Tomaso Binga and Donatella Spaziani “Corporale” at Erica Ravenna Fiorentini, Rome

Tomaso Binga and Donatella Spaziani, Corporale, Installation View
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Erica Ravenna Fiorentini Arte Contemporanea presents Corporale, a duo show with Tomaso Binga and Donatella Spaziani. This exhibition project deepens the theme of the body as subject, focusing on the relation between the works of Tomaso Binga and Donatella Spaziani, two artists from different generations. Tomaso Binga transforms the alphabetic signs into a lively writing where the body becomes a language in itself. Her writing seems to delineate multiple possibilities for a new interpretation of the female body—as well as poetry does, outside the pre-constituted semantics and structures. Instead, in Donatella Spaziani, the spatial and temporal dimensions are in relation to the body, in an emotional tension splitting within anonymous environments, as provisional and oppressive as contemporary living. An impulse to escape, by declining the dark silhouettes into new forms.

Although with a personal and different touch, Binga and Spaziani works have analogies in the use of materials, such as wallpaper. In Tomaso Binga, the wallpaper is a surface that recalls the passivity associated to the female body, traditionally secluded in the domestic walls and roles; a passivity that the artist manages to sabotage with her witty and sharp sign. In Donatella Spaziani, the wallpaper is both synthesis of the space around and emotional background, which the black body silhouettes are moving on and dealing with.

On the occasion of the exhibition Laura Cherubini—who co-curated this exhibition with Erica Ravenna, reflects upon the two artists intervention. “The body is what speaks in silence” said Alighiero Boetti. And Jacques Lacan: “Who does not speak with his tongue speaks with his fingertips” … Ever since the Body Art, the body became artistic medium: the body is a language that can be read as a sign system. Particularly when conjugated to feminine, the body is usually linked to the household. If the skin is the first border between the person and the world, the second is the dress and the house is the third. The house is like a body extension. Although different in generation and formation, the two artists are both confronting these isssues. This exhibition catches some surprising affinities between Tomaso Binga (alias Bianca Menna) and Donatella Spaziani’s oeuvre.
As one of the most notable exponent of the Italian contemporary phonetic-performative poetry, Tomaso Binga “decides to adopt a masculine name, to protest against male privilege” as Paola Ugolini writes “Binga’s living writings stem from the ambition to create a radical alternative to male language.” Scrittura Vivente is an alphabet written directly by a body which is becoming a sign. So it happens, witnessed by the audience, the female body metamorphosis into words. Photographic images as well as the writer’s hand are contained “in candid white polystyrene shapes” (Giulio Carlo Argan), a material Binga is attracted to as waste. Yet, she ransoms it from its candour and turns it into a small theatre framing the image. The context is the household (Dorfles) within the “four walls” (Cortenova) decorated with wallpaper. A subtle handwriting runs over the wallpaper, as if the same artist body would become wallpaper itself. Also in Donatella Spaziani the object wallpaper is central: her artwork was born in Saint Petersburg, where Spaziani caught her silhouette in self portraits, together with fragments of walls building the space around it. The black figures are moving on the decorative pattern, typical of the context they belong to. The wallpaper is a container and the decorations an element which these silhouette can rest on. “When I came back home I sketched the house planimetry, as I remembered it” says Spaziani “it is in fact an emotional planimetry”. As the wallpaper, the artist body perimeter becomes a container to draw into. There is another project entitled Fuga (Escape) with some nutshell-shaped maquettes with mattresses inside. The allusion to the concave-convex-shaped bed recalls the fairy tale Pollicina (Thumbelina), a tiny child born in a flower who had her bed in a nutshell, a mattress of purple leaves and a rose petal as blanket … furthermore Fuga is a term used in music, thus in drawing the pencil sound is important too …”


Tomaso Binga, Alfabeto Pop, 1977
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Tomaso Binga, Alfabeto Vocalico, 1975
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Donatella Spaziani, Senza Titolo, 2005
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Tomaso Binga, Necessaire da Viaggio, 1977
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Donatella Spaziani, Fuga, 2004/2008
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Donatella Spaziani, St. Petersburg, 2001
Courtesy Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea, Photo by Roberto Apa


Tomaso Binga and Donatella Spaziani
curated by Erica Ravenna and Laura Cherubini
12 December 2017–3 March 2018

Erica Ravenna Arte Contemporanea | via Margutta 17, Roma
Opening times: Monday–Friday 10:30am–7:30pm, Sat 10:30am–1.30pm
+39 063219968