FORTUNA
BALNEARIS

In collaboration with Stefano G.
Curated by Giulio Verago 
additional text by Francesca Rossi Minelli

 

Fortuna Balnearis, conceived especially for Edicola Radetzky, functions as a kind of “urban room”, intimate but exposed to the gazes of passers-by; it is also a space for observation, a fantasy lab, erotic, a theatre of performative actions carried out by the artist in collaboration with the performer Stefano G. 

 

The inaugural performance on Wednesday, 13 July will also be performed on successive Wednesdays, always at 7pm: 20 July, 27 July and 3 August.

 

The scenic action is based on the repetition of the ancient gesture of embroidery with references to Penelope waiting for Ulysses; or the tension between the finished and the unfinished, between the desire for presence and the projection of absence. The scene is completed and enriched by ceramic elements of varying dimensions, some suspended in space, containing small inscriptions (sometimes ironic) on their surface. Besides Penelope, the artist adds to the references the cult of saints and their sometimes hidden symbologies, pointing to queer implications as in the case of Saint Sebastian. In ancient Rome, Fortuna Balnearis was the deity of the public baths; places of relations, theatres of seduction and violence. These apparently disparate references become associated images in a stream of thought and poetry that the artist also distils in his podcast Pivote – an ideal sound accompaniment for this project.

 

Matheus Chiaratti’s artistic research embraces painting, embroidery, ceramics, photography and writing in a particular composition of domestic fragments, within a repertoire of extravagant forms, still-lifes and banquets where Sandro Penna has tea with Félix González-Torres. From a symbolic point of view, the evocation of a repertoire of pagan-Christian mythology is explicit, revisited with the irony of a flâneur and the awareness of the political implications of the exercise of desire. 

 

In Chiaratti’s work, the voice of the poets of the past cohabits with the minutiae of daily life, in artistic situations in which a simple metro ticket can be the poetic pretext for seeking another place where to drown one’s own desire, away from prying and impertinent eyes. The quotation of a letter by Jean Cocteau (from the artist’s own collection) is a pretext to reflect on the times we live in and on the insurmountable contradiction between what you see and what you get.

 

Fortuna Balnearis also marks the conclusion of the residency period in Viafarini, Milan. An experience complemented by another brief residency in June in Grottaglie, southern Italy, at Mena Fueco, a space for experimentation and a platform for young contemporary ceramics. We thank independent curator Francesca Rossi Minelli for her generous collaboration with the project.

 

Acknowledgements: Fiorella Fontana, Giulio Verago, Sté, Francesca Rossi Minelli, Mena Fueco and Uzhu, Giorgio di Palma, Exfrantoio Grottaglie, Andrea D’Aversa, Giulio Elia, Imma Lenti, Rosario Pedone, Mariangela Distante, Luca Marianaccio, Luis Pérez-Oramas, Ateliê 397, Jacopo Lupi, Ciça Ohno, Isabela Rossi, Anna Del Torchio, Emanuele Sosio Galante, Chiara Zoppei, Fabrizio De Gaetano, Francesco Petri, Viafarini-in-Residence, Quadra Galeria, Aura Galeria, Gate Art.

 

“Now that all the others have run out of air, it’s my turn. Once, people would have laughed if I’d tried to play the minstrel [...] but who cares about public opinion now? The opinion of shadows, of echoes. So I’ll spin a thread of my own.”

Margaret Atwood, Penelopiad.

 

Giulio Verago

Viafarini-in-Residence

INFO

FORTUNA BALNEARIS

Opening: 13 July 2022

Until 3 August 2022

Performances every Wednesday 

Edicola Radetzky | Viale Gorizia (Darsena), Milan

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©2022 by Matheus Chiaratti.