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News from Matteo Basilé

PILGRIMAGE - URBINO

URBINO – Le Ex Stalle Ducali di Urbino mettono in scena il nuovo progetto espositivo dell’artista Matteo Basilé dal titolo PILGRIMAGE: una mostra monografica che ripercorre gli ultimi dieci anni di lavoro, fra viaggi, ricerca e sperimentazione. Esposti circa 50 lavori tratti dalle sue più importanti serie. Atmosfere surreali e visionarie, raccontano aree geografiche diverse, contesti sociali lontani fra loro, tra oriente e occidente, tra reale e surreale.

«Basilé – racconta Vittorio Sgarbi – è un artista elegante. Per lui la fotografia è lo strumento inevitabile per esprimere un’idea d’arte che non sia rielaborazione del già elaborato e del già visto. I suoi maestri sono Edward Weston e Robert Mapplethorpe, esteti fino allo sfinimento. Basilé usa il digitale come un pittore i colori. E le sue immagini appaiono corrette e rigorosamente realistiche, mentre sono intimamente surreali. Basilé crea una doppia realtà o una realtà virtuale, soprattutto nei ritratti. La sua distanza dalla realtà corrisponde alla scelta di vivere lontano, guardando l’Occidente da Bali. Da qui deriva una visione non distaccata ma temperata dalla nostalgia. Come se egli dall’esperienza delle cose estraesse archetipi che stanno dentro di lui, come erede di una grande tradizione familiare».

Il percorso della mostra si conclude con l’ultima serie realizzata dal fotografo e titolata Unseen: un omaggio a Roma, alla sua storia di catacombe e Barocco, papi e imperatori, bellezza e crudeltà.

Vademecum.
• Urbino, Ex Stalle Ducali
• 19 dicembre 2014 – 5 febbraio 2015
• Orario. Tutti i giorni, 9 – 19

UNSEEN - PALAZZO COLLICOLA ARTI VISIVE - Spoleto

PALAZZO COLLICOLA ARTI VISIVE

 

presenta

MATTEO BASILE’

UNSEEN

A cura di Gianluca Marziani

La mostra è inserita nel programma ufficiale del FESTIVAL DEI DUE MONDI

 

In collaborazione con  ART4COMMUNICATION

OPENING: sabato 28 GIUGNO 2014 ore 16:00

 

La mostra prosegue fino al 28 settembre 2014

 

Info su www.palazzocollicola.it

Contatti stampa Palazzo Collicola: info@palazzocollicola.it

Contatti stampa Sistema Museo: ufficiostampa@sistemamuseo.it

Contatti stampa Marziani: gianlucamarziani@gmail.com

 

Il Piano Nobile di Palazzo Collicola apre le sue quinte per un nuovo progetto unitario, disegnato in maniera “sartoriale” sull’aura delle sale, con la logica installativa di un dialogo tra antico e contemporaneo. Matteo Basilé ha seguito le superfici, il mobilio, i vuoti, le prospettive e le evocazioni che il luogo rilascia. Non si è lasciato intimidire dal modello settecentesco dell’appartamento nobiliare, al contrario ha alimentato un cortocircuito tra la sua fotografia e le amenità preesistenti del palazzo. Ha accettato la sfida di un allestimento anomalo, difficilmente immaginabile quando s’inseriscono quadri senza usare i codici tradizionali del muro. Un processo percettivo e sensoriale, elaborato per indagare il codice multiplo della fruizione, lo scarto prospettico, l’anomalia come evoluzione iconografica. Nel caso di Basilé, autore d’immagini in cui spicca l’energia magnetica del contesto scenico, ecco che il Piano Nobile diventa un completamento narrativo, il luogo ideale per esaltare la complessità psicologica dei volti, per definire il paesaggio interiore, il valore della memoria, l’estasi del contrasto risolto. 

 

UNSEEN è il titolo del nuovo viaggio ciclico di Basilé. Una traiettoria drammaturgica del suo ritrattismo, virata nei margini densi del nero cosmico, verso una dimensione dell’animo sospeso, della crisi spirituale di un nuovo millennio, dove il nero implica vertigini emotive ma anche la necessità di una luce, di un’accensione morale che faccia vibrare lo sguardo dei suoi protagonisti. 

