Curated by Olivia Spatola and Manuela Valentini
February 18 – March 31, 2014
The exhibition by Sara Menegatti at F_AIR – Florence Artist in Residence, is one among the many initiatives of ARTOUR-O, the periodic appointment dedicated to contemporary art and design in Italy and abroad, happening this year as usual, at Villa La Vedetta in Florence from 14 to 16 March 2014.
In March 2013, in the same context of ARTOUR-O, Olivia Spatola and Manuela Valentini curated the second edition of the gAt Award (dedicated to Young Talented Artists), featuring eighteen emerging artists from Emilia-Romagna. A jury of experts declared Sara Menegatti from Ferrara, as the winner: she exhibited three light-boxes entitled Empty House. Florence University of the Arts, a leader educational institution for international students, awarded the winner with a prize consisting in a solo exhibition running in conjunction with ARTOUR- O 2014 that will take place at F_AIR – Florence Artist in Residence, the art space of the above mention school.
Riflesso di Memorie, the exhibition by Sara Menegatti will open on February 18; it will display more than twenty works evoking ephemeral appearances to be conceive how glimpses of life stories that come to mind as evidences of a past, which is still affecting the presence.
The photographs by Sara Menegatti are activators of consciousness, where objects and environments have a strong evocative power and work as silent narrators of past stories. In the exhibition, the series of works on display, explores the ability of reminiscences to awaken in us memories and emotions, often dormant or set aside, by simply entering in contact with certain stimuli.
The artist is using the mirror as a means to make us undertake this extraordinary journey of memory: “through the mirror” we get access to other dimensions, of the unconscious,of dreams, of fantasy. There is a subtle melancholy in the emptiness of these intimate rooms, personal memories delicately told. Still in the room, though not reflected, are the high heels shoes, an accessory of feminine seduction which disappears, as the love scenes that vanish from the little white bed. Yet they reappear in memory and reappear in the mirror. There is a purity of feeling, in the memory of love, a dreamy lightness, a suspended time towards the infinite.
Melancholia and romance: a poetic vision told with simple but symbolic images. Time rewinds, past and future coincide in these shots where the mirrors magically reflect a different time. Sara’s photographs are images of a lived past. The house, set of the “story, is “represented” as a symbol of family, as hearth, the feminine values, a place of protection from the world, but also as the set for themise en scene of love, of drama, decay and abandonment.
This young girl lives her time and tells us much more than she rationally crystallizes through the objective of the camera. Once Alice’s mirror is crossed the flow of thought which generates becomes uncontrollable: fear of decay, of lost opportunities, the uncertainty of life. So the great existentialist themes regarding life, love and death emerge.
The imagination of the artist feeds on memory and desire, so that her works are the result of a careful and delicate visualization of her personal mental and sentimental dimension. As Pavel Florensky said, in a situation where the perception of reality “moves”, it is inevitable for poetry and art to turn toward the past and the memory to tell the transience of the presence.
Sara Menegatti was born in Ferrara in 1988. After the high school she enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where she graduated in 2011. She developed an interest in photography while she was still a student. The theme of her photographs is the Involuntary Memory, ‘experienced’ in everyday life and evoked by objects and places impregnated with the essence of the people with whom they came in contact. People do not always esteem these type of memories: this is why she recreates them in her images, capturing and making them visible visible through photography – always considered as “witness of what it was”, and through a mirror – a recurring element for the artist. At times the mirror becomes a door to what has been, to memories of those places and those objects; sometimes it incarnates directly those places and those objects turning themselves into mirrors of their memory. Other works by Sara Menegatti revolve around the theme of Incommunicability and the signals of closure, involuntary behaviors we unconsciously assume by building imaginary barriers towards people and environments. At the moment she is receiving her MA degree in Experimental Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna.
F_AIR is the art residency program in the historic center of Florence and hosts artists from all over the world. Founded by Florence University of the Arts and located at the institution’s Fine Arts campus, F_AIR creates stimulating opportunities to connect artists and students to contemporary art in Florence and offers a rich program of artist’s talks, laboratory activities, exhibitions, and three residencies a year for artists between 25 and 38 years of age.
Ellequadro Documents deals with communication for companies and institutions creating custom products for Contemporary Art and Design. ARTOUR-O is a periodic event traveling in Italy and abroad with exhibitions, meetings, case studies, performances, dedicated to Contemporary Art and Design. It allows companies to be known in an innovative, incisive and rewarding way, testifying that Patronship, which has made our country relevant for centuries, is more alive than ever. Companies are then involved and participate as Patrons not as a Sponsors. It is a substantial difference, which allows much broader and numerous feedback.
The gAt(Award Young Artists Talent) is one of the many proposals conceived by ARTOUR-O. It came from a discussion concerning a crucial point: has Florence creativity of the past centuries ended or does an endemic factor exist in the area? The answers differed significantly … Hence the decision to “test” contemporary creativity, starting from Tuscany.
The first edition took place in 2012; given to its fortune we decided to replicate the successful formula, interested to explore other areas. Last year gAt was dedicated to Emilia-Romagna and Olivia Spatola and Manuela Valentini had the role of selectors and curators of Young Talents from that region. A jury of professionals assigned to Sara Menegatti the palm of victory,as a result she is presenting her solo exhibition at F_AIR, in Florence