Metamorphoses – Let Everything Happen to You

March 6 2018 – September 2, 2018
drafted by Chus Martínez

What if we could be a flower?

Curated by Chus Martínez for Castello di Rivoli, the exhibition Metamorphoses – Let Everything Happen to You in the Manica Lunga explores the concept of transformation and flourishing through the works of emerging international artists.

Conceived specifically for Castello di Rivoli, the works of Nicanor Aráoz (Buenos Aires, 1980), Ingela Ihrman (Strängnäs, 1985), Eduardo Navarro (Buenos Aires, 1979), Reto Pulfer (Bern, 1981), Mathilde Rosier (Paris, 1973), Lin May Saaed (Würzburg, 1973) and Ania Soliman (Warsaw, 1970) consider art a transformative experience, encompassing the entire range of feeling and perception.

These seven new works feature alongside I Have Left You The Mountain, a work by Simon Battisti, Leah Whitman-Salkin and Åbäke shown in the Albanian Pavilion of the 2016 Venice Biennial of Architecture, and the video Army of Love by Alexa Karolinski and Ingo Niermann, commissioned for the 9th Berlin Biennial in 2016. Made up of installations, sculptures, performances, paintings and videos, the works on display engage with the idea of metamorphosis as a process shared by the natural world and the creative one. For the artists in this exhibition, metamorphosis can mean not merely change but transition, departure from the self, a movement that coincides with nature, whose presence, interwoven with sound, conjures up another dimension.

For the art of today it is important to distinguish the old “modern” idea of change current in the 19th and 20th centuries (as in Kafka’s Metamorphoses) from the contemporary concept of transformation based on the idea of metabolism/metamorphosis through ingestion of things. Many artists today are working with a notion of digestion or processing one element in order to energise another. Their works examine the way in which we are vital and create our subjectivities as Dionysian forms in motion, transcending inertia.

As Martínez explains, “Metamorphoses – Let Everything Happen to You represents a way of thinking about life with imagination and above all with no hierarchies and constraints. Through their freedom of action, unconfined by styles or genres, these artists have endeavoured to capture the hidden patterns of nature, the subtle pathways that free thought and prompt it to transcend limits. Drawings, flowers, an army of love, a cloud of magical fabrics, songs, voices, loaves of bread like beads, dancers upside-down on canvases, Babylonian reliefs in polyester … Works that elude the constraints of form and definition. Metamorphoses exposes us to the unforeseeable, the material of life itself, of its inexplicable beauty and its mysterious energy as revealed in a raindrop on a leaf of an ancient fossil tree.”

The accompanying catalog published by Castello di Rivoli in English and Italian includes texts by the curator and images selected by the artists to stimulate creative reflection on the themes of the exhibition.