Sapeva le forme delle nubi, Matteo Pizzolante for A Sud di Marte

Sapeva la forma delle nubi is an exhibition project by Matteo Pizzolante (1987), the fourth of the four artists hosted within A Sud Di Marte, a plan of artistic residencies curated by Ramdom, realised in collaboration with Fondazione Elpis, in progress at the spaces of KORA- Centro del Contemporaneo from April 2022 to February 2023.
The project is part of a broader reflection that Ramdom has been developing for years on the concept of the margin; a reflection through which it attempts to question the notion of the centre.
More specifically, A Sud di Marte intends to bring to light the vision of a South understood not only as a place rich in complexity, but also as an opportunity for the activation of an oblique gaze capable of soliciting constant questions.
The title of the programme takes its inspiration from the red planet which, in the collective imagination, has always represented the other place par excellence, a utopia to land on, the announcement of something that is yet to be fulfilled, but whose happening is ever closer.
Pizzolante’s project for KORA – Centro del Contemporaneo is the natural continuation of his research dedicated as much to the interest in space as to images, to their material body and their temporality. This dual interest makes the artist’s work a work that inhabits and embraces different disciplines and that, although using contemporary media derived from the use of applied technology – render, 3D, etc. – paradoxically finds in the rigour of the composition of the work a new dimension. – paradoxically finds its most coherent synthesis in the compositional rigour of Renaissance painting.
The images that Pizzolante (re)constructs for the exhibition, printed on the four doors using the cyanotype technique, are an expression, as he himself states: of a lucid memory of his past. The richness and finish of the details that emerges from them is, therefore, what makes them universal, appealing firstly to the importance they have for his family, and then for all of us who can recognise in those same details small fragments of our lives.
This system of cross-references, emphasised by the presence in the space of the four doors as an architectural element that constantly alludes to the idea of threshold and passage, ensures that the time narrated is no longer just a personal time, but a collective time, and that the stories present are stories of relationships and entanglements in which at least once we have all found ourselves.
Finally, transition is also an element present in the two video projections: two faces belonging to women in his family to which Pizzolante has adapted the texture of his photographic portrait. This process of deformation, ambivalence and mystery, ideally inspired by the character of Mamà Grande made famous by Garcìa Marquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, thus becomes a reflection on the transformation of gender identity, on the identity of the space and its history which, over the centuries, has been first a fortress, then a castle, a baronial palace and finally a private residence, thus fulfilling different functions and uses.
Just as Ireneo Funes, the protagonist of Jorge Luis Borges’ text “Funes or of memory” from which the title of the exhibition takes its cue, Pizzolante also restores the complexity of memories through the succession of details that in different ways – the stories of relatives or his own personal memory – resurface to become objects.