Date: 24 September - 22 December, 2017
Location: Fondazione Brodbeck, Catania, Italy
For her first solo show at Brodbeck Foundation in Catania, MDR (Maria D. Rapicavoli) designed and built a complex installation transforming the entire white pavilion. The large exhibition space has been conceived as an immersive environment in which sea and sky, separated by a horizon line set about two meters above ground, are the main elements of the “geography” that separates the Libyan and Tunisian coasts from Sicily. The geographical marks in the sky map the off limits areas and the routes of military drones, whereas the marks in the sea are the traces of the routes of migrant boats.
In the upper part of the room, above the horizon line, MDR uses white nylon strings attached to the walls to mark the routes of the drones. The sky, marked and controlled by the military forces, is represented by the blue light of six projectors reproducing a photographic image of the sky taken by the artist a few years ago.
The blue light covers the walls through large trapezoidal forms. On the floor you see a map of the Mediterranean sea, drawn using some pumice powder. It represents the sea between the Libyan-Tunisian and Sicilian coasts, and the potential routes of migrants boats.
There are also sculptural elements, such as limestone rocks with fossils, on which the artist has engraved parts of maps and routes. The sea below the horizon, “covers” the observer’s head forcing it into a strange underwater exploration.
The military control of the sky, and the tragedy of migratory flows and political refugees, are the themes at the heart of this installation which rejects the idea of merely documenting or aestheticizing representation.
The analysis of this social and political tragedy are entrusted to an evocative process aiming to regain the eye of the observer with a different scenario from what has now become a dramatic daily occurrence.
As highlighted by the title of her solo exhibition, Intimacies (Mediterranean Civilization), MDR has put in place a sensitive process of proximity and intimacy using a real place, sadly marked by death, pain, poverty and fear… and military control from above.
An almost physical intimacy that aims to engage others, us, on a psychological level. G. Iovane