|Frith Street Gallery
17-18 Golden Square, London W1F 9JJ
|7 February – 9 April 2020|
Massimo Bartolini is internationally renowned for his immersive, experiential art. His work is often talked about in terms of metamorphosis and experimentation – he makes art which changes space and our experience of it and which often acknowledges, in its finished form, the processes by which it was made.
Credits is an exhibition about Landscape; its meaning, form and significance. For Bartolini landscape is nature viewed from a safe distance, it is always a projection of those that inhabit it. The works in this show each engage the viewer’s senses in precise and different ways.
The aural work In a Landscape is an organ in the form of a well with a music box inside. The music is inspired by the first 10 bars of the composition of the same name by John Cage. The juxtaposition of a minimal and rather brutalist structure with fragility and intimacy is typical of Bartolini’s practice.
The title of installation Grotoni e Malocchi is taken from a text by the Italian writer Maurizio Maggiani. The words Grotoni and Malocchi are untranslatable in English, though they refer to “components” of ploughed earth; the Grotoni being dry clods, the Malocchi wet. To retain this differential state the artist requires the ‘devotional act’ of watering the work every day.
The video work Credits consists of two facing video screens. One screen shows a section of wooden floorboards in which two of the knots have become eyes blinking in time to a curious Flamenco rhythm. The eyes look towards the other screen which appears to be playing the end credits of a film. Watching the endless scrolling list one slowly deciphers its unsettling significance.