The exhibition is a very particular dialogue between the French artist of Polish origin, Roman Opalka (1931- 2011), and the Italian artist Daniela Comani (b. 1965) who has lived for more than twenty years in Berlin.
The title of the exhibition refers to a collection of stories by Carlo Emilio Gadda. Here, in fact, the coupling is really judicious.
In both cases these are research works that start out from the autobiographic element.
The works by Roman Opalka on exhibit include papers, photographs and a canvas that forms the complete work entitled Opalka 1965 / 1 – oO.
“In my concept the always finite of the work is 1965: as soon as the sign 1 is placed on the first Détail there is already everything there. Why is a Détail logically finite? For the simple reason that it begins with the number from which it comes and terminates with the number to which it goes. It is the finite of the diagonal. All of its space is a sole logic. That I am or not in front of my easel, the painting is in the state of the always finished”. Opalka’s is a research work of existential matrix in which the concept of finiteness is given from the very moment that the sign is placed on the canvas but whose end is only in the moment of death – and this was the case. His is a way by which to measure time, one moment after another, day after day. “My death is the logical and emotional proof of the completion of the work”. And this was the case.
The decision by Opalka to photograph his face derived from the need of losing nothing in relation to the passing of time, in close connection with the numbers that the artist drew out on the canvas or on travel papers. This is a photographic “detail” of the face taken at the end of every working day in front of the painted “detail”. The meaning of all the works by Opalka should be grasped in their unity, in the relationship the works have the one with the others.
Daniela Comani is exhibiting Un matrimonio felice [A Happy Marriage], a photographic work begun in 2003 and still underway. Here we have a series of photographic images of a married couple, ‘caught’ in different moments of their life. Although the couple disquietingly resemble each other. In fact, it is the artist who interprets the two roles of male and female.
Here there is nothing in the way of the caricature or the grotesque. Rather, there is a research within her own world, her own identity. The reflection concerns the relationship that each one of us has with him or herself every day of our lives.
Coverversionen are a series of self-portraits which have been developed over the years as a reflection regarding the world of communication and the use that it makes of the photographic image. In these works the artist identifies with protagonists of politics, show business and gossip-based news.
Sono stata io. Diario 1900-1999 [I Did It. A Diary 1900-1999] will also be on exhibit: this is a sort of calendar in which Daniela Comani herself comments on the Twentieth Century, chronologically listing the events that took place in 366 days. She does this in the first person singular, identifying herself in the protagonists of the history of the last century. Once again the starting point is autobiographical: history read by way of the filter of the Ego.