May 2016_by Federica Tattoli
From Turin to Lisboa. A brand new gallery opened its doors at the end of April in Portugal, the founder and owner is Matteo Consonni and the first exhibitions showed the works of Renato Leotta, both from Turin to the Ocean and the town of Pessoa.
The title of this first show is Aventura, the word deriving from the French «aventure», which comes from the Latin «adventura», since its origin it entails a tension towards the future, along with the uncertainty of what will happen and, by extension, the good fortune, the chance, the fate. Aventura tells us of incognito, desire, expectations, dreams, vicissitude, perils and wonders...
The images and the text written by the artist will go along with you into this Aventura...
Lisbon, April 2016
On the beaches of the Atlantic coast north of Lisbon, we wondered taking care not to step on the drawings that the ocean had created on the sand, once it retired in the low tide.
As soon as the huge water masses diminished, according to the laws of cosmic attraction, they left before our eyes samples of curves, lines and ridges. An alphabet of sand images that every day tells a different version of the same story.
The time allowed to the observation of this phenomenon is governed by the stars and in particular by the Moon and the Sun; soon the ocean would have moved, gradually erasing what it had drawn, just to reformulate afterwards a new script.
It led to the intuition that the history of the Time coincides with the history of the Space, which in that moment was going to slowly shrink, forcing the western border to get a few tens of meters closer to Athens; and it forced us to quickly fall back to the rocks, as if in a game shaped after the movement of the accordion, drawing a constantly oscillating border which could mark the beginning or the end of a story (or a continent).
We recovered some of these images by making casts of the surface of the beach and from them we obtained the positive using clay boards in order to preserve them and observe their shapes later in time with more attention.
Although the cosmic force that determines the movement of the tides acts impartially on all parts of the globe, the nature of the tide at any particular place is a local and specific matter; their manifestation can be very different even if they occur within a short geographic distance, depending on the topographical features of this or that other bay.
This phenomenon escapes the possibility of being caught through a dethatched impartiality, describing an ever- changing horizon that can not be determined recurring to general formula; just like the city and the people who inhabit this or that place, the sea takes the shape of the space it occupies.
The trace of salt that emerged on the fabrics after the water was evaporated in the sun indicates the discriminate between the immersed part and the portion which remained on the surface. All these experiences were gathered as a collection of broken down horizons.
If we consider the ocean as a complex organic system, capable of describing our planet, and we compare the mass of water existing on the surface to the organs of the human body, the Mediterranean Sea might look like the stomach, able to digest and translate the natural elements into a viscerally told story of man and his deepest intimacy.
Thousands nautical miles away on the same meridian, in the Egadi islands, I tried to record the image that could better describe this adventure, a suspension in which we place ourselves as human beings and where the entire course of history takes place.
I imagined the sea as a large dark room and the moon as an enlarger whose phases determine the diaphragm apertures. On the surface of the paper, the light was registered, modulated by the Scirocco breezes and the motion of the waves and small whirlpools.
Renato Leotta (Turin, 1982) lives and works in Turin. Recent solo exhibitions include “Piccola Patria” at Galleria Fonti, Naples, “MUSEO (Cavalli e Cavalle, Cavalli, Cavalli) at Cripta 747, Turin, “Museo Archeologico Nazionale”, Wilson Project and Museo Nazionale E. Sanna, Sassari. His word has been recently included in group shows at La Criée Centre d'Art Contemporain, Rennes, BOZAR, Palais des Beaux-Art, Bruxelles, Peep-Hole, Milan, Macro, Rome, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Gallerie National d’Art, Nancy and will be featured the upcoming exhibition “Les limbes”, at La Galerie Noisy Le Sec, Paris.
Renato Leotta, Aventura (Madeira), 2016, terracotta, sand, 55 x 65 x 67 cm approx. and Aventura (Tanger), 2016, terracotta, sand, 100 x 50 cm approx.
Renato Leotta, Mais ou Menos , 2016, cotton, salt water, 5 elements, 200 x 90 cm. each installation dimensions variable
Renato Leotta, Aventura, 2016, installation view
Renato Leotta, Zeit und Wasser, 2016, gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 cm (unframed)
Renato Leotta, Zeit und Wasser, 2016, gelatin silver print, 40 x 30 cm (unframed)
Renato Leotta, Aventura (Madeira), 2016, terracotta, sand, 55 x 65 x 67 cm approx.
Renato Leotta, Aventura, 2016, terracotta, sand, detail
Renato Leotta, Un Fatto Completo (madragoa), 2016, c-print,European pear artist’s frame 36 x 42 cm (framed), edition of 4 +1 ap