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Nuova Galleria Morone presents Collector of Echoes, a Jose Barrias’ solo show, curated by Elisabetta Longari.
This work is the reconstruction of a double symbolic register that refers to both the wholly Italian tradition of the perspective construction and the other one located beyond the horizon line and projected into imaginary places that are impossibly real, yet audaciously certain. On the one hand, there is a language, a culture and an adopted city and, on the other, there are traces left by one’s mother tongue, a country and a culture that has become familiar with the horizon in order to describe perspective as if it were a journey linked to returns and imaginary echoes.
I was inspired by this transitive proximity to reposition myself in this exhibition of mine in Milan with regard to one of the city’s most outstanding works of art: Piero della Francesca’s Montefeltro Altarpiece, an example of the sacra conversazione genre, is on display in the Pinacoteca di Brera. This is why I have combined my physical vicinity to Piero’s masterpiece with the representation of a personal matter — Piccolo mondo (Small World), based on a photograph, mater mundi, dating from 1985 — in order to allow the antonyms ‘near–distant’ to rigorously redesign the double meanings of my existence in time. This is because wherever I may be — here or there — I am always a foreigner, in other words an inhabitant of a space located between two lands that don’t entirely belong to me. Consequently the experience of art has been resurrected in me as a possible account of the history of this double relationship. This has involved investigation, understanding and analysis of the two identities that have given my life its plural character.
Thus it is possible to say that if someone wished to experience the intimate atmosphere, they should go beyond those ‘abandoned gardens that blossom on their own in a place that no one knows’ that Rainer Maria Rilke referred to: beyond the garden, beyond the horizon, beyond one’s self. Or in the words of the seventeenth century English metaphysical poet, Andrew Marvell, ‘Had we had but world enough, and time…’.
So I looked out of a window in order to gaze beyond the line where perspective encounters continuity. And I may add that these two symbolic elements, the perspective window and the horizon line, combined with the other one called labyrinth, gave substance to my stylistic heterogeneousness and the fervent adoption of Rimbaud’s declaration ‘Je est un autre’ (‘I is another’). One might say that I have accepted in my style — and incorporated in it — the idea that it is absent, but that I regard this absence as a privilege, something that has as its first name ‘Invention’ and as its surname ‘Of Art’.

José Barrias

21.09 | 10.11.2017
Exhibitions, Past