From 22 May 2002 to 01 September 2002
Curated by Marcella Beccaria
If acupuncture, using a tiny point of an extremely fine needle, punctures precise spots with knowledge and tact, it can have an exceptional effect toward healing and equilibrium. Is art the point of the needle?
The works of Bruna Esposito (born in Rome, where she lives and works) can be compared to poetic compositions, where power and lightness continually encounter each other in an apparently fragile balance, capable, however, of opening up profound spaces of reflection. Her installations are metaphorical places that can contain a multiplicity of interpretations, setting up conditions for a direct dialogue with each individual visitor.
Skillfully calibrated, Esposito’s pieces are often constructed with an intentional economy of means, according to choices that favor rigor more than a search for spectacularity.
The artist uses a wide range of materials, favoring above all those that do not pertain to the artistic tradition, but instead belong to life experience. The elements and objects that make up her installations often manifest their own history, and the artist accepts their natural decay and the consequent ephemeral nature of the works she has created. In addition to tangible elements, Esposito’s pieces often include aromas, modulations of natural light, foods and sounds, which makes it difficult to describe these works. The moment of encounter with the visitor is absolutely fundamental, to the point where words or visual documents can only fragmentarily restore an experience that involves not only the sense of sight, but also hearing and smell, with temporal
modalities and developments skillfully arranged by the artist.
Bruna Esposito’s exhibition, her first solo show in an Italian museum, is set up like a path, traversing recent installations and pieces created specifically for Castello di Rivoli. Significantly, the exhibition opens with the work entitled Sala d’aspetto (Waiting Room), 1999. Simple museum benches are arranged as in an ordinary waiting room, a place that, through our everyday experience, we know as a situation where we must surrender to the inexorable passage of time. Drop by drop,
two distillers extract essences, while other objects arranged by the artist produce slight alterations to the room’s interior.
Collaboration with other artists is a possibility that Esposito often considers within the context of her installations. Sereno-variabile (Serene-variable), 2002, created here in Rivoli for the first time, has resulted from Esposito’s collaboration with composer Stefano Maria Longobardi. The music composed coexists or alternates with the songs of birds enclosed in cages of the type reserved for domestic use. The lightness of the notes passes through the small bars, spreading out into the space.
In contrast, a ritual of slow and gentle, yet painful and disturbing movements characterizes Aureole (Halos), 1999. A series of dried octopus, arranged in a circle, revolves slowly around a travertine sphere, while a fan-shape of dried cod rises up and twists from above a small column. The creatures, captured and dried to become food, are endowed with a second life and at the same time exhibited as elements that relate the story of a vital cycle, where decay, death, but also the need to track down food, are unavoidable constants. The work is set in motion by a solar panel, a favorite source of energy for this artist.
Bruna Esposito has received numerous prestigious international awards, including, in 1999, the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, along with the other artists selected for the Italian Pavilion. Aquarell, the work exhibited on this occasion like a mirage floating on the Venetian waters, now is part of the Castello’s collection. Aquarell is a bench made from mirrors, fragile and yet potentially cutting, around which, at the artist’s request, nettle plants grow. The work is installed permanently on the lawn in front of the Manica Lunga.