Jason Dodge at Galleria Franco Noero
March 22 – May 5, 2012
Galleria Franco Noero – via Giulia di Barolo 16d – Turin
Typical of Jason Dodge’s sculptural practice is to install single artworks through multiple spaces. In the case of Casa Scaccabarozzi, he has considered the vertical stacking of spaces as a section, a refrain, a stanza.
The starting point of this project, and much of Dodge’s work, is the acknowledgement of the narrative potential of things, in which untraceable or lost histories are isolated under new conditions, and live through our own stories as viewers.
Installed in several floors, The Ornithologists are Sleeping and The Crippled are Sleeping, appear just as leftover pillows; however, each one has been slept on only by one person. We might assume that Ornithologists dream of birds, and amputees dream of missing limbs, but that could simply be an assumption. What we do know of these works, is only that they have slept there.
Throughout the exhibition, one encounters a series of objects that directly relate to a specific but completely lost set of anecdotes: The Disappearers is a grouping of all the cleaning materials used to remove the presence of someone who inhabited a certain place; the traces and hints of a presence are erased by the detergents, that become bearers themselves of this narration.
A pile of bed sheets, used in hotels, collected and then replaced by a linen service, becomes a temporary witness of a loss: as Dodge states, “there must be something left after we touch something” and that something is exactly what is wiped off by the act of cleaning. Anyone becomes in this way a collection of traces that don’t exist anymore.
In the ProjectSpace of Piazza Santa Giulia 0/F the spatial notions of an object are twisted to create a new, ideal use for it, and therefore counter-circuit its “narrative potential”: North is a copper chimney that lays on the floor of the space, pointing the cardinal point that corresponds to its title. What once pointed the sky is now indicating a specific direction, suggesting a new possible use and waiting to gain with it new interlaced histories. In the SiteSpecific space in piazza Santa Giulia 5 a set of long candles enters the visual frame of the shop-window, which becomes an inaccessible place, filled with the multitude of meanings that the candles both carry on traditionally and initiate in this new context.
The artist’s practice lies in the transforming potential of “what we already do” more than of a deliberate act: as when one looks at a prism, it is not important what the prism looks like, what is crucial is discovering how the object alters the vision one has once light has passed through it.
Imagage above: istallation view
Two candles in a doorway, 2012
the disappearers, 2012
All the image: Courtesy the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Torino
Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano