28.06.2007 - 19.09.2007

Dacia Manto


The Galerie Davide Di Maggio is pleased to present the first individual exhibition of Milan-born artist Dacia Manto.

An imaginary excursion into the idea of landscape represents the red thread of the exhibition, that is linked to Man’s desire to create a space to his own measure. An attempt that may be translated in a concept of garden and its architectures, that ultimately interacts with the concept of ‘picturesque’ and ‘natural’ place as artistic creation.

Everything is based on a painting from the Sixteenth century, that features a landscape seen from above. The scenario of a battle and a whole lot more, as the painter’s vision imagines, as seen by a bird in vertiginous flight, with islands, water, promontories, coasts, gulfs, cities, mountain chains. A vision of the non-finite, captured from many and divergent points of view.

An attempt to analyze the representation of space, and one of the earliest aerial views in art history, Altdorfer’s painting is a tangle of patterns and webs, natural and Man-made landscapes, formed by the multitudes of figures that populate the lower part of the painting.

Rather than by walls, the space is defined by the very act of seeing, thanks to perspective that, to quote Berneson, “humanizes the void, turning it into a fenced-in paradise”.

Above the glance, the first work on show, represents an attempt to three- dimensional translation based on Altdorfer’s geography; it is a landscape frozen in a timeless, bared, deserted suspension, abandoned by the multitudes of figures that seem to have moved elsewhere.

And elsewhere they create a kind of parterre in the style of a Renaissance garden, a decorative rosette in which a dance determines the arrangement, marked by the steps (Parterre- Salida basica, 2006).
Transparent figures, apparently decorative and glittering, almost precious when seen from afar, reveal their everyday and “poor” nature to the attentive observer.

It is a well-known fact that in ancient times arrays exercised by dancing, thus outlining labyrinthine configurations on the ground, sometimes performing

initiatory ceremonies that often accompanied the foundation of a city or the onset of a battle.
Labyrinths, traces, pavement drawings that, in their changing and recurrent figures, may only be captured and “released” when seen from above.

And so, if topography is, by ancient tradition, the painting of a landscape, topographic vision represents the basis of another work included in the exhibition, Irrgarten, that redesigns the map of some hortus conclusus, historical gardens that more often than not have lost their initial plan, with cut- out borders and plans in transparent, light sheets of paper.

The mental, mathematic images of gardens create an lrrgarten built by a superimposition of fragments that may be explored physically, that are present even if light; an intimately fragile drawing, decomposed and recomposed in a stratification of spaces, paths, courts, perimeters in different styles, that ultimately form an intricate but unitary vision.

The last work presented, Olympra, that lends its title to the exhibition, is a mechanical-luminous circuit developed in an itinerary on the ground, connecting built elements with organic ones, as mosses and sponges.
Short electric impulses and movements appear, turning into minimal sculptures that appropriate physical and dynamic laws.

A writing of impulses, of automatic breaths, that is certainly related to video, made of light, imperceptible movements, of burning lights and vegetal growths. An idea of “score” – related to rhythm, score, signs – that also recurs in other, previous works.

Specular with respect to the installations, the drawings seem to render the imagine of a nature of the future, a labyrinthine tangle that may once again be compared to a mapping of space, an attempt to “fill” a void.
Everything seems to contribute to build the illusory image of a nature that is always changeable, a process that is eventually manifested with evidence in the video that proceeds by flashes, shades and oscillations of the glance (Morpho Eugenia, 2006)