 

Matteo Basilé agisce dentro il margine astronomico di un buio abissale, un nero che è figlio di antiche drammaturgie, pulsante come i fondali mefistofelici di certa pittura olandese (seicentesca ma anche recente, basti pensare a quel clima omogeneo che va da Rembrandt alle foto di Erwin Olaf). Basilé ha il centro prospettico nel volto: qui risiede il punto di fuga del suo paesaggio umano ad alto valore (meta)storico, qui matura un ritratto che nasce dalla partenogenesi del nero e che al nero della morte torna, come diapason impassibile e catartico… nero del Barocco, nero catacombale, nero caravaggesco, nero modulato di Francesco Lo Savio, nero di “ex film” e Polaroid firmate Mario Schifano, nero postpop di Franco Angeli… 

 

UNSEEN è anche un radicale omaggio a Roma, alla sua storia di catacombe e Barocco, papi e imperatori, morti e tramonti infuocati, bellezza e crudeltà. Perché Roma ha moltissimo nero dentro il suo corso secolare, un nero che è sintesi di rosso sangue e misteri notturni, intrighi e malvagità, nero che unisce il potere con la potenza, la carne con il misticismo… Roma sacra e profana, città che resta metaluogo nei secoli, corpo (quasi) immobile ma dal metabolismo furioso e inquieto… una Roma dove Matteo è cresciuto, dove è maturato il suo sguardo, la sua cognizione del dolore e della rinascita virtuosa. Qui nel nero si formula un nuovo volto: eterno e in continua evoluzione, immagine che assorbe la responsabilità degli immaginari, ritratto oltre un solo tempo e un dato spazio… il ritratto rinasce dal vero per aspirare all’impronta universale.

MATTEO BASILÉ’S SOLO EXHIBITION

Curator: Ji Shao Feng
Art Directors: Li Qiongbo, Zhang Zhan
Academic Director: James Hu
Curatorial Assistant: Tina Liu
Artist:Matteo Basilé
Sponsors: 53 Art Museum, PONTECHU Contemporary Gallery, Y&M SPACE
Opening: 20:00, December 21st, 2013
Duration: December 21st, 2013~February 11th, 2014
Location: 53 Art Museum No.19 Huiyuan Street, Huijing Road, Guangyuan Express Road, GZ
Seminar Theme: Survivals and Memories of a Visualized AgeAcademic Directors: Wang Lin, Ji Shaofeng
Venue: 53 Club

A Wonderland of the Imaginary: Matteo Basilé’s World

by Ji Shaofeng

Day after day, an increasingly indisputable fact approaches us, announcing that we are living in a visual world where images, as part of our lives’ and experiences’ backdrop, are gradually changing our way of living, thinking, connecting and expressing ourselves. We are losing control on our lives to movies, television, mobile phones, computers, printing, color-inkjets, Internet data and digital images. As a result, our consciousness is dominated by media and television, our consumer behavior governed by signs, and our lives saturated with Internet, phones, weixin and weibo. This is exactly what causes Terry Eagleton to conclude that “it’s an indisputable fact that cultural symbols tend to be a hegemony of the image”. It appears clear that Basilé’s narrative reflects not only the visual approach of contemporary social and cultural cognition, but also a significant change in his cultural standings and attitude, affected by the pattern of writing the scenery of a contemporary visual art experience.

In Basilé’s world of images his cultural vision and edges are extended to the depth of history, culture and memory, and his artistic research penetrates into various issues including society, nature, life, memory, imagination, gender, religion, war and cultural identity. By combining real memory and conforming fantasy, he builds a visual world that is unrealistic or surrealistic, but at the time close to reality. This reminds me of some poetic lines from Goethe’s Faust:

Still o’er my heart is that illusion thrown?

Ye crowd more near! Then, be the reign assigned ye,

And sway me from your misty, shadowy zone!

My bosom thrills, with youthful passion shaken,

From magic airs that round your march awaken.

