Laura Grisi has never been only an Italian Pop Art member, either she was simply a sculptor or a painter, a photographer, certainly not just a video artist. She always worked in that forward-looking and clever space which pushed her to go further: beyond exploration, beyond experimentation on nature, landscapes, beauties and their rules, but also on something more super-natural: possibilities, multiplicities. In a “simple” word: Infinity.
Bologna’s P420 Gallery pays tribute to Laura Grisi after her recent death (December 2017) with a personal exhibition, Hypothesis on Infinity, from april 7th to June. The exhibition is a symbolic and suggestive travel through her famous landscapes and, especially, on the personal sensations that they can generate: not just objets for Laura Grisi, but “experiences on natural phenomena”.
Fascinating, mysterious and, for this reason, difficult to been schematized, Laura Grisi’s natural phenomena are sometimes controllable, categorizable by a simplification (objects, obviously, in this case we can admit this word), some other times unmanageable, illusory and paradoxical. And it’s when she works on paradox and on the that Laura Grisi reaches her best artistic results.
Think about, for example, The Measuring of Time, without any doubt the most suggestive artwork present in the exhibition (projected on the final wall of the gallery) in which the artist counts some grains of desert sand one by one. A loser battle, a paradox, an attempt, an unsuccessful and romantic one (more than scientific), of giving nature an order by starting from its minimum unit of measurement (the grain of sand): her action challenges the cocept of Time even if she is conscious that her gestures are not leading her to any real scientific result. But just an artistic one.
This wonderful video, with its spiral sequence (it opens on Grisi’s hands counting the grains and it ends with the same angle) is accompanied by Drops of Water, an installation in which, through a dripping system mounted on the ceiling of the gallery, the artist rebuilt the rain phenomenon. And this operation gives birth to a suggestive and meditative work, perfectly related to the measurement of time, by explaining, with other words, the same concept.
The first room of the gallery presents works in which the process of giving nature an order is faced by the artist in a scientific way, almost mathematic. The purpose is difficult, obviously, but in these cases Laura Grisi can’t (and doesn’t want to) fail: what she really wants is to run out of the maze of the existent possibilities, counting them all, until the impossible becomes possibile. And Infinity becomes something with a clear end.
In Pebbles, a serie of 150 photographies, and in From One to Four Pebbles, a video (4 minutes and a half of length), Laura Grisi owns a finite number of pebbles: she inverts them, changes their position in order to run out of every possibility. Similar, in its concept and results, is Blue Triangles, a serie of photography, in which Laura Grisi works on exhaust every possible circumstances.
In Seascape, a “window” on a imaginary seascape, as in Sunset Light (from the Neon Paintings serie), Laura Grisi simplifies not just nature and panoramas, but also the infinite possibilities given by the sea and sky mutability, always different at sight.
Here the possibilities are cut to the bone: Seascape becomes almost a work on mood and on the sensation of being part of a nature phenomenon, while Sunset Light is an emotions generator that changes at every change on the position of the visitor standing in front of this work.
Mathematics, obviously, that is not always enough. Probably not enough in order to find a way to give nature, seen as the reign of mutability, a scheme, a rule. But enough for Grisi and her personal research to conquer a unique place in Italian Pop Art panorama.
Laura Grisi. Hypotesis of Infinity
2018 April, 7 – June, 2
via Azzo Gardino, 9 Bologna
Laura Grisi, The Measuring of Time, digital video b/n, installation view
Laura Grisi, The Measuring of Time; Drops of Water, installation view
Laura Grisi, Blue Triangles, installation view
Laura Grisi, Sunset Light; Seascape, installation view