Galleria d'Arte
Raffaella De Chirico

Via Giolitti, 52

Via della Rocca, 19

10123 Torino

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Levenim. The creation of details | Federica Patera

From 05/11/2020 To 23/12/2020

The exhibition deals with reflecting on the link between word and creative act, particularly on their relation at the basis of reality construction.

It begins with the passage from Genesis dedicated to the Tower of Babel [Gen 11, 1-9], in its Hebrew version. Even the title Levenim, the Hebrew word for bricks, makes it clear. The Tower of Babel is an emblematic biblical section. It tells of a separation, often interpreted in a negative key, as justification for acts of struggle. Instead this project gives the occasion for new insights and the process of discovering is in full bloom.

In fact, the diversification of languages and the dispersion of people on earth the text speaks of, as well as the unachieved Tower construction - as if providing a cut through which penetrating inside to know its composition - allow the unfolding of a range of nuances. This multiplicity gives full vigor to the creation: the more details you find the greater its definition will be, the more their variety the greater our understanding.

To this extent, the presence of different languages is a sort of zoom on reality. In the present works, Hebrew, which moves through verbal roots and semantic families with different kinds of meaning - from literal to metaphorical, from allegorical to esoteric - is flanked by Greek, Latin, Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese, thus constituting a kind of linguistic journey.

The works are realized using a hand-stitched woolen net, which refers to the weaving of a weft, be it of threads or stories, as suggested by the Jewish root raqam/embroider, which in the Psalms is also related to the creation of man [Ps 139, 15]. At the same time, it alludes to the value of the letter yod ? and its pictogram which represents the hand/yad. The yod ? is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is the unit of measurement of space derived from the beginning and the time needed to transform invisible words into something tangible. The yod ? opens the path to the words implementation.

The Tower of Babel’s verses have been hot-printed on cotton and play with the works texture. Introducing the parallelism between language and architecture, the squares that make up the nets and the plaster that transforms a soft material as wool threads into something rigid represent the bricks of the Tower: “brick as stone” is written in the biblical text. From word/davar, which means thing, event, purpose as well, to debir/dvir (which probably comes from staying behind but also from speaking, therefore could mean oracle), that is the dome of sacred places, the inner sanctuary of the temple, the city of books.

The modularity of the construction emphasizes the identical care that goes through the works: each part bears equal importance. In arts, every detail counts as art, the big and the small, so the visible as the hidden ones.

The bricks full of words explode in the works, where the weft of wool and plaster increases and the regular shape begins to transform.

The transition from wool to brick, from supple to rigid materials, without losing the ephemeral weight of the former ones, reaffirms the ability of words to go everywhere, to detach themselves from the author, especially in literature, to begin a dialogue elsewhere with an unknown interlocutor who once more will animate them of an actual, still submerged creation.

Levenim. The creation of details | Federica Patera
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