Vivid pictures from life memories and cultural illusions are carefully composed and arranged, unveiling Basilé’s passionate thinking and symbolic expression of contemporary society and art life. Meanwhile, the self-evaluation and cultural identity foreground take us onto the journey of exploring a refreshing artistic style.

Basilé’s works investigate a variety of issues: religion, fantasy, history, myths, war, nature, man, society, passion, violence, gender, taboos and so on. To some degree, the artist becomes a divinity in the world of self-images where every frame, as a phantom wandering in the wild, reveals the human perception of danger and violence, the sacred and the mysterious. While these images render history a strong sense of authenticity and spirituality, they also carry with them the impulsive passion of breaking away from the establishment of western culture, showing a cultural difference in the way of seeing and attempting to construct a brand new cultural identity, with consideration of difference.

Basilé seeks to blend real-life situations with invented history that includes people and events from real life, so that a fantastic and mysterious dream, that is persuasively real, can come into being. Yet in this altered reality, where actors and audience trade places, it appears clear how scenes are conceived between reality and illusion, in something we would call a “constructed reality”. No matter whether the frames appear real or not, no matter whether they belong to the past, present or future; Basilé restlessly aims to restore and rebuild what happened in history and what is taking place today. All distortions and fabrications lead to a disappearing reality among visions, which Basilé elaborately arranges and photographs, as he employs real-life settings and mysterious fantasy. It is by reproducing representation that self-memory, imagination, evaluation and visual experience are put in the spotlight. In this process, the artist also transforms the traditional visual reading experience and habits, calling forth an intensively magical space of fantasy and mystery between the body of creation (the subject) and that of acceptance (the object).

Basilé’s visual expressions provide certain relaxation to our tediously repetitive and mediocre lives, and satisfaction to those who hunt for adventure and novelty. Yet, as a matter of fact, behind these frames is an intended violence towards consumption, business, entertainment, popular culture and vision, and there also hides the conspiracy against visual consumption.

By producing and directing the images all by himself, reflecting his culture and history as well as strong sensitivity toward tragic flashes of society, Basilé digs deeper into his own self, yet maintaining his strong vitality and impulsive passion. He examines and accepts contemporary society from his own standing and with his own attitude. While part of his judgment is based upon a cultural understanding which is familiar to us, other aspects differ from ours due to a diversity in personal upbringings and knowledge. Still, the social issues of global concern disclosed in his frames force us to meditate on modernization and globalization, our living environment and current reality. We live in a world lit by beauty and hope and shadowed by pain and sorrow, violence and death (as one’s violence and desire is released upon the pain and sorrow of others). Yet, it is on the anxiety that arises from the visual experience of modernization and globalization that Basilé places the greatest emphasis.

In The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud says:“a cigar is sometimes just a cigar”, while Rene Magritte – the master of surrealism – tells us that when we see a painting of a pipe, sometimes “this is not a pipe”.

What is in Basilé’s world of images? An image tells the truth, and as Susan Sontag confessed, “if I have to choose between truth and justice…I choose truth.”

Matteo Basilé:
The Infinite Coexistence of Contraries (The Re-Dreaming of Reason)

Matteo Basilé possesses the uncanny ability to reconcile opposite ideas such as the beautiful and the grotesque, integration and alienation, natural and artificial. By exploring the un-finite and transient nature of difference the artist develops his narrative according to motions-chapters: The Saints are Coming (2007), Thisoriented (2009), Thishumanity (2010) and Landing (2011): a number of independent passages in which the artist negotiates his perception of existence. Basilé’s research is an interface between Orient and Occident, an interposed dialectic that operates as a collision-metamorphosis situated between tradition and modernity, sacred and profane.

