ROME.- The meaning of the usual exhortation to go beyond appearances is unclear. In fact, choosing to appear in a certain way, in a certain circumstance, should say a lot about the essence of things. Would it not therefore be more accurate to say that appearances are a representation of reality itself?
A slow and context-responsive process characterizes the work of Gaia Di Lorenzo, You are not alone, 2017 - 2022, whose research investigates the nature of things in their opposites - the fragile in the hard, the natural in the artificial - without privileging either aspect, but making them accomplices. Her artistic practice revolves around ecologies of adaptation, their role in processes of self-identification and power dynamics. Conceived as misleading representations of reality, her works are the product of a sedimentation of ideas and references that recount the contradictions of existence, without wishing to summarize its complexity, but affirming a different identity from the one attributed to it.
The Yew is a one of Earths most long-lived plant. It is considered sacred by many pre-Christian religions. In England, mature yews are nowadays mainly found in Churchyards but they usually precede the founding of the church building. Yews grow slowly and adapt greatly, even changing gender. In Gaia Fugazza's work, Yew, 2020, Roos Carr figures, dated around 600 BC, are engraved. Originally carved from yew wood, they have the interesting feature of being able to change sex through removable genitalia, suggesting a very ancient knowledge of the yew's adaptive quality.
Cardboard has many layers. Not only can one paint on it, but you can use every groove, every tear, every slit. You can build and deconstruct meanings between its layers. What makes the first layer complicated is that we don't know what is underneath, but holes, tears and slits are ways to access the layer underneath. Shadi Yasrebi transfers the essence of Iranian-Islamic architecture, made of domes and arches, under which you can feel safe, onto her cardboard sculptures. The carved shapes and colour of Cold Trip and Orange Afternoon, 2022, brings back to those architectural forms. Gaining access to one's deepest and most private layers means that you have gained access to one's personal space or 'architecture'.