MADRAGOA is delighted to present AMICIZIA, the second solo exhibition by Renato Leotta at the gallery and in Portugal.
The exhibition is the picture of a mental garden in which enthusiasm and admiration are the engine that moves the relationship between nature and man, according to very ancient rules. Friendship, as a cosmic force necessary to life, positive or negative, drives in harmony all the elements in this place.
The garden is enclosed by a wall, that circumscribes a space formed by images in which possible projections of friendship reside. Each stone of the wall has to match the one on its side, the one that is above and the one below, for the structure to be solid and lasting. In a mnemonic rite, the hand composes this puzzle, which is both an organic and solid structure. A shelter, a border, a religious object, a sculpture.
All together, as a wall, the stones tell us about solidarity, sharing and trust that create communities. They are the first attempt of landscape anthropization, the first architectural gesture.
The ancients paid divine honors to the stones even before transforming them into statues or sculptures; these, polished by the passage of time that acted on them as a divine hand, are the image of the Good.
Songs, tales and myths are shared, but there are also confidential elements, exclusive ties. The secret – it is also a founding element of friendship. At night, this secret becomes more visible, because it is possible to sense its contours.
The fireflies move in bright dances within the limits of the garden that seem to belong to this shadow place. The traits, signs and trajectories that their light produces are an alphabet, a collection of coded messages, and logic games to decipher. Information that is concealed to the eyes of most people.
The evil part of nature is united to what is incomprehensible and inexplicable to us within this psychological garden. We attribute them a mysterious and divine origin, while questioning man’s darkness.
Above the garden, the air and the sun create a narrative made of temporality, describing the waiting time for the prodigy.
The camera works by being adjusted by the wind. Following an abstract parameter that does not change the contours of the landscape, but charges it with temporality. Recording occurs when the wind blows from the west. The sea with its undertows keeps drawing silver marks on the sand.
The space of the garden is diluted with the space of the adventure, tracing a continuity between the two exhibitions and a hypothetical connection between the two extremes of the political Europe: the most eastern island of the Dodecanese and Lisbon, passing through Sicily.
From a conversation between Renato Leotta and Davide Daninos.
Lisboa, September 2017
Madragoa (press release)