The first solo exhibition in Italy by Ambera Wellmann (1982, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia). Antipoem presents a cycle of paintings specially created by the artist for this occasion, together with a small selection of existing works.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Anne Carson’s translation of the Greek poetess Sappho’s work, which has come down to us only in fragments. The missing passages create what Carson describes as a kind of anti-poem, a space in which the visual intervenes in the absence of language.
Among the newly created paintings are a series of large-format Minotaurs. Wellmann’s work investigates the themes of fear, power and disorder through a critical confrontation with the art-historical motif of the Minotaur. Immersed in nocturnal landscapes, Wellmann’s figures disintegrate in their environment; in this context, darkness is both a metaphor for vulnerability and a potentially limitless rarefied atmosphere in which the boundaries of the body can disappear.
The uncertain spatio-temporal coordinates in which Wellmann sets her paintings constitute possible worlds within which past and present, human and animal bodies mingle and transmute. Embracing chance, error and reworking, the works expose the processes of their own metamorphosis, in which the fragility of the individual is transposed into the sphere of the collective.
The exhibition proposes infinite and unpredictable imaginaries: Antipoem is permeated by an expectation of catastrophe that overlaps, until it coincides, with the desire for an alternative future.