FONDERE L’UNIVERSO PER SALDARE IL MONDO: NELSON PERNISCO WHITE NOISE GALLERY Via della Seggiola 9 – 00186 – Roma
CURATED BY ELEONORA ALOISE, CARLO MARIA LOLLI GHETTI
For his second solo show at White Noise, Nelson Pernisco (Paris, 1993) conceived an ambitious project that will be presented between the gallery’s venue and Artissima 2021.
The new artworks are the result of more than two years of research on foundry techniques and are in strong connection with the works presented during his first exhibition in Rome. Pernisco develops resistance strategies against the global standardization of the architectural language. In opposition with the trend that is pushing the cities to resemble one another -with unvarying skyscrapers and street furniture all over the world- the artist created iconic elements seeking their dimension of existence out of any usefulness.
The architectures of Pernisco speak an ancient language made of popular beliefs, mythologies and fables. The remind us of a pre-Enlightenment time, when science was overpowered by magic and human beings had to submit to the laws of a natural ecosystem of untameable strength.
The gigantic portal hosted at Artissima represents the access to this complex narrative, condensing the magnificent power of a monumental entrance with the devastating spectacle offered by the view of a ruin. Recalling the philosophical concept of dynamical sublime, the artist seeks the pleasure one can feel facing the power of a phenomenon that may destroy who observes it. The artwork perfectly embodies the fascination for destruction that crosses his whole research: it’s imposing and yet it cannot fulfil its purpose, it does not regulate any passage and it seems to be part of a long-lost monument.
Although, it is through this fault that it can find its own identity. It becomes a narrative device in between a triumphal arch and a magic door, the access to the world of myths and symbols flocking in its tangled decorations. In this new production, Pernisco insists on the social function of the artist, who needs to reconnect with his role of cantor, whose duty was to preserve and transmit the historical memory and the identity of an entire population.
The artist taps into an image base that is as global as the public he wants to reach. It spreads from internet, crosses the oceans, brings together Chinese astronomy of Qing era with Art Nouveau and creates the story of the stories of the world. It is a collective tale intertwined with the life of the artist and his determination in creating spaces of untied indiscipline where one can break free from any purpose. This useless object represents the freedom achieved with the stubborn refusal of any utilitarianism and the glorification of ephemerality.
The artworks presented in the show continue the research of a new universal mythology for a contemporaneity that lost the words to express itself. The wall sculptures are made of obsessive calligraphic elements and mix neoclassical ornaments, graffiti and science fiction imagery. It is precisely science fiction, from Jules Verne to Christopher Nolan, the main source of inspiration. As a matter of fact it is often considered the modern version of myths because of its ability of inducing reverence and explaining the unknown of human existence. For over 100 hundred years these are the stories that connected our mysteries, tied them to the divine and made sense out of miracles.
Aluminium prints of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter follow the visitors’ path. These images seem to recall Ray Bradbury when stating: We need new mythologies. We cannot give up on them – and also – Sooner than we think, man will leave the Earth for the space, in a new and wonderful travel to the unknown.
The whole corpus of works was produced in sand-casted aluminium; the material was recovered from the different spaces that hosted “Le Wonder”, the nomadic artist-run-space founded by the artist in 2013. Inanimate matter represents for the artist a potential living being fighting against the prison of its form. The artist has the duty to free it, following a process that can be defined alchemic more than creative, in a spiritual liberation path that involves man and matter, both relentlessly looking for an unreachable balance.