The new exhibit “The Gaze of Narcissus“, at The Flat in Via Paolo Frisi 3, tells about a Narcissus who struggles to find his own image. The invited international artists, using reflecting materials and surfaces, create derisive figures that push us to reflect on our identity as spectators.
The artists’ artifice distorts, fragments reflections and obstructs the relationship between mirror and observer. Matthew Allen, Sauro Cardinali, Jason Gringler, Sali Muller, John Nicholson and Jonny Niesche, like stern gods, intervene directly on those surfaces disturbing our reassuring research. The exhibited works are shattered, obfuscated, interrupted visions that impede the ideal reunification between us and our reflection. These opaque, deforming mirrors, partly covered, spread on the walls and the gallery’s space invite to a return to the origins. An origin in which observing artworks was the aim of the visitors of exhibits and museums.
How many times we were walking across the chaotic corridors of a contemporary art fair and casually met our reflection in one of the many reflective surfaces hanging from the walls? And how relieved we feel when we glance at our visages in the mirror walls of a palace when we’re walking in the street? Maybe we’re looking for a point of reference that only our image can give to us.
The reality is that we forgot to look what is between us and our reflection. We forget the famous reflecting surface that becomes a work of art only when the visitor looks at himself and only looks through the mirror searching for himself. Contemporary Narcissuses, we forget of art and use mirrors as utilitaristic devices.
The works gain back the attention that was lost in a sea of vanity. Colors, shapes and depths appear again, features that Narcissus’ gaze had forgot. At The Flat is impossible not to lose oneself in the deceit of the glances and one returns to celebrating art again; with decisive gestures the artists put a subtle obstacle between us and those beloved mirrors that were blinding us. We were blinded by our own image and now we’re seeing again.