Venice Biennale / Those Crucifixes by Todd Williamson: reminiscences of the sacred memory between Naples and Italy
by Antonio Conte
The Venice Biennale is one of the most important artistic events in our peninsula and no one can avoid making a pass at least once in their life also because contemporary art is ever more complete and embraces more fields of human knowledge, impossible don't get involved by the innumerable inputs that come to us like bullets that hit our senses, without exception.
On the page, the artist's works at the BiennaleA special feature of the artistic event is its unraveling throughout the city with collateral events and national pavilions scattered around the districts of the Serenissima. Nothing could be easier then to get lost in the alleys of the city with the map of the Biennale in search of these events.
Along the banks of the Grand Canal after the splendid Piazza San Marco towards the Arsenal and the Gardens, the main venues for the event are many of these widespread exhibitions. A particular building, the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà hosts an installation by Todd Williamson curated by Priscilla Fraser. We pass by the light of the sun that invades and pervades Riva degli Schiavoni in the narrow and long chapel of the church.
A feeling of peace, mysticism and the sacred take the visitor head-on, thanks also to the contrast with the external landscape. Venice is a crossroads of people and suddenly finding oneself immersed in a religious silence always has a certain effect, a diffused light and an unpublished nocturne by Greg Walter composed for the occasion do the rest.
Todd Williamson cannot help but know that once he has caught our attention he puts us in front of large-format works. Abstract works with remarkable gestural power scattered around the chapel, even on the altar. Sentences of famous people accompany the works as engravings on black plates. words, tweets and posts extrapolated from their speeches, written in Latin as messages from prophets, letters and testimonies that take on an even more profound importance.
Accustomed to the light and to the well-known melancholy of the composition, we realize that the works recall crucifixes, recalling sacred images of an Italian tradition that the artist knows well having exhibited several times in Italy and in particular in Naples with the gallery Art1307 in the center historical and to the CAM of Casoria. The artist's works can be found in the permanent collection of the Pio Monte della Misericordia.
These crucifixes who only at first remember abstract works are more attentive and at peace with themselves than portraits of influential figures, spokesmen of our western culture raised by the artist to true sacred icons.
A criticism of a system which makes individuals like Donald Trump, Oprah and Kylie Jenner of the apostles of the contemporary. The installation, surely inspired by the place that hosts it, challenges the Italian classical tradition and, starting from it, undermines every stake and constraint by presenting us with the new sacred faces, today's influencers capable of understanding society or at least shaping it in their image and likeness .
A criticism that the artist puts in place by asking himself first where we are going with no more points of reference, a procession that first accompanies the visitor, making him participate thanks to the phrases of the painted characters, creating a strange short circuit between what the eye perceives and that which reaches the mind through words, then transforms it into an accomplice character and active subject that contemplates, venerates and idolizes the person, the VIP, the influencer of the moment until the next new apostle that the consumer society will impose on us .
To learn more https://www.labiennale.org/it/arte/2019
#ToddWilliamson #contemporaryart #VeniceBiennale2019 #MAKcenter #GregWalter #UNCSA
Todd Williamson artist.