Laura Viale “Wild Carrots Bloom Over There” at Ghost Space, Turin

Laura Viale, Di là fioriscono carote selvagge, 2018 
Courtesy the artist


Just a few years after her last exhibition at the PAV in 2013, Laura Viale returns to Turin with a new series of works installed at Ghost Space, the studio where Diego Scroppo hosts the research and experiments of his artist friends. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a short essay by Francesca Comisso.

“In this exhibition, images and shapes emerge from the darkness: from the deep black of the photographic prints, from the black walls of the exhibition space, and, even before that, from the darkness of the night, from which the artist has subtracted several fragments of landscape illuminated by a basic flashlight. This is the tool that, in recent years, Laura has chosen in order to conduct an “almost speleological” study in apparently remote natural environments, but on many occasions actually right around the corner from home. The long exposure times that underlie her idea of photography as a form of contemplation allow her to capture what the eye struggles to see, producing images that seem to surface from multiple spatio-temporal dimensions, as we are told by the title itself: Wild Carrots Bloom Over There. The transparent juxtaposition of several photographs, as “different moments that accidentally cross the same space “, creates images that are evanescent yet also rich in precious details, where nature and artifice, closeness and distance, matter and thinking, all coexist, and at times transcend the circumscribed space of the frame to extend from the wall to the floor. Laura instead exploits the transparent and flexible nature of PVC to preserve a “temporary” form generated by software to transcribe the silhouette of the branches of a tree in a vectorial drawing; a form that is otherwise destined to disappear during the digital processing.

Hence, appearing on a wall are the Temporary Branches of an electronic landscape that advances by lines and points before it adapts to the sinuous shapes of our vegetal universe, but that seems to possess all the vital potential of growth here. Laura Viale thus offers further articulation to research – which is at once conceptual and poetic – into the relationship between visuality and materiality, between images and things, in which we find not just a constant interest in the natural element and the landscape, but also the continuous resorting to devices that are born and function as traces of what is real: the pictures of inflorescences captured by a ray of light in the night, and the synthetic “branches” displayed in this exhibition are thus in essence similar to the frottage drawings made years before together with the participants in a full-fledged speleological exploration organized by the artist, in which portions of the rocky surface of a cave lit by the helmet lights were reproduced. The numerous traces of the cave breathed life into the installation Inframondo at the PAV, evoking the notion of threshold, the connection between different conditions and dimensions, and reminding us that the trace, as a form in the negative, has always been among the most phantasmatic symptoms of the volatility of things.”


Laura Viale was born in Turin in 1967 and currently lives and works in Brussels, where she recently showed her work at the Italian Cultural Institute and at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, and developed projects for exhibitions, for collaborations, and exchanges among artists. She has also had solo shows at the PAV, Experimental Center for Contemporary Art in Turin, Fondazione Bottari Lattes in Monforte d’Alba (Cuneo), and in the galleries, Turin, Gian Carla Zanutti Arte Contemporanea, Milan, and Andrew Mummery Gallery in London. Major group shows include: Grand Hotel, Surplace Art Space, Varese (2017), Lumièrematière, ArBA-EsA, Brussels (2016), LandScapes, Dialoghi intorno alla terra, Villa Giulia, Verbania (2015), Un—fold, Barriera, Turin – A Room, Helsinki – Museo Soares dos Reis, Porto – Kessler Contemporary and Lametro, Valencia-Asme Galerie, Berlin (2013-2014), 14 Festival Internazionale Cinemambiente, Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin (2011), Bioteche, Museo di Scienze Naturali, Torino e Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2010-2011), Flower Power, CRAA, Verbania, Greenhouse (Autumn), PAV, Turin (2009), Poi piovve dentro a l’alta fantasia, Museo Marino Marini, Florence (2007), XIV Quadriennale di Roma – Anteprima Torino, Promotrice delle Belle Arti, Turin (2004), Nuovo Spazio Italiano, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea e MART, Trento (2002). Viale has been an artist-in-residence at Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, California, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna, Florida, and the Fondation La Napoule, Cannes, France. One of her large-scale works serves as an apse in the multi-confessional chapel designed by Ettore Sottsass for Malpensa Airport in Milan.  Her works are also a part of various collections both in Italy and other European countries.


Laura Viale, Temporary Branches, 2016
Installation at Ghost Space, detail


Laura Viale
Wild Carrots Bloom Over There
24–26 May 2018 2018, 7–9:30 pm
31 May–30 June 2018

Ghost Space | Via Mazzini 39, Turin
Opening hours: Thu/Sat, 4–8pm and by appointment
+39 3464910250