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Daily collage and cultural ecology at Angella Conte’s work

 

 

The photographic archive of Angella Conte is formed by images with vocation to mix up. Not only on the sense of confusing themselves on the memory, but blending between them; posses strong common points taking them of the chronological order, geographic, mix the artistic register and touristic, the caught and built, the dream and the nightmare.

What unite this set is as singular as what it takes them apart, to start and stop again the game of combination that doesn’t cease to be reinvented. 

A group of alleys photos, taken abroad and with different purposes, had already been formed as an unique photo enlargement, that paste an alley in another forming an urban structure claustrophobic and something  surrealist.(It’s important to note, however, that the “digital collage” was dry on purpose, to leave clear the operation.) 

For this group – That could have  seemed finalized the  most  unsuspecting  (completed in its own power then adding back alleys of the world infinitely) - now appears as one of the building blocks for a new digital collage. At the new arrangement, the collection of alleys is sometimes heaven for unusual  landscapes. In all collages of the series …., we have witnessed a coexistence between different places and different time frames.

The light of the sunset seems incompatible with the soft light that bathes the young people gathered at a picnic in another landscape, as well as the gray skies and polluted metropolis that covers does not match with the strong temperature covering the crowd that pushing through - their backs to us - to carefully observe a fact that neither is given us to see.

Sometimes the contrast is contextual, as in the convex mirror hanging in a tree reveals an urban landscape in what would be counter-plan of photography in which the mirror is inserted. Or how on the field with rolls of hay that comes locked up in a building a few centuries ago. Nature and culture in strange discussions.

A female figure is repeated in several images, who stars enigmatic actions. She dozes off in what appears to be a living room set up in open sky. She walks, dressed in gold carrying a disproportionate amount of white balloons for uninhabited landscapes. She sits blindfolded, having her hands tied behind her back, in the middle of a road. It is the artist herself, originally portrayed during performances held between 2007 and 2012 in urban areas in Brazil and Europe (Portugal and Ireland). Mixed with other times and 

contexts, these portraits lose the initial connotation (to address the contrast between public and private or alert for anaestheticization regarding the nature or personal routes in a city, for example) to transmit new meanings or show previously hidden meanings.

The same applies for all recombination of images, which are nothing more than the artist's previous works mixed. We are therefore faced with a long repertory or even a transformed file, in the manner of "retrospective" from Maurizio Cattelan at the Guggenheim Museum in New York last year - when he hung all his already produced work (or the actual size reproductions reduced), creating an entirely new work (or brave new format of retrospective).

What is at stake here? First, a wisdom that Conte and Cattelan share: the awareness that in contemporary art, as in nature, nothing is created, everything is transformed. Then - and here comes the cessation of similarities between the two artists - a proper ecological philosophy. The logic of the collage, which permeates all Angella Conte´s work, means 

that there is a natural continuity between different themes and materials  that the  artist operates. Because everything - photography, video, text, sculpture, found objects, mundane objects and noble objects, tradition of  art and the stage of nature - is potentially combinatorial, combined again and reusable. Then she dedicated to the universe of works that she’s already carried out the same orientation that gives to the set of raw materials and speeches that elects.

It deepens the path of her cultural ecology. And nothing could be more  contemporary. How teach us  semiotics Lucia Santaella, we are living the historical paradigm of the fourth image. The first paradigm was prephotography - pictures of the craft -, the second was the proper photographic paradigm, so the images of the actual techniques that kept track of what the camera captures visible. Followed by the third paradigm, post-photographic digital images. Today, it prevails - 4th paradigm - is the hybrid image.

The works in the series Daily Invented mix timeline records , blend artistic speeches , hybridize craft experiences (pre-photographic), and manipulated photographic / constructed (post-photographic) Angella Conte, presenting us with a moving and poetic reality that can be understood as the movie and fantastic literature, videogame or virtual world.

But what, more precisely reflects the sensitivity / contemporary experience of combining all these parallel worlds into one, that routinely we call life.

 

Juliana Monachesi

May/2013