Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna, Italy
04 Oct 2014 - 06 Dec 2014


Galleria Enrico Astuni Malak Helmy, Records from the Excited State – Chapter 3: Lost Referents of Some Attraction, 2012, video, 6’, still from video

“… he grasped something. A word, or better a name, which she pronounced indicating the vastness of the sea, where the lights seemed to draw a city. 


He realized that the two had finally found a key to get closer, even if only for a few moments. Perhaps it was true: in that terrace fantasies became reality. Or at least, they kept it temporarily distant, the reality. “* 

Fatamorgana is an exhibition of artworks that speak to certain aspects of our present, characterized by a crisis of imagination suspended in the gap between the nostalgias (of different sign) of the past and the expectations—melancholic, hopeful, palingenetic—of the future. The mirages, the magic effects, the stories of fairies and sailors that the title evokes invite us to wonder about how power—political power, but not only—increasingly resides in the (institutional) ability to build illusions.

Let’s reflect. Basim Magdy (b. 1977, Egypt) tells of illusionary promises of modernization and of change that recast in eternal delusions, sedating wishful thinking and social imagination by relying on emotional impulses associated almost exclusively with individual insecurities. The endless repetition and recurrence of almost identical events, facilitated by the viral camouflage of reality, is the subtext of several works, from Magdy’s  images to Malak Helmy’s (b. 1982, Egypt) sculptures and videos of toxic and artificial landscapes. The visionary elements that make up the work of Helmy speak of the altered and often equivocal biological and social rhythms of our society and of the symptoms revealing its essence. Her allegories are composed of the slippery relationships between minor historical events, the language that defines them, and the landscapes and objects that anchor them. And allegorical appear also the events staged by Luca Pozzi (b. 1983, Italy), in which materials and substances of different sign and of hybrid identity build moments of earthly but surreal suspension. Clemens Hollerer (b. 1975, Austria) plays with the exhibition’s architecture through the use of modular elements that dramatize and confuse the experience of the space, making of voids and transparencies (of the present or of the future) solid but apocalyptic sculptural volumes. In response, Goda Budvytyte (b. 1985, Lithuania) intervenes almost secretly, with a subtle but assertive gesture that plays with the ever-changing nature of fatamorgana.

Many claim the need to formulate a new form of language to achieve a substantial global change, as only then, paradoxically, it could be possible to develop new codes, free from the constraints of dominant cultures (or perhaps free tout court). It’s in this light that we can read some works by Carlos Amorales (b. 1970, Mexico), which stem from a research on non-semantic languages. Here, verbal and textual communication is replaced by abstract expressions, articulated in images, fragments of texts, signs and symbols composed by free and mostly visual associations. The result is a powerful anarchical narrative, which in itself proposes an alternative to reality. Maybe it’s of the ambiguous political force of the poetic avant-garde that we are talking about. And probably it was true: in that terrace fantasies became reality. But reality—as the protagonist of the story sensed for the first time—can be kept away only temporarily.


With: Carlos Amorales, Goda Budvytyte, Malak Helmy, Clemens Hollerer, Basim Magdy, Luca Pozzi

Curated by Antonia Alampi 


Opening: Saturday October 4, 7pm

The artists will be attending

Galleria Enrico Astuni
Via Jacopo Barozzi, 3
40126, Bologna



*Excerpt from “I Mondi sommersi ritornano,”  Ctonia Edizioni, by M.A.


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