The "Amici di Gabriele Mattera" (Friends of Gabriele Mattera) Association is proud to present the new Christian Leperino exhibition project "Abisso" (Abyss), curated by Davide Sarchioni, in the facilities of the Aragonese Castle of Ischia, from 13 July to 8 September 2019.
"Abisso" (Abyss) is a widespread site-specific installation inspired by the architecture and layered history of the Castle, which was a Greek outpost twenty-five centuries ago and is completely surrounded by a real and metaphorical sea, whose shores have seen people and cultures collide and mingle, have welcomed and protected, experienced abandonment and rebirth.
"Abisso (Abyss), to me" Leperino explains, "is history, the vertigo of time that envelops and challenges us, as Primo Levi wrote. And, together, a monument to human resistance, of being submerged as the saved, in the sea of history."
Leperino has designed a large set of approximately 80 white-plaster sculptures - of various sizes and also monumental installation - and an impressive environmental intervention of dense layers of painting, in dialogue with some of the most beautiful places of the fortress, to create an articulated visual itinerary and meaning from the ruins of the cattedrale della Assunta (Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral), to the 18th century Chiesa dell'Immacolata (Church of the Immaculate Conception) with its terrace, to the spaces of the Convento di Santa Maria della Consolazione (Our Lady of Consolation Convent).
Chipped men and statues, transported by the undulating waves of the sea and stranded like white cuttlefish bones on the beach, faces and bodies with corroded and uneven surfaces, wrecks of travellers who became shipwrecked before landing, or perhaps drained by an endless wait, became fossils of history and ghosts of the past and present-encrusted memories, combined with the remains of the bright past of art, architecture and debris of Western civilisation. The artist has the task of saving these traces before they disappear, fragments to be fixed in images and materials before the undertow drags it back to the bottom, to get lost in the inexorable drift of time.
Leperino descends into the Abisso (Abyss) to probe the depths of history and the changes of survival of both human and art alike, with his spurious load of "difficult" and cumbersome material, today almost foreign in the aseptic world of digital images, but which he insists on diving into to restore its historical and cultural weight.
"Abisso" is a project organised by the "Amici di Gabriele Mattera" Association, under the Foundation's Matronage Donnaregina for Contemporary Arts, in collaboration with the SMMAVE Association, DI ART and Terrameda®.
(Photos © Marco Albanelli - Castello Aragonese d'Ischia / Cover © Abdullah Ferdinando Ottaviano Quintavalle)