Preview 15 September 2011, 6:30 pm
15 September – 29 October 2011
Essay by Gabi Scardi

Riccardo Crespi gallery gets the new season under way witha solo exhibition by the artist Francesca Grilli.

In the wake of the scientific and esoteric influences that have accompanied her most recent works, the artist investigates the relationship between catastrophe and alchemical imagery, focusing on the aspect of language and transformation.

In the title, ORO (‘GOLD’), there is already an expression of the hope for a new era of plenty: just as the alchemists believed in a sequence of four historical ages, the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages – that would repeat themselves cyclically – Francesca Grilli intends to work on the concept of transformation. From the viewpoint of today’s Iron Age, the artist looks at the contemporary conditions for a profound transformation towards a new Golden Age, taking as her raw materials the metals and their symbolic use.

The exhibition comprises a series of sculptures in bronze, iron and silver, relating to the imagery of the falcon, unifying element of the project as the protagonist of a video and of the opening performance during which the viewers will come into contact with two falcons present in the lower space of the gallery.

The video, which has the English title Gold, was shot in the library of the Benedictine monastery of San Giovanni in Parma and mixes alchemical and cabbalistic elements with influences from the biblical and classical tradition: the frescoes of the library with their historical, symbolic and sapiential content form a backdrop to the flight of the falcons while Ovid’s story of King Midas is read in the silbo gomero, an ancient whistled language used only on the island of La Gomera (Canaries), a sort of phonetic transliteration inspired by birdsong and regarded as a noble tongue by the alchemists.

The exhibition is completed by a series of Polaroid self-portraits taken with the AuraCam 6000 camera, which Francesca Grilli used to capture her magnetic field over the course of three months in which she continued to swallow phials of gold: a sort of diary recorded in images of pure energy and an omen of renewal.