Basilé’s glossary not only relies on timeless and multicultural signs and values but visually encompasses a totalitarian language in which the dream is not anymore the subject of the picture but embodies an altogether recognizable narrative, boundlessly. His meticulous and perfectly balanced (anti-heroic) portraits constantly refer to the history of classic art making while simultaneously conveying the spirit of our time. Formally, Basilé obliterates the antagonism between the imaginary and the real, triggering a complex system of emotional sliding doors. Conversely to Goya’s “ Dream of Reason producing Monsters”, here dream and reason converge into an epiphany, where the unique and the multiple are binomial components to the communion of the sensorial and the rational – Matteo Basilé’s poetics is an iconographic universe, it is the fruit of the combination between technological Mannerism and pictorial Surrealism. The unique confluence of those two art historical moments signals the unusual use of quotation, aimed at synthetizing and asserting art as meta-language-.[1]

If the spiritual is often unreachable the dream, on the contrary is, accessible to everyone. The artist’s dream-like journeys eventually drive us towards different plans of comprehension, both sensorial and intellectual, where we find ourselves suddenly aware of these aspects of reality, that are usually concealed within our inner selves; Therefore, his profound investigation of the Self, the Other and the Elsewhere eventually corresponds to his personal experience of life outside his original environment, simultaneously addressing the meaning of existence and the in the context of the confusing dynamics inherent to the globalization process.

[1] Achille Bonito Oliva, Matteo Basilé: The Dream within The Dream, Biasa Artspace, Bali, 2009

CROSSOVER A dialog between the Hubei School and the New Italian Art

The idea behind the “Crossover / A dialog between the Hubei School and the New Italian Art Scene” project, which is to take place along with, and as a parallel event to the 55th Venice Biennale 2013, is to showcase the work and experiences of a coherent, varied group of Chinese artists – the so-called Hubei School – comparing them with the same experiences arising out of contemporary Italian Art.
Despite the diversity of the different artistic experiences, a common thread links the fifteen Chinese artists from Hubei Province brought together in this show, and the artists of the New Italian Art Scene.
If the Chinese artists are indeed describing the situation of new Chinese art, 
poised between Avant-garde and tradition, and between revival of traditional techniques and deeply contemporary themes and accents, the Italian artists of these recent generations have also been reviving techniques that are typical of Italian tradition (mainly painting and sculpture, but also photography and video, with a very refined, classical feel to their execution and form), yet with contemporary accents and methods, a glimpse of social themes, and a constant juggling of the forms and aesthetic references typical of supermodernity.
We shouldn’t then underestimate the Italian artists’ referring back to the Orient as a new model that is to be viewed, not imitated, with interest and participation, after the downturn of Western myths and models.

The Crossover show is therefore aiming not to be a simple comparison, but the first attempt to place two geographically distant experiences together, mixing them up and trying to get the artists to contaminate, observe and influence each other.

And so we’ve got the paintings of one of the masters of the Hubei School, Guo Zhengshan, who revamps the still life tradition with a rarefied, highly refined style that sometimes touches on abstraction, interacting with those of Dany Vescovi, who takes a decorative painting style, strictly adhering to formal tradition, and then constructs a new language, mixing abstract and figurative painting.

Then we’ve got Davide Nido‘s new abstraction compared with the meticulous and deeply symbolic paintings of Xiao Feng; there’s Marco Petrus‘ urban landscape study interacting with the expressionist style of Zhang Zhan‘s natural landscapes.

We’ve got the unsettling scenes painted by Lang Xuebo, memories of film reels or historiographical legacies, interacting with terracotta and bronze sculptures by Paolo Schmidlin, who creates olden day, has-been cinema divas, or controversial historic figures with polished hyperrealism; here are Matteo Basilé’s refined photos, full of symbolism, and religious and profane references, compared with Fu Zhongwang’s installations and sculptures in a balance between archaic formal suggestion and new contemporary mythologies.

We’ve got the photos by the duo of Li Yu & Liu Bo, whose dramatic cutting techniques revisit episodes of everyday news reports, compared with Simone Bergantini‘s ambiguous, disturbing visions.

Then we’ve got Yuan Xiaofang’s work on the duplicity of vision and points of view, set opposite pieces by Enrico Lombardi, who works on Italian landscape, poised between Fourteenth Century painting and metaphysical suggestion, in a consideration of the ambiguity and evocative power of the pictorial medium.

We’ve got complex installations by Wei Guangqing, who deals with the relationship between the present space and symbolism of the unconscious, interacting with the paintings and installations of Desiderio, somewhere between the real world and oneiric suggestion.

