The Next Era
Mariella Bettineschi, Giovanni de Cataldo, Michele Guido
Text by Jasmina Trifoni
June 20 > July 28, 2017
“The future – said the writer and poet Rainer Maria Rilke – enters into us long before it happens”. while, for Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels, what we wish upon the future “is the image of some lost, imagined past”.
The journey presented in the exhibition bringing together three artists – Mariella Bettineschi, Michele Guido and Giovanni de Cataldo – explores what belongs to us and what we would like for our future. The Even if from different generation and background, the artists are tied to a research that brought them to dialogue with the past represented by archaeology, art history and architecture, by internalizing and reinventing it through a visionary sensitivity, sharing a poetic that could be summarized in the Greek term Physis. The term, in Classical literature – and in the works by the three artists – coincide with “nature” and, before that, with the sensitive sphere of shapes and bodies, to indicate the origin and the transformation of everything as well as the enormous undertaking to uncover its mystery, peculiar to philosophy and art.
Mariella Bettineschi, with a transversal, multidisciplinary, narrative and stratified language, crossed the visual trends of Postmodernism, from the Eighties to the present day. The Next Era, the series on which Bettineschi has been working since 2007, with incandescent poetics, narrates the nature of the future with photographs of archaic landscapes – magical woods, fairy tales interiors – printed on mirror surfaces and enlightened by flashes which seem to come from a world beyond us, as well as reinterpretations of female figures which belong to masterpieces of Art History, from Raffaello to Caravaggio and Ingres.
Madonnas and Muses, reinterpreted through digital painting and transposed to diaphanous plexiglass (and where the white spaces predict something already written in the human destiny) claiming protagonists roles and whose contemplative eyes invite to meditate on the Next Era of a peaceful society based on dialogue, by definition a prerogative of women, who are, naturally and genetically, on life’s side.
Similar to plastic models of a beauty that is rigorous and extravagant at the same time, the works displayed by Michele Guido (1976) continue his research (also, in some ways, debtor to a “feminine” vision and attentive to the details of what surrounds us) summing up the macro into the micro, assimilating the most amazing architectural shapes of Italy in the past to those small, and maybe more perfect, shapes of Mediterranean plants, to their symmetries and their being the ethical and aesthetic origin of our world, reaffirming the necessity, more urgent than ever, to protect nature by enjoying and taking it back before it would be lost forever.
Lastly, the young artist Giovanni de Cataldo (1990) who, in his studio at Pastificio Cerere in Rome, began an artistic research by exploring the street and materials such as asphalt and the metal of guardrails which protect and steer our journeys. Now he wanted to imagine the future of his city, eternal by definition, fostering the dialogue (again in a sharing between human beings and nature) between cement and the olive tree, which is the tree that more than any other represents life, as well as inventing possible core drillings in the soil in which eternal materials such as river sand may be found, in an unexpected, unpredictable and almost liquid play of “archaeological” stratifications, of pigmented cements and synthetic resins, showing clear stresses and pressures, symbols of the winding ways that take us from an era to another.