Dear Michael, from Edgecombe to Qumalai, 24 Sep 2016 — 19 Nov 2016

Dear Michael, from Edgecombe to Qumalai

Michela Rizzo, Giudecca 800/q, Venice, Italy

“Dear Michael, from Edgecombe to Qumalai”, at Galleria Michela Rizzo, is the second time that Michael Hoepfner and Antonio Rovaldi realize an exhibition together: the first one was in 2010 at Magazzino 1b (Prato, Tuscany). “Shorakkopoch”, which was its almost unpronounceable title, celebrated their meeting in New York, during a residency at the ISCP.

“Shorakkopoch” was also the title of a work realized together: a video that documents the long walk which Rovaldi and Hoepfner took, holding hands (one of them was blindfolded, the other one wore earphones which prevented him to perceive the sounds of the city). The two walked along Broadway, from Wall Street to the North far end of Manhattan, where Shorakkopoch is. Shorakkopoch is the Indian name of Inwood Park, a place that well represents its meaning: “a corner between two edges”.
e walk toward Shorakkopoch was a journey back in time, from a symbolic place of the town to the end of the metropolis, an aspiration to a wildness which both artists addressin their practice. Shorakkopoch was their beginning of the landscape.
In addition to the video, Rovaldi also presented a series of “torn landscapes”: found photographs taken from old papers and illustrated book which the artist torn and recomposed with precision so that the central tear would be part of the image. Hoepfner’s intervention consisted of a large tent made with rope sand tape which extended itself in the space, bringing together all the artworks on show and making them appear as parts of a single story, despite their heterogeneity.

“Dear Michael, from Edgecombe to Qumalai” ideally continues Shorakkopoch and this walk: six years later it resumes a long distance dialogue and verifies new possible concurrences and common interests.
Based in Vienna, Michael Hoepfner continues to trek across deserts and far and boundary territories (between China and Tibet and more recently through Mediterranean and Balcan Europe) with a backpack, a tent and a few notebooks. During these long journeys, which seem to resist to globalization, Michael’s loneliness is total.
Differently, Antonio Rovaldi’s journeys chase other trajectories. From East to West, tracing the movement that marked American culture, for example. Or alongside perimeters of various cities, as for the bicycle trip on rough roads of the Italian coast from Genoa to Trieste (Orizzonte in Italia, 2011-2015). The Italian trip became an exhibition and a book which shows the images of a long and uninterrupted horizon, fragmented by light evidences of meteorological alterations and of the changing landscape.

Hoepfner photographs horizons too, always so high in the image to leave the sky out, as if measuring the space between his body and an unattainable extreme. On the occasion of the Venetian exhibition, Hoepfner shows photographs, and recent collages where the photos are combined with the maps over owing with the notes associated to each trip and small drawings where the lines describe the tents of the Nomadic populations, the outline of mountain chains, the crossroad of rivers from a top view.
e opportunity to translate a shape in different media is highlighted by Walks retracing a snowleopard, a series of collages where the image of a snow leopard skin, found during a trip in the Chang Tang Natural Reserve and photographed in the artist’s studio, is combined with fragments of maps and drawings which reconstruct the outline of a crossing experience. Michael considers this skin as a symptom, the access key to a place, to its history, to its mystery.
As Hoepfner, Antonio Rovaldi’s work focuses on the dialogue between photography and different media, sculpture in the past, writing today, in form of unanswered letters, sent or not: at Galleria Michela Rizzo he presents Mo’dinna Mo’dinna (I wanna go back home) and Notes For a Book (Dear Michael,). The first one, is a round trip from a sort of an American Modena, a small village in the desert between Utah and Nevada, to the real Modena, along the familiar yet legendary “via Emilia”. The passage between the two moments is marked by a letter sent to Vincent, one of the few inhabitants of the village. Notes For a Book (Dear Michael,) explores the perimeter of Manhattan, and is a black and white pictures story of an unknown New York, punctuated by the letters addressed to a faraway friend: from Edgecombe to Qumalai, exactly.

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Michela Rizzo, Giudecca 800/q, Venice, Italy

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