rosenfeld porcini presents The Birth of Cinema…and Beyond a themed exhibition presenting mixed-media work by Old Master and contemporary artists.
The exhibition will reveal in a non-definitive way how cinema has been a creative stimulus for many artists’ practices. In certain sections of the exhibition a parallel between a subject taken from the scriptures or myths will be juxtaposed with a contemporary work. It will be the third in the gallery’s series of themed exhibitions and will bring together six contemporary artists including Aída Rubio González, Gideon Kiefer, Cesare Lucchini, Robert Muntean, Lanfranco Quadrio and Fatma Bucak alongside seven Old Master painters; Giovanni Lanfranco, Ferraù Fenzoni, Teodoro D’Errico, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (Grechetto), Vicentino, Johann Heinrich Schönfeld and Francesco Solimena.
Notions concerning a visual representation of a “cinematic” experience referred to the great subjects which often concerned the scriptures and the great stories of Greek mythology. Yet the invention of cinema in the 19th Century somewhat removed viewers’ individual, subjective story-telling and replaced it with an “objective” narrative which was instead provided by the film. In many cases, and in particular today’s more commercial cinema, viewers are no longer required to participate in an active way because an extraordinary amount of information is already provided. The film might engage us emotionally but in many cases an active, intellectual response is not required.
Clearly these comments do not relate to all moving pictures therefore The Birth of Cinema…and Beyond will focus on the presence and the influence of the cinematic narrative in specific works; three moments from “The Crucifixion” by three different Old Master artists will be juxtaposed with an image by the Swiss painter Cesare Lucchini, where a large body lies dead, sprawled across the foreground of the painting.
Alongside Lucchini’s work we will present a large work by Vicentino depicting the moment David slays Goliath. Beside this work is a further painting by Lucchini depicting a child soldier. Whereas David saves his people by conquering the seemingly unconquerable giant Goliath and Christ dies on the cross to redeem humanity for their sins, in Lucchini’s contemporary vision there is no such redemption.
Work by Robert Muntean and Gideon Kiefer involve us in further reflections on the influence of cinema on contemporary painting and in the final part of the exhibition, a work by 18th Century Italian painter Francesco Solimena depicting ‘The Conversation of Saul’ – a scene rich in a cinematic narrative – is presented alongside Fatma Bucak’s video ‘Blessed Are Who Come’. Her film employs as a setting the remains of a church from c.1100 on the Turkish-Armenian border where a group of village elders stand in a loose semi circle and observe a woman dressed in black enacting a seemingly religious ritual. As they comment ambiguously on the action unfolding before them, numerous possible meanings unfold for the viewer. On a formal level, the film is shot almost totally from a fixed frame therefore actively looks back to the Old Masters’ use of multiple narratives within a single image.
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