ROME.- Virginia Bianchi Gallery
is presenting The Anteaters Transmutation, an exhibition of works by artists Wednesday Kim and Giuliana Rosso and the first, inaugural show taking place on the digital platform of the gallery. Through videos, paintings and virtual installations, the exhibition builds on the artists' practices and on their research in human consciousness and its shadows.
The Anteaters Transmutation is a chaotic, disordered survey of what the human mind can create. Giuliana Rosso and Wednesday Kim mesmerizing practices are the starting point of the show: they both focus on subconsciousness, on that dissociated nuclei of the human mind that psychoanalysts believe is the spontaneous result of strong emotional experiences. As a mere psychological automatism, the subconscious does not function at a reality level: it lacks the power of attention, judgment and volition necessary for adaptive interaction with the surroundings. As a result, it gives life to parallel realities inhabited by weird figures the human mind inadvertently produces, to non-places that exist only in the brain of the dreamer. These visions are the result of a loss of the function of reality: chaos prevails and the inexplicability of life dominates the weird landscapes of the show.
Wednesday Kims works are the result of her personal experiences and human psychology; she derives imagery from nightmares, intrusive thoughts and childhood trauma in a continuous dialogue between the surface and the intimate, the external and the introspective. Random words and elements she comes across online become obsessive components of her moving images, and contribute to the portrayal of the absurdity of information-saturated contemporary life. As Kim declares, the viewers are invited to play a game of hide and seek by voyeuristically searching for glimpses of the artist in the disturbing scenes she creates, thus forcing the audience to face their own shadows and traumas.
Nocturnal Sounds (2019) is a distressing survey of the images and noises that arise in Kims daydreams and nightmares. The 3-minutes-long video, produced in collaboration with sound artist Nigel Wilson, encloses visual and audio snapshots of scenes that originate from the Kims subconsciousness informed by childhood trauma and disquieting memories. In this schizophrenic world dominated by bizarre characters, the apparent narrative nonsense hides a deeper resolution to criticize elements of 21st century life such as digital communication and futile interpersonal relations. It constitutes an attempt to externalize and make sense of the chaos of life and of the world that surrounds us.
Two distressing landscapes are depicted in the two time-based paintings Dépaysement Dreams (2016) and Reimbursement for your Angels (2016). Prompting to Renaissance Art and the historic format of the triptych, the moving paintings evoke a digital transposition of both the dichotomy of paradise and hell depicted in traditional religious painting (Giottos or Jan van Eycks Last Judgment), and the complexity and curiosity of Hieronymous Boschs landscapes. The digital paintings represent once again a macabre mixture of elements Kim experienced in her dreams and chose to externalize, giving life to eerie, supernatural parallel realities.
Giuliana Rossos practice involves research on the hidden corners of human conscience. Her pictorial investigation is not explicit and the narrations she conjures are mysterious and allusive. With interests spanning from folk tales, symbolism and comics, Rosso deciphers her dreams and visions and transposes them on canvas, creating other-worldly realities inhabited by spirits and inexplicable presences. Rosso works with materials such as canvas and paper, often with three-dimensional contaminations in a continuous exploration of the relationship between herself, her work and the (digital, in this case) space.
This investigation of space emerges from Rossos La Fine e lInizio (2019), part of a series of works on paper that investigates physical and abstract spatial delimitations. The underside of the work melts towards the external surface as if to expand the scene beyond its predefined borders, also playing with threedimensionality of the natural paper undulations. On the other hand, the subjects, evoking a fighting scenes typical of the figurative tradition, are placed in an undefined space, or a non-place, whose only function is to enclose the characters.
In Se Non Sai Cosa Dire (2018), Rosso experiments once again with the concept of space by completely detaching the canvas from its structure. The result is a distorted figure, free to adjust and reshape according to the surface where it lies. The concept of metamorphosis is also echoed in its subject: a woman lies on an undefined surface with a detailed, shiny fish on her head, curled up as if she desired to be a fish herself.
Trasmutazione (2020) is another tale of movement, of passage from one dimension to the other. The subject, a feral woman, wanders with her genetically-modified dogs in a tenebrous space, defined only by some glasses on the wall in the background. The artist decides to disclose only one moment of the narration: the viewers can only inspect the represented scene and nothing more. Once again, Rossos depicted environment comes from a middle earth, an undefined space at the conjunction of sleep and wakefulness, reality and magic, human and alien.
The Anteaters Transmutation speaks to the hidden part of the viewers' consciousness, urging them to wonder what visions and traumas are they hiding, on their part. Giuliana Rosso's and Wednesday Kim's works are like mirrors reflecting the mysteries we all have buried inside of us and are scared to set free.