And then we’ve got the paintings of Ma Lin, with their very classical powerful form and significant presence of drawing, compared with the bizarre figures ofElena Monzo, in which the heavy sketch bears an overlying structure of different materials and chaotic, overlapping references.

Li Bangyao‘s complex installations, which reflect on the relationship between present time and memory, between metaphors of daily life and profound symbolism of history, interact with the photographic work of Angelo Marinelli, which reflects on the symbols subtending the contemporary landscape and on the unseen constrictions of reality.

The extraordinary visual nightmares of Fulvio Di Piazza, the new contemporary Arcimboldi, sit opposite the fabulous and bizarre compositions of the brilliant young painter Guo Zi. The visual games of He Diqiu reflect the equally surprising I Santissimi group visual oxymoron, poised between hyperrealism and sci-fi fantasy. Yang Guoxin‘s reasoning between word and image, or the magical, evanescent paintings of Wang Ging, interact with Teresa Emanuele‘s surprising photographic mirrorings, or with Davide Sebastian‘s incredible video portraits.

And lastly, Zhan Rui’s silicon sculptures, sitting somewhere between reality and fiction, and between symbolism of the object and the real object, interface withAron Demetz‘ deeply mysterious wood and bronze sculptures, filled with ancestral references.

THE CURATORS

Ji Shaofeng. The art critic and curator of international fame is Vice President of Hubei Museum of Art. He is responsible for numerous publications and shows on new Chinese art.

Alessandro Riva. The curator and art critic has worked on new Italian painting and sculpture with public shows both in Italy and abroad.

Opening: 1st June, 2013 at 6 p.m.
2nd June – 24th November, 2013 Tesa 113 Arsenale Nord – Venice from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
PREVIEW AND LIVE ART PERFORMANCE : 29th May, from 7 p.m. to 12 p.m.

THISHUMANITY – Madrid 2012

L’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Madrid in collaborazione con Glocal Project Consulting presenta “ThisHumanity”una mostra di lavori fotografici realizzati dall’artista italiano Matteo Basilé tra il 2010 e il 2011.
La mostra inaugurerà il 14 giugno alle ore 20 presso l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Calle Mayor 86, a Madrid in corrispondenza con la mostra “Visual Anxiety/Ansiedad de la Imagen, a cura di Huang Du, nell’ambito della manifestazione artistica PhotoEspaña.
La ricerca di Basilé si pone come interfaccia tra Oriente e Occidente, tra indigeno e straniero, tra femminile maschile. I suoi ritratti sono una rappresentazione della struttura complessa “dell’altro e dell’altrove”, un racconto che viaggia dall’Indonesia all’Italia e che attraversa i confini dell’universo femminile, portandone alla luce fragilità e punti di forza.
A dispetto di origini, religioni e culture, l’artista evoca ricordi, aspirazioni e desideri di donne che come madri, figlie e sorelle lottano quotidianamente per forgiare una propria identità. “ThisHumanity” diventa in tal modo un album fotografico, dove il corpo femminile è un veicolo universale per indagare questioni come genere e identità nel tentativo di affrancarsi da un punto di vista monoculturale. La mostra a cura di Dominique Lora ed organizzata da Glocal Project Consulting, sarà visitabile dal 15 giugno al 20 luglio. Lo rende noto Glocal Project Consulting.

El Instituto Italiano de Cultura de Madrid en colaboración con Glocal Project Consulting presenta ThisHumanity, comisariada por Dominique Lora, una exposición de trabajos fotográficos realizados entre 2010 y 2011 por el artista italiano Matteo Basilé. La exposición se inaugurará en correspondencia con la exposición Visual Anxiety/Ansiedad de la Imagen, comisariada por Huang Du, en el ámbito de PhotoEspaña 2012. Matteo Basilé investiga sobre las conexiones entre Oriente y Occidente, entre lo indígena y lo extranjero, entre el mundo femenino y el mundo masculino. Sus retratos son la representación de la compleja estructura “de lo otro” y “del más allá”, una narración que va de Indonesia a Italia cruzando los confines del universo femenino, para revelar sus fragilidades y sus puntos fuertes. Sin tener en cuenta los orígenes, las religiones y las culturas, el artista evoca recuerdos, aspiraciones y deseos de mujeres que como madres, hijas y hermanas luchan cotidianamente para forjar una identidad propia. ThisHumanity se convierte así en un álbum fotográfico, dónde el cuerpo femenino es un vehículo universal para investigar cuestiones como el género y la identidad en el intento de liberarse del punto de vista monocultural.

