Uscita Pistoia


Plato’s Pharmacy

curated by Barbara Meneghel

Diego Marcon
Mariana Silva

Friday 25th June 2010, 20.30 - 24.00
Saturday 26th June 2010, 12.00 - 20.00

via Modenese 165, Pistoia
until 30th September 2010, only by appointment

Press Release

> Italiano

“A text is a text only if it conceals at first sight and from the first comer the law of its composition and the rule of its game” (J. Derrida, La pharmacie de Platon, 1968)

This new project conceived for the spaces of Uscita Pistoia aims to open up a dialogue between two very young international artists, invited here to create an original piece expressly for the show. Hence the birth of an interesting dialectic comparison based on a common starting point, around which both have developed their own reflection: the image intended as the visible trace of something that in reality transcends it.

The same notion has been a subject of Western philosophy (inevitably starting from the platonic eidos and the neo-platonic eidolon) for centuries: the image is considered a synthesis between two different dimensions, as it introduces a perceptible form that can be related to directly, while simultaneously presenting an element that makes its contours more problematical, this way granting further vision beyond itself. The image is therefore granted a function of mediation, as something of a bridge between the visible and invisible. A concept which is similar, in this sense, to the one of trace in Jacques Derrida’s philosophy: an element to be considered as the present sign of an absence.

Based on this common premise, the approaches of the two artists can be considered complementary: each appears to be moving equally in a direction contrary to the other, as if in recovery of the extremes of the dispute between Iconoclasm and Iconophily which has existed for most of the history of Western Christianity.

In Diego Marcon’s work, the material image is both the condition and the result of its immaterial beyond-ness.
The video, shot inside a postcard factory in Brianza, without any intention of serving as a documentary for the company’s activity, reinterprets the postcard itself as an object-image with a precise value: the incarnation of the sum of a popular and collective imaginary associated with vacation, and therefore, an iconographic object that provides a concentrate of a world of real flavors, colours, noises in a silent and immobile physical container. At heart, an ideal process of dematerialization to the very point of silence and immateriality of a photograph, which by now has become merely a clot, or a trace, of something that it is not. The silent and crystallized sign of a complex imaginary that transcends representation itself, the present moment substitution of a memory of something absent. Like a concrete trace to accompany the work on display, the artist will mail off a set of real postcards, discretely tangible sign of a deeper reflection constructed around this element.

Mariana Silva dedicates her piece to the American photographer Lee Miller. Famous first as a model in New York during the ‘20s, and then as a fashion photographer in Paris, Miller was also a war reporter for Vogue magazine during World War II. The artist’s reflection takes origin from one picture in particular of Miller in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub in 1945, taken in Munich in the Nazi dictator’s private apartment during the last few days of the war. The photographer’s gesture reflected by the photo is an act of anti-symbolism, a demythologization of the historical figure: Lee Miller, in fact, strips the Hitlerian context of its iconic and idealized implications and returns it to its daily expressiveness and practical functionality. This time, the passage goes from the collective dimension (the list of implications linked to the dictatorship, a collective phenomenon par excellence) to the individual, private, and intimate dimension. This time, the process is moving in the direction of the concrete and the real. The beyond-ness of the image is progressively abandoned in order to permit a reflection on the fact that the image really and truly, in fact, exists.

Diego Marcon was born in Busto Arsizio (VA) in 1985. He lives and works between Milan and Venice. In 2006 he graduated in film editing at the Cinema, Television and New Media School of Milan. In 2007 he enrolled for the BA Degree in Visual Arts and Theatre at the Architectural Faculty of the University of Venice. In 2009 he participated in the Advanced Course in Visual Arts of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti and took part to the residence programme provided by the Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris. He earned, in 2010, a studio given by the Fondazione Bevilaqua La Masa in Venice. Among his recent exhibitions and festivals: perarolo09, curated by Daniela Zangrando (Perarolo di Cadore, BL), 2009; Details, curated by Roberto Pinto (La Veronica Arte Contemporanea, Modica, RA), 2009;, curated by Francesca di Nardo, 2009.

Mariana Silva was born in 1983 in Lisbon, where she currently lives and works. Graduated of Fine Arts-Painting, by the Faculty of Fine-Arts University of Lisbon, she earned a scholarship as an assistant to artist Julieta Aranda in 2008; she was an artist-in-residence at the iscp (International Studio & Curatorial Program) in New York from October 2009 to March 2010. The artist’s book The Escape Route’s Design (co-written with Pedro Neves Marques) was published by e-flux journal in May 2009. She has participated in several group exhibitions, namely Perpetual Interview (Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon), 2010; Into the Unknown (Ludlow 38, New York), 2010; República ou o Teatro do Povo (Arte Contempo, Lisbon), 2009; BesRevelação 2008 (Serralves Museum, Oporto), 2008; Eurásia (Anastácio Gonçalves Museum House, Lisbon), 2008; Antes que a produção cesse (Espaço Avenida, Lisbon), 2007.