Storie incompiute

solo show of Marina Paris

 Gilda Lavia Gallery (Rome) is pleased to present Storie incompiute (Unfinished stories), a solo show by artist Marina Paris curated by Valentina Ciarallo that will open on Tuesday, May 28th at 6 pm.

 The exhibition focuses on the theme of the unfinished through a series of unpublished photographs that pay homage to the architecture of Luigi Moretti (1907-1973), whose design and intellectual capacity was aimed at imagining structure as form, through the analysis of spatial relationships. An environmental installation between cones of light and fissures of shadows, punctuated by a soundtrack designed by the artist herself, that leads the visitor to discover unreal but living spaces, architectural compositions that might have been but that are not, places that are not places.

 Marina Paris has always been interested in architecture, she interprets, through the medium of photography, the construction of a space as modulable and modifiable, a place of happenings and of sedimentation of time between man and the environment, metaphysics of the horizon as an anthropological dimension to investigate human existence. The source of inspiration for “Unfinished Stories” is the last book by René Daumal (1908-1944), “Mount Analogue” (published posthumously in 1952), it is among the most significant books of the 20th century. The novel was left unfinished due to the author’s sudden death, it is an allegory of man's spiritual and absolute journey, whose symbolic value remains ineffable until the end. The author transports the reader into the realm of analogy, where nothing is true but everything is the truth. In search of something unattainable, it ends with a comma before the nothingness, where narrative is interrupted.

 That comma leads us to fantasise and create an unseen imaginary that is the metaphorical prelude with which Paris represents something that does not exist but it could have been, meditating on the historical and temporal dimension of the unfinished. Looking back at history, there are countless unfinished works: from Bach to Schubert in music, from Michelangelo to Cézanne in art, from Kafka to Pasolini in literature. As Francis Bacon said in the farewell of The New Atlantis: "The rest was not perfected".

 In architecture, due to a series of unfinished setbacks, a lot of projects remained on paper. The absence of a definitive conclusion leaves room for the imagination, leading to reflections on what it might have been if the work was completed, preserving that enchantment of imperfection that leads to a new narrative.

In 2019 Marina Paris began photographing and documenting a series of maquettes essential to the projects of Luigi Moretti and mainly to those unrealized ideas, such as the architectural extension of the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome (1955) that should have been built in the San Saba district. The artist gives life to the place in a giant format, with a double perspective shot, accentuating the black of the shadows, the white of the light and transporting the point of observation, through space-time curvatures, to some place where "nothing is true but everything is veridical", as Daumal himself wrote. The alternation of macro and micro images, punctuated by a sound effect, invites the viewer to sense the existence of another space, in a state of becoming, between the real and the very similar, between the planning of thought and the potential of incompleteness as an ethereal place capable of telling new stories.

 Among the prototypes photographed by Paris, there is one for a new swimming stadium in Rome (1960). In the model the pool is embraced by two wings, almost taking off as the black and white image is destined to transport us elsewhere. From the circular and concentric shapes of Villa De Angelis in Rome designed in 1972 to be built on the Via Cassia, Marina Paris' eye gives us images full of plasticity and vibrant strokes of light. The iconic modern rationalist building 'Il Girasole' was completed in 1947-1950 in Viale Bruno Buozzi in Rome and it is so called because it is capable of catching the light like a big yellow flower. The architect always liked to give a name to his buildings and the main feature of 'Il Girasole' is a large split in the center and draperies that ripple the side walls of the building breaking in the light. The same light that the artist uses in a painterly manner to design the interiors with thinning frames with a Giottesque flavour, apparently motionless and crystallised, forms that are destined to be relatively real.

 Moretti realised the buildings of the former Esso and Sgi headquarters in EUR (1962), also known as the 'twin buildings'. Here he works on the rarefaction of the elevations and the monumentality of the entrance reflecting on the idea of majesty imagined for the district by Marcello Piacentini in 1937. The photography plays with beams of light that emphasise the lines of the volumes horizontally. Between 1963 and 1969 the architect designed the Fonte Bonifacio VIII Spa Complex in Fiuggi, the result of a harmonious synthesis between the surrounding natural landscape of a chestnut grove and the curved lines of the structure. The trapezoidal shaped canopy is reminiscent of an Arab tent both for its sense of lightness and for its use as a shelter from the sun; the series of shots documents its gracefulness and modularity.

 Storie incompiute is an unprecedented reinterpretation testified by the photographic medium that for Marina Paris becomes a research and not fulfilment, the expression of the certainty of an unfinished that, in the case of Moretti and in her incompleteness, finds the beauty of the completed.


Translated from the text of Valentina Ciarallo

Thanks for the sound to: AmandineMarty_2012_03 by Iut_Paris8, Hammer_earth.aif di Joseph.Larralde, Waldord Nave space sound by Martinbeltov and kind cooperation of Flavia Lazzarini e Leonardo Petrucci.