MANUELA FILIACI | divagazioni
In the exhibition digressions, STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI, three years since the last solo show in Rome, presents a new round of MANUELA FILIACI’s work.
The digression is a strategy for putting off the ending, a multiplying of time within the work, a perpetual evasion or flight.
(Italo Calvino Six Memos for the Next- Millennium 1996 – Vintage)
Filiaci’s poetic seems contained here, in this phrase of the great writer.
Manuela Filiaci from the early eighties has been active on the New York Art scene with numerous exhibitions, collaboration with La Mama Theater and as a curator of Parallel Windows from 1979 to 1987. While painting, the main part of her artistic research, Filiaci also created three dimensional works, sculptures and paper and wood assemblages like Real Cubism an installation of painted cardboard boxes, part of the exhibition Collezionismo a Torino of 1996 at the Castello di Rivoli.
A few years later she again used boxes for her installation The Boxcase, (Marina Ubrach, 2000, New York) which the artist describes:
There is a fundamental quality that brings together these boxes on the shelves of a former library: they make a statement against the library as a hierarchy. For a library is also different from the bookcase as a piece of forniture: the alphabet, personal history, authorship, the topic, regulate the disposition of the books on the shelves.
Usually books are assumed to be containers of information, narrative, history, and so forth. In a similar fashion, the assumption is that a box contains an object an object (for example, a gift). In this case, the boxes are painted in various ways and colors on each side, but they are always empty inside. Thus, instead of fulfilling a function, my boxes are about themselves, hence they are subjects.
The fact that whichever side of any box can interface with any other side of any other box, sets in motion a chain-reaction of simulating encounters. As a result of this free-wheeling energy, the boxcase, which originally replaced the library, is no longer a boxcase.
Rather, it transforms itself into a field of a joy. My empty boxes are also about the sense of loss that is inside all of us. They house a certain melancholia, and contain our refusal to mourn absence. Finally the joy, humor, and imagination of boxes painted only from the outside overturn the bleak and adjusted truths of our existence (…) Emptiness as such is not a negative experience. This is why an empty space can become an open space for the imagination.(…) my boxes are not empty in the sense of meaningless, but they are about the transitory nature of emptiness and this transitory quality of my work is not only implicit in the choice of a poor material-cardboard, but is also relevant to my transgressive relationship with the frame, boundary, and boxes.
Many critics have compared Filiaci’s work to music for its balance and the tensions between space and colour, using a language enriched by architectural fragments and geometrical solids. Lightness, irony and light are her antidote against too heavy matter. Her meditation on nature, the tree that so often appears in her work point to the fragility of our world but also to a possibility of transformation and regeneration. The implicit nomadic and transitory sense in her work is most evident in her painted scrolls and her cardboard boxes. The artist has recently produced a series of bronze boxes painted to look like cardboard. Their weight, appearance and balance are all re-examined in a continuous search for an ambiguous equilibrium that is never reached.
Read and download the exhibition’s press release.
more exhibitions by MANUELA FILIACI with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.