ACCEDEADHOC is a new series of works I started doing in Venice earlier this year. The idea was to collect the numerous inscriptions on the façades of religious edifices (here Chiesa di San Francesco Della Vigna) and to decontextualize them. Thus, the signification is free of sacral features.
Following the same rule of my preceding works (The Sea Pyre, Out Of Place), letters are made up with key canvas stretchers.
By opening the doors of her studio, Barbara Bianchi opens us the gates of the maritime hell, such as lived for centuries thousands of men and women, hardened or not, to the art of navigation. Sailors, migrants, adventurers, the artist brings back to remembrance these individual and collective dramas, these anonymous deaths for the greater part, by paying tribute in a series of structures unveiling a “worried geometry”. Capsizing ships by day or capsized ships by night, these precarious-balanced structures which describe in a minimalist aesthetics countless tragedies are - in a more tacit way - a reflection on the pictorial practice of the artist who, guided by her lucky star, embarks in a fragile vessel on the tempestuous ocean of art. It is in this sense that the artist speaks about her structures as a real “Anatomy of melancholy”.These freely recomposed frames which express the precariousness of these makeshift boats, wink of Theodore Gericault’s the raft of the Méduse, take up with a rudimentary and reductionist artistic practice. With this whole plastic vocabulary, elements gleaned along with the current, the aim is to fix these countless wrecks on the walls of the studio as Rimbaud fixed dizziness in its poems. More fundamentally the purpose is to attribute to each of these structures a value of votive offering. Out of Place is this sanctuary of rest where commune with oneself the close relations of the persons lost at sea, reference to all the castaways: fully-licensed captains, minor sailors, citizens of second zone, unfortunate migrants having lost their lives in the seas of the world.
The Sea Pyre 2014
Dismemberment of the painting, according to the artist Barbara Bianchi, The Sea Pyre is an installation reconstructed from the accumulation of its structuring elements (canvas stretchers, wood wedges), and is covered with mixed media. That shows that we are immediately immersed in a dilapidated and rusty world, the one of painting, which becomes an invitation to a monumental sinking eaten away by the action of time. This archaeological underwater vestige gives evidence of the obsessive quintessence of the artist for the sea and in particular for the ocean floor. These obsessions appear through each abounding floral elements (sea anemones, urchins, starfishes, etc.), which dwell upon the interstice of a maritime carcass alike a beached whale expelling its last ambergris.
What says to us Anemone? What say to us Urchin and Brittle Star? What may reveal their secrets? The relinquishment of painting? The ocean’s fast decline?
Or for both forever entwined, their foreseeable renaissance in an artistic ecology?
What a game plan!
The Sea Pyre is an imaginary scenery where banquet hybrid creatures dressed in bridal gowns for some or in mourning dress for others, symbolizing the moral dilemma of the artist.
With this bottle of rum in a fragile and facetious balance, wink at the cut-outs of Georges Braque (The Bottle Of Rum 1914), Barbara Bianchi invites us to dive into the heart of painting and to explore her mysterious and subaquatic banquet, synthesis between Antique tradition (ritual sacrifice practices) and Surrealist literature (Desnos: La liberté où l’amour, Deuil pour deuil) in view to meditate on the shared future of Nature and Art.
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