Floating Fantasies


Melhus, HappyRebirth, 2004, frame da video

The exhibition Floating Fantasies in Torrione Passari, in Molfetta (Bari), supported by Comune di Molfetta, Regione Puglia and OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway) is to be considered as the last stage of a project of contemporary art. The project is planned in four stages, one a year, from 2009 to 2012, which mean to look at aesthetic boundaries and stylistic standards.   The four exhibitions point out the changing connotation of multimedial and ”intermedial” searches, besides the use of technology for new practices bordering reality. The artists invited in 2011 were Gianfranco Baruchello, Olga Chernysheva, Wolfgang Plöger, Grazia  Toderi. Whereas in 2012  Torrione Passari houses an exhibition devoted to the frontier of floating practices with artists such as Rä di Martino, Marius Engh, Bjørn Mehlus, Olaf Metzel, Thomas Zipp. Such project concentrates on a type of fantasy which crosses the polyphonic “scene” both of reality and experienced life and utopia and dream, a contemporary “fantasy” which, according to Adorno, could be located “between” conscience and speech. This floating practice favours a continuous displacement from a sphere to another, keeping the creation of symbolic exchanges and contextual relations always flowing. The fragmentation and proposition of well-known characters, media subjects and communicative strategies spread new interpretations and visual codes in Bjørn Mehlus. In the wake of Nam June Paik and Bruce Nauman, Mehlus dwells on the absurd sides of cinema and television media. He knows well the lesson given by Nail Postman, according to which mass media affect our forms of social organization, our habits of mind, our political ideas. He thinks over the questions suggested by McLuhan on the social and cultural consequences of new communicative technology. In Olaf Metzel’ s artistic way, the use of press cuttings began late in the ‘80s, for example for the works Il Balletto della Crisi, 1988, and Il Messaggero, 1989. Sheets of newspapers, taken from  dailies as well as from  magazines, with subjects concerning news, culture and politics, are chosen and reutilized, in order to create some aluminium works reproducing  “scrunched up” images on a large scale. Portraits, texts or press-cuttings seem to be in relief thanks to the use of aluminium sheets on which they are printed on both sides. His two famous works, Gaddafi and Pasolini, 2011, exhibited in Torrione Passari in Molfetta, are buckled, bulged and bended sheets, so that they seem to be huge papers to throw away. These works offer political and social hints, unsolved mysteries (Pasolini), and debatable lives (Gaddafi), real data and imaginary ideas. Marius Engh takes possession of the surrounding world, produces clones and gets new points of view concerning the “things” belonging to past experiences. Through the ri-creation of reality Engh investigates the spirit and the history things have got inside and tries to move them away from their starting context to express a tacit potential. Thomas Zipp puts together different elements – paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, objects – to create a global environment integrating the spaces of the exhibition area. Zipp’s work is a “dark phantasmagoria” fed by references to history, science and religion, to politics and society, to art and  philosophy. He travels on divergent routes and meaning antagonisms. He penetrates into antithetical theme fields: good and evil, truth and lie, norm and deviation, body  and mind, obsession and ecstasy, beatitude and sexuality, extreme experiences. For Torrione Passari Rä di Martino exhibits some photographic worksNo More Stars (star wars), 2011, and some unpublished photos of 2012 – made after an inspection on some cinema sets abandoned in various places of Tunisia and Morocco: for example the settlements of Tatooine of the scientific universe of Star Wars, ruins in the desert dunes. R? di Martino  explores the idea of the landscape as a “double”, emphasizing the persuasive power of images. In the desert of Morocco there was a continuous “visual distribution” for which different environmental and cultural contexts such as Ancient Egypt, Jerusalem(in the films “The Gladiator” of Ancient Rome or Jesus of Nazareth), New Mexico, Tibet (Kundum) were created.
September 29 – November 4, 2012
Torrione Passari


Oaf Metzel, Gaddafi, 2011


Thomas Zipp, Irmgar, 2010