Castaway Depot 41° 7' 31'' N 16° 52' 0'' in a sentimental mood
Giovanni Ozzola
4 Giugno - 20 Settembre 2012

“My emotional geography is the map of my feelings, my impulses and my dreams. History sees the world from the side of death, like a collection of funeral remains, geography from the side of life.” Thus Giuliana Bruno describes the relationship between places and emotions which each of us experiences on our journeys, fragments of our daily life, which, although sometimes imperceptible, inspire our imagination to become part of our accumulated life experience. The shine of a light in the dark, the smell of a room, the color of furniture, the texture of somebody’s skin, the taste of a typical dish or the atmosphere of a place perceived in the emotional state of a journey take on an ulterior meaning. They become part of the traveller’s experience in the shape of images, smells, tastes and sensations. This emotional geography is the theme of Castaway Depot, the personal exhibition of Giovanni Ozzola at the Doppelganger Gallery, that finds it’s ideal starting point in the piece “3.000 b.c.e-2.000” (the road to oneself) (2012): a large planisphere of sorts made up of 12 panels in slate on which the artist has etched the routes of past explorers in a kind of minimal memory of the identity of the continents, obtained through conceptual subtraction. A labyrinth of markings that reveal sediment of will that drove the likes of Christopher Columbus and Vasco de Gama, Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni Caboto to abandon the known for the unknown. What drove them? What force moved their spirit to face the insidious perils of sailing the unchartered seas and oceans, narrow gulfs, islands and peninsulas? As the artist rightly reminds us “The routes are scars of our collective memory, they are each examples of our overcoming ancestral fears”, and with these words she opens a visual reflection of the territories explored (it should be noted) by Giuliana Bruno: The emotional value of the crossing (“tragitto”) a word that in old italian meant to cross from one bank of a river to the other. A “tragitto” that Ozzola traces through moments embracing the enitre linguistic range that is typical of her work, from photography to sculpture to video installations. Like an explorer able to unite rationale and instinct the artist produces images suspended in a dilated time, an attitude defined by Pier Luigi Tazzi as “a willingness, mediated by a state of naked perception, towards the event/advent of vision”. The nakedness of the moment, captured by the artist to underline the presentness of the piece. Cesare Brandi described this as the ability to absorb the here and now without mediation, to live it as a perceptive instance, objectified as an image charged with conceptual and emotional worth. This is the silent strength of the art of Giovanna Ozzola.