When the child was a child, it didn’t know that it was a child, everything was soulful, and all souls were one – Peter Handke
On Friday, the 2nd of February 2018 at 19.30, on the occasion of Arte Fiera in Bologna, Adiacenze inaugurates “Click Clack”, the first ever solo show with the kinetic and interactive installations of the artist and director Virgilio Villoresi, one of the most eclectic and original artists in the Italian and international art world. Curated by Marco Mancuso, critic, curator and director of Digicult, the exhibition, open from the 2nd of February to the 15th of March 2018, is meant to shed light on a lesser-known, yet fascinating part of the Villoresi’s artistic production.
Director, set designer, artisan and illusionist, over the past years, Virgilio Villoresi (Fiesole, 1979) has gained recognition in the field of animation and its application in such areas as art, advertisement and music video clips. His distinctive style, which is cultured, elegant and rich with visual phantasmagorias, is part of a particular line of historical and artistic development and research within the field of experimental cinema: Harry Smith’s processes of alchemical synthesis; Jonas Mekas’s structural ontology; Jack Smith’s art of recycling (reuse); Kenneth Anger’s magical rituals.
“Click Clack” provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the imaginative talent of Villoresi, who transmits his knowledge and ability in the field of pre-cinematic analogical techniques through a series of complex archetypal installations. A noisy and playful carousel made of flip books and zoetropes, optical lamps and magic lanterns, passionately and obsessively created by modeling recycled objects and single components printed in 3D. Presented in the spaces of Adiacenze as beautiful retro-design objects, the works transform the exhibition space into a magical setting where the captivated spectator is asked to reflect on the expressive language of the artist while seeking to understand the primary component behind the mechanism of perception making the images move.
Virgilio Villoresi is an artist who thrives on dualities, on a series of contrasts which sublimate into a unified, yet complex shape. It is extremely hard to try to define him as an artist, to place him within a category with any strict limits. He could be described as a demiurge capable of molding materials, techniques, instruments and mechanisms, which become technological objects whose interactive components, 3D printing, laser cutting are merely instruments subject to the poetic will of the author. One could think of him as of an out of time merry-go-round maker lost in an epoch that has ceased to exist, made of mechanic toys that no one would ever buy. The toys that are hidden in a drawer or in the back of a studio of some old shop covered with dust until they are rediscovered and reborn in high resolution in our contemporary time period.
Virgilio Villoresi attracts people who intuitively understand his vocabulary, his research. The emotions and astonishment a spectator experiences in front of any of the phantasmagorias present in the “Click Clack” exhibition are exactly the same the artist himself experiences while creating them, while giving them form and substance. The same emotions he experienced upon encountering one of the phantasmagorias for the first time, in his childhood moment, the memory of which has since faded. Virgilio Villoresi is, of course, a naif artist; his artistic expression has an infantile inclination and is the result of a process that is more intuitive than academic.
The element of wonder is an integral part of his work – a study of the emotions caused by an almost accidental action of revealing, which is far from being accidental. Every element of the artist’s installations, each frame of his magnificent animations, the reason he has become known, is the outcome of an articulated and dynamic mechanism. Of a masterful and controlled technological corpus. A magical dance, a mise-en-scene, a precise theatrical representation.
That and many other things are represented in the exhibition “Click Clack” which includes the following works: Danse Macabre (2016); Click Clack (2014), the work that gives a title to the whole exhibition; Faire de son mieux (2014); Figlio e Padre (2014); Trompe-l’oeil (2016) and the inedited Virgilio’s Zoetrope (2017), created especially for the spaces of Adiacenze.
