The show’s title might work as a translation of Ñe’e Porã, the special language Guarani shamans adopt when addressing their gods. These Belle Parole/Beautiful Words or Grande Parlare(1) (Talking Big) demand utmost accuracy and carry enormous responsibility. Only when we pay the closest attention to form we give to our questions (and gods have very good hearing!) may we hope to receive an answer to the crucial enigma Guarani native peoples have been faced with for generations: why on earth – despite feeling so similar to their gods – do they continue living in an impure world instead of “yvy mara ey”: the Land without Evil?
“Of course, the words in this show are not necessarily words. The works presented – a few paintings, a neon sign, a video – are a plotting of cross references. If thinking big and talking big is no longer possible, we can, perhaps must, reformulate our language, scattering silence here and there.” [Luca Bertolo, 2017]
The catalog Luca Bertolo (2012-2017) – Le Belle Parole / The Beautiful Words, published by Mousse publishing, with texts by Craig Burnett, Dieter Roelstraete and a conversation between the artist and Antonio Grulli, will be available at the show.
“This idea of “excess of image” derives from dogmatic philosophers, Feuerbach, for example, is further developed by Situationists, Guy Debord, in particular, and popularized by Susan Sontag in her book on photography. Here, the image is the negative that must be countered with the rationality of concepts. What they refer to as images are really instead icons or visual signs that evoke a symbolic nucleus, a cliché. And the excess in which we are drowning consists of the commercial, artistic, and journalistic icons associated with everything we call “product”. An image is something else: the ash of an appearance that streaks through our mind, leaving behind the effect of a transparency of the thought we are pursuing. Sharp distinctions between image and word are never made in this process, however, or either between image and music, for that matter. Sounds and words both produce visions, which guide our thoughts in the direction of the unknown to which we attempt to assign a meaning – the meaning of something we can believe in.” [Gianni Celati, 2010]
(1) Pierre Clastres, Le grand parler. Mythes et chants sacrés des Indiens Guarani, Paris, edition du seuil, Parigi 1974 [trad. it.,. Il grande parlare. Miti e canti sacri degli Indiani Guaranì, mimesis, milano 2016].
Luca Bertolo (1968, Milano, IT) attended the Graduate Degree Course in Information Technology from 1987 until 1992 at Milano Università Statale, where he began writing his thesis on Mathematical Logic while taking other courses in art and working as an illustrator. Following a period of residence in London, he returned to Italy and graduated from the Brera Fine Arts Academy in 1998. He moved to Berlin the same year, where he lived until 2005. Recent solo shows include: Se non qui dove (If not Here, Where?), organized by MAN, Gavoi, Ex Caserma, Nuoro, IT; Everybody is always right, Arcade, London, UK; If Anything, Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles, USA; Guerre Pace, SpazioA, Pistoia IT; A Painting Cycle, curated by Cecilia Canziani and Ilaria Gianni, Nomas Foundation, Roma, IT. Recent group exhibitions include: Material Life, The Goma, Madrid, ES; Recto Verso, Fondazione Prada, Milano, IT; Anna Barham , Luca Bertolo , John Wallbank, Galerie Tatjana Pieters, Gent, B; I baf del bambino, curated by Luca Bertolo, Lucie Fontaine, Milano, IT; Souvenir, curated by Lucie Fontaine, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, FR; Fig. 2: Natura Morta, curated by Cecilia Canziani and Ilaria Gianni, GNAM, Roma, IT. The artist lives and works in Fabbiano, a small village in Tuscany.
Luca Bertolo: Le Belle Parole / The Beautiful Words at SpazioA, Pistoia
Sat 23 Sep 2017 to Sat 11 Nov 2017
Writing via Press Release courtesy of the artist and SpazioA, Pistoia. Photos by Camilla Maria Santini.