research. After all, it would be impossible for us to grasp what those minds were exploring while drawing. The point is that those drawings are a form of language before the process of codification and thus, more connected with the full range of perception and expression. A form of language that is formless, susceptible to the deepest thoughts and instinct, wildly more spontaneous. While we usually just scrap those scribbled papers, here they are selected, retraced using specific vectorial software, composed and redrawn to become forms to explore, finally stretched on large fabrics in bright colours. Echoing tapestries or flags, humble scribbles become precious testimony of a language unknown.
Embroidered not by hand, but with industrial sewing machines, the detached process gives back a degree of objectivity. The hand of the artist is not there to add something, but only to select and arrange, place and underline. The support is not a generic fabric but often cuts from fashion which are highly technical textiles, precious and specific. Stretched on large formats, scribbles are scaled to monumental sizes, bright and explosive colours almost veer into the digital. A throwable piece of paper is transformed into something to contemplate and interrogate. A collection of mysterious shapes, a Rosetta stele of a language before there was language, example of elliptical symbols and joyous expressions of thoughts, memories, images. Recognized in their preciousness, rendered in a slow and methodical process, those drawings achieve a new role, saved and celebrated in these works. An example of the wild possibilities of language and the struggles of holding expression between the rails of communication, a burst of reaction towards the limits and struggles of translating the flow of thoughts into balanced, structured discourse.