Información

Fecha: viernes, 15 de junio de 2012 – viernes, 20 de julio de 2012

Horarios: de lunes a viernes de las 10.00 hasta las 18.00

Lugar: Instituto Italiano de Cultura – Palacio de Abrantes

Organizado por: Glocal Project Consulting

En colaboración con: Instituto Italiano de Cultura – Madrid

LANDING - Galleria Guidi & Schoen - Genoa

C’è chi sogna di dominare il mondo e chi dedica tutta la vita alla creazione di una spada. E se c’è un sogno a cui sacrificare tutti se stessi, c’è anche un sogno simile a una tempesta che spazza via migliaia di altri sogni. Non c’entra la classe, né lo status, e neppure l’età. Per quanto siano irrealizzabili, la gente ama i sogni. Il sogno ci dà forza e ci tormenta, ci fa vivere e ci uccide. E anche se ci abbandona, le sue ceneri rimangono sempre in fondo al cuore… fino alla morte. Se si nasce uomini, si dovrebbe desiderare una simile vita. Una vita da martiri spesa in nome di un dio chiamato “sogno”. (Kentaro Miura)

 

Sono da sempre un viaggiatore che attraversa geografie umane e terrestri per raccontare storie di luoghi e di persone in ogni parte del mondo. Attraverso il mio lavoro ho nel tempo dato vita alle mie visioni, riportando il mio immaginario in luoghi reali.

Oggi, con LANDING, il tentativo è invece quello di ricostruire i sogni altrui; non più una regia che inscena una mia visione, ma il racconto e al contempo il ritratto di sognatori viaggiatori, di quel momento di sospensione e stallo, l’ultimo paesaggio prima del loro “atterraggio”. Come un passeggero che guarda fuori dal finestrino, i landscapes scorrono davanti a me durante quel galleggiamento tra la terra e il cielo, tra un emisfero e l’altro; la fase REM, dove in qualsiasi istante una brusca frenata porrà fine al viaggio.

Un sogno dentro il sogno dove, seguendo coordinate date da altri, riesco a raggiungere quei luoghi sognati e ad immortalarli come in un ultimo photo finish prima del risveglio. Non l’intero sogno, ma l’ultima porzione di esso, per poi restituirla al suo autore in un estremo gesto di sfida nei confronti del reale.

Per la prima volta viaggio in territori a me sconosciuti, rimanendo fisicamente nella mia terra d’origine, anche se a bordo di uno dei mezzi di trasporto tecnologicamente più evoluti e veloci: la mente umana. Sono testimone di confessioni intime, che risvegliano in me la responsabilità di archiviare e conservare questi diari di viaggio per una memoria futura.

 

 

Always a traveler, crossing human and land geographies to tell the stories of places and people all around the world, through his work Matteo Basilé has in time given life to his visions, carrying his imaginary to real places.

Today, with LANDING, his attempt is to build someone else’s dream, that suspended stall moment, the last landscape prior to landing. A dream within the dream through which Basilé, following others’ directions, reaches those dreamed of places and captures them like in a last photo finish before awakening. Not the entire dream, but only the last portion of it, in order to return it to its author in an extreme challenge of the real world.

Not only directing the movie of his vision, yet now telling the story – and at the time, making the portrait – of eleven dreaming travelers portrayed twice, first as protagonists of the real world and then as creators of the oneiric.

Like a passenger looking out the window – this justifies the choice of the round-shaped works – the artist sees the landscapes of his subjects run before him during that time floating between sky and earth, between one hemisphere and the other; the REM phase, when at any time a sudden brake could end the journey.

The artist travels across unknown territories for the first time, and while physically remaining in his homeland he is on board of one of the fastest and technologically more evolved means: human mind.

He witnesses intimate confessions that awaken in him the responsibility to archive and preserve these logbooks for future reference.