Spazio Testoni

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The Gallery SPACE TESTONI Bologna presents Art Fair 2013 from 25 to 28 January 2013, Pavillon 26 - Stand B60, the project "JOURNEY INTO REALITY", an exhibition of new works of artists Andrea Francolino and Maria Rebecca Ballestra  and at its headquarters in Via D'Azeglio 50 a double solo show of the same artists curated by Alberto Mattia Martini and Paola Valenti.  The presentation for the first time along with the works of these two artists, both within Art Fair, that in the gallery during the week dedicated to contemporary art Bologna, allow visitors to learn about the latest artistic interpretations of Maria Rebecca Ballestra and Andrea Francolino, that both derive from the reality in which we live the inspiration for their creativity and expressiveness, now widely known also internationally. The gallery space Testoni has invited the respective editors of reference of the two artists, Paola Valenti for Maria Rebecca Ballestra and Alberto Mattia Martini for Andrea Francolino, to present to the public their works.

The various stages of work in progress created by itinerant Ballestra inspired by the Charter of Arenzano of Earth and Man, designed and created by the Ligurian poet Maximum Morasso, bear witness to the concerns, contradictions but also solutions with which, in different parts of the world, people from different cultures deal, more or less consciously, the emergence of the increasingly precarious balance between nature and man. From the need to try to resolve, at least in part, this problem have taken their visionary power realities like that of modern Arab city of Masdar City (Abu Dhabi), Rebecca Ballestra which has dedicated a Charmful photographic work, traits futuristic, during the fourth stage of his long journey: also known as the Garden City, Masdar City is a model of sustainable city, designed to offer a high standard of living and optimal working conditions with the least possible environmental impact and ecological. Masdar City is the real answer, provided by Abu Dhabi – leading company in the global economy for the production of hydrocarbons – some of the most pressing problems of humanity: energy security, climate change and the development of human skills in relation to sustainability.
The urgency of the environmental situation requires, in fact, accountability on the part not only of great political and economic realities, but also of every individual who is able to understand the importance of their contribution and to gain the awareness of being part of a system based on reciprocity and , of choices, actions. Just thinking about this problem, the artist has created – during the fifth stage of the journey around the world that led to China, and the accuracy in Sunhoo Industrial Design Innovation Park in Fuyang, in the province of Hangzhou – l’installazione I’m because you are: is suggestive to interpret, also on the basis of Taoist philosophy, the statement that gives the title to the work - I exist because you exist – as a warning to the personification of Nature Man, universally understood, to remind him of the condition of interdependence that binds not only to other living beings but also, and especially, the natural world, with the whole system self-generating elements, in turn changing and interaction, that needs to be listened, understood and respected.

The brick wall that overlooks the installation is an explicit reference to the dramatic development that is affecting Fuyang, with the consequent transformation of entire agricultural land in industrial zones and residential. Although the city represents, at national level, a model for the protection of the environment, the impact of these changes on the landscape, dominated by the presence of mountains and rivers, is proving to be massive and radical, making dramatic contrast between the value attributed to the nature of the cultural and philosophical traditions of China and the push for economic growth that is transforming the country. To accentuate the contrast between old and new values, Rebecca Ballestra has some painted red brick wall, thus forming the trigram K'un (Earth), one of the eight trigrams handed down from I Ching, document among the oldest in the world, dating in writing about 3000 years ago: the trigram K'un symbolizes a mother figure, to reiterate that it is the nature that lies the principle of life.
On the wall and on the floor around it are dozens of colorful dragonflies, while a video projection see images of dragonflies in flight: are the symbol of illusion and change, and, significantly, live thousands in Fuyang, city in which we live today the illusion of change with respect for nature and its needs. How bold and risky both seem to want to witness this Promethean challenge, with their sovereign presence, the giant animals, in a possible future posthuman era, could rule unchallenged buildings constructed, in the past, by equally ambitious men.

Paola Valenti