The Reading Room – Maria Raponi

curated by Lucia Giardino

F_AIR – Florence Artist in Residence, presents The Reading Room by Maria Raponi. The exhibition is the final stage of the project that she has developed as the second artist in residence at F_AIR.

Throughout her stay at F_AIR, Maria Raponi has been collecting newspapers from around Florence. These are the basis of the works in The Reading Room: five sewn newspaper pieces lie on their respective fragile tables of thick white board (carte legno), each illuminated by a single lightbulb. The latter, lined up to form a slight arc, are white; the newspapers are sewn white on white. One has to get very close to them in order to see the subtle index of the original photographic image. The exhibition is punctuated by three small sculptural scenes, nestled into various corners, low to the ground. One must kneel down to get the correct perspective.

The sewn newspapers and the miniature sculptures are at the same time structured yet deconstructed. From above the works are raw – the mechanisms are exposed, and one can see wires, light bulbs, plugs, gears of a clock. From the correct angle everything comes together: delicate works, made with meticulous precision. The newspaper works show a trace of Raponi’s process. By tracing the newspaper images the artist has made them something permanent, she has captured the essence of their fleeting existence, and the transience of information. She has slowed down the quick flow of information; the physical punctures in the paper have penetrated through the banality of images – staying in one’s mind for a moment – in order to leave a more lasting impression of the world we live in.

Below is the leaflet given out during the opening of The Reading Room. Follow the highlighted link to read the text of Maria Raponi’s Statement.

Follow the link for Maria Raponi’s BIO