From Magma to the Stars
In the exhibition From Magma to the Stars (Roman Ruins of Milreu – Faro, 2012), the works utilized the archaeological character of the exhibition space to relate to or dialogue with the observer. The suspension of some of the pieces in the space of the ruins imprint the sculptures with a transcendental, cosmic or cosmological character, also highlighted by its own exhibition title. Placed in a more or less dissimulated way in the archaeological strata of the ruins, its display presupposes the transportation or movement of the observer between different times, spaces or worlds.
Articulating an innovative dialogue between art and archaeology, this exhibition offers a new visual experience in which the tactile and chromatic similarities between terracotta pieces and the stratigraphy of the location are underlined. With a powerfully significant interpretation of the past in the present, the connection between art and archaeology permits the observer to engage more actively with the past. Here, the exhibition emerges as an ‘experimental laboratory’ where, in an imaginary excavation, the observer is led to use his/her visual imagination to give life to the past which echoes in the pieces.
If, on the one had, we can use the display to question the form in which material culture remains, over time, as heritage, on the other, we can, in an opposite equation, think about the nature of the impact of the archaeological site on the works. The display of contemporary works of art in archaeological sites can be, more than good-to-look at, good-to-think about, in the way in which it transforms the place and challenges the observer, redirecting him/her towards an innovative position of engagement between the contemporary and the archaeological character of the space.
The exhibition configures a passage through the world of matter, the world of earth, to the universe of ideas, of the symbolic significance of memory. More than a static object, closed within material limitations and utilitarian connotations, the pieces represent a path, a destiny, a movement between matter and the memory that lives within them.