Group Exhibition, Site-specific

Il Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena (Italy)

From 26/06/2003 to 28/09/2003

Curated by Lorenzo Fusi


Chema Alvargonzalez's ASSENZA (Absence), visible only at night, performs the demanding task of keeping alive the spirit and the substance of the whole show beyond opening hours. The site-specific spreads through the Papesse building, creeping into every recess. Or, maybe, it would be more appropriate to see ASSENZA as an explosion of light pervading the palace from inside, finding its way out through every hollow space. Blue lights dotted on the austere façade radiate through imperceptible fissures carved by time. These lights in their whole form a constellation, which lightens up the majestic front of the edifice, expanding onto the left side. From the internal yard, an intense blue glow (blue is complementary to orange, a predominant colour in Sienese public lighting) seems to detonate from the bowels of the structure, making its way up to the roof. Here, as if the tower itself was desperately begging to be noticed, the artist has positioned a set of fluorescent tubes, invigorating the intensity of the light on the top of the building. The work is finally completed by the installation in the blind alley separating the Papesse from the building on its right, normally invisible, especially at night. A cyan shimmer enhances the depth and the architectural features of the narrow alleyway. The red contours of the word ASSENZA emerge as though floating, suspended in the air. The word certainly indicates an absence, a hollow, a gap between the two buildings (an unusual occurrence in a city as compact and densely built as Siena). But above all, it points to a wound, a pain, in the otherwise serene atmosphere evoked by the artist. Absence is, therefore, a desperate cry hardly contained, but also a sign of great humanity.

Artists: Chema Alvargonzalez, DE-ABC, Daniel Blaufuks, Arthur Duff, Anna Boggon, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, James Casebere, Alex Hartley, Sandra Cinto, Jonayhan Jones, Vittorio Corsini, Petulia Mattioli+EraldoBernocchi, Harold Budd, David Cotterrell, Adalberto Mecarelli.