There are few moments in time and there are few places that allow destiny and nature to meet. This time, it is the exhibition Rivelazioni of Jacopo Mandich at Galleria Varsi in Rome that celebrates the fusion of two ancestral roots and the contrast of two materials, iron and wood. Breaking the barrier between the artist and his public is the site-specific installation that tells a tale of the soul’s movement displayed through twists and curves of an old and wise wood. The materials along with the exhibition space ask – Where is the individual and can he/she achieve the balance, find that inner safe place from where the magic can come through?
Since the beginning of his production, iron and wood are two materials that follow Jacopo Mandich. Molding the two and bestowing upon them fluid and emotional context, the artist explores the echoes of the past attempting to find guidance and the place of the individual at present and in future. The chaotic search of today imprisons the body and forces it to exist in an eternal repetition. Yet, the soul never seems to give up, and like the two materials has existed even before it received its shell. In a recent interview curated with the artist by Chiara Pietropaoli, Mandich describes his connection with his favorite choices for the creation of his abstract sculpture and installations.
‘Iron and wood are materials that have always exercised a mysterious fascination on me, and when I started to deal with sculpture my research spontaneously went to them.
They are ancestral materials that have accompanied man for millennia, with which man has developed a connection since his ancestral roots and that over time have taken on different roles. They are part of our memory and of our strength; they evoke an ancient symbology and a deep bond.
The contrast, the clash/ meeting between a natural element which is organic, warm and soft, with one which is instead industrial, mineral, cool and edgy, creates a synergy, an opposition, a harmonious contrast that to me exemplifies human duality, a conflicting and at the same time virtuous bond... the Apollonian and the Dionysian, rationality, and instinct ... the primary forces that move the universe.’
As an alchemist, artist researches the duality and the invisible existence. Even though his abstract sculpture and installation pieces are rooted in the heavy materialism of his desired elements, upon arriving at the gallery space one feels the tension and the desire of the organic to escape and free itself from the white cube. It is only once we are in the space that the true desire of the site-specific installation Rivelazioni comes forth. Created for the reason to display such tension, the piece also aims to break down the barrier between the artist, the piece, and its audience. The active role of the public is welcomed and the piece is left open for interpretation and the individual reflections of all that visit.
After his solo exhibition in 2014, Jacopo Mandich needed to return back to the Galleria Varsi in Rome. It was its openness and its availability that lingered in the artist’s mind focused on exploring the tensions between the solid and fluid existence. Along with the mentioned, the need to investigate the process of creation itself and how it is possible to open the production moment to the audience inspired and created the site-specific installation Rivelazioni. Lasting from September 16th, 2016 until September 24th, 2016, the transformation of the gallery and the play between the geometry and abstract shape of the wood and iron, invite and promise the chance for deeper reflections of anyone that confronts it.
All images courtesy of Galleria Varsi, Rome. Featured image in slider: Jacopo Mandich – The spark of the meeting point between iron and wood. Photo by Manuela Giusto; Jacopo Mandich – Working process. Photo by Manuela Giusto; Jacopo Mandich – Working process. Photo by Manuela Giusto; Jacopo Mandich – Rivelazioni, detail. Photo by Manuela Giusto; Galleria Varsi. Photo by Manuela Giusto.