Lara Favaretto‘s (b.1973, Treviso) exhibition Redefine at Galleria Franco Noerorevolves around four main groups of works that resonate with each other, while remaining fully autonomous on a formal and conceptual level. As is often the case in the artist’s work, the concepts of time, trace and memory are all implicated and brought into question by a process of semantic renegotiation that focuses on their ambiguity and instability.
In this sense, it is significant that, after three years, the artist has chosen to return to one of her most important, intense and poetic works – the fourth episode in theMomentary Monument series – which she made in Kassel for dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. The nine concrete artefacts in the exhibition are casts of objects that Favaretto took from a pile that she herself had arranged into a vast landscape of scrap metal that she had selected from a number of rubbish dumps around the German city. The objects themselves were shown on plinths in one of the galleries at the event, not far from the monumental stack of scrap, only to be disposed of at the end of the show. The casts, which were originally designed to take the place of the scrap removed from the pile, become modern relics of ordinary objects, chosen by the artist to be rescued from oblivion. Neatly arranged on an area of the gallery floor, the concrete casts acquire a new sculptural value that, by amplifying it, once again pose the question of their impermanence and of their ambivalent relationship with the original objects, as well as with the space (or time) that they occupy.
Three works, which have never been shown before, appear in the central space of the Gallery, acting as a counterpoint to the solidity and stateliness of the casts. These are wooden tables on which the artist has intervened, filling with gold dust 24 kt the holes created by woodworm. As though in an alchemical reaction, the tables – which are destined to be literally devoured by these insects over time – are thus saved from an inexorable process of decay, entering an enchanted and suspended dimension of time.
The 032-212 triptych, the latest work in a series started in 2010, runs along similar lines. Here the artist works on abandoned paintings she has retrieved, completely covering them with wool and acting more or less manifestly on the degree of visibility of the canvases. She then gives them titles that correspond to the Pantone colour code of the wool used for covering them. By salvaging and archiving paintings that are generally anonymous, and partially concealing their visual content, Favaretto performs a twofold action of protection and concealment.
As was the case in Di Blasi R7, a work she made for her solo exhibition at MoMa PS1 in 2012, she creates an exuberant, site-specific work called Citroen LNA, which takes its name from the vehicle – in this case, a car – that she has used to leave a tangible, almost pictorial sign on the walls of the exhibition space. The marks and dents on the walls recall the both obsessive and playful repetition of an action that, in spite of its potentially high degree of destruction, creates a visual and harmonious bond with the works on show.