Nautilus – Part 1 at Marsèlleria, Milan

Nautilus – Part 1, exhibition view at Marsèlleria, Milan

 

“Captain Nemo,” I told my host, who had just stretched out on a couch, “this is a library that would do credit to more than one continental palace, and I truly marvel to think it can go with you into the deepest seas.”

“Where could one find greater silence or solitude, professor?” Captain Nemo replied. “Did your study at the museum afford you such a perfect retreat?”

“No, sir, and I might add that it’s quite a humble one next to yours. You own 6,000 or 7,000 volumes here…”

“12,000, Professor Aronnax. They’re my sole remaining ties with dry land. But I was done with the shore the day my Nautilus submerged for the first time under the waters. That day I purchased my last volumes, my last pamphlets, my last newspapers, and ever since I’ve chosen to believe that humanity no longer thinks or writes. In any event, professor, these books are at your disposal, and you may use them freely.”

Nautilus – Part 1, exhibition view at Marsèlleria, Milan

 

Nautilus – Part 1, exhibition view at Marsèlleria, Milan

 

This dialogue from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was a reference point in Georges Perec’s Brief Notes on the Art and Manner of Arranging One’s Books, in a chapter dedicated to the challenge of keeping a limited number of volumes in one’s library. According to the author, the dilemma is about how to maintain the selection of books not to miss recent publications of interest, neither to loose essential publications from the past: clearly, the only solution is a constant update of the library, an endless struggle for a satisfying balance. Perec’s book was published in 1985, three years after his death and many years before the evolution of the web as a common research and archive tool.

Back to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo was not only a character relating with the topic of the ultimate archive, but his motivation to travel the world on board of the Nautilus – seeking revenge for oppressed and forgotten communities – leads us to globalization, another issue of culture in recent times.

Thinking of transformation not as a transition but as a stable, unavoidable condition, Nautilus – Part 1 aims to display this idea of fruition- driven necessary compromise: a – obviously limited – number of artists and artworks dealing with the contemporary notion of tradition and memory, world history record and reconstruction, fruition through linear time.

 

Luca Pozzi, Home Pyramid, 2017, martial art tatami, black crystal,
luminescent sponge, electromagnetic levitation field, variable dimensions,
detail
Courtesy Federico Luger

 

Luca Pozzi, Home Pyramid, 2017, martial art tatami, black crystal,
luminescent sponge, electromagnetic levitation field, variable dimensions,
detail
Courtesy Federico Luger

 

Clement Valla, 25.120.246 a,b Font, 2015, inkjet on belgian linen over CNC
milled foam sculptures

 

Clement Valla, 50.159 Saint Barbara, 2015, inkjet on belgian linen over CNC
milled foam sculptures

 

Mishka Henner, Astronomical, 2011, twelve books and a video

 

Elena Radice, FreeCanon/Controversial Freedom, 2015, music composition

 

Curated by Zoe De Luca. Participating artists: Misher Henner, Malaxa (Alicia Mersy, Tabita Rezaire), Luca Pozzi, Clement Valla, Guan Xiao.

Marsèlleria permanent exhibition –  via Privata Rezia, 2 – Milan
8 February – 3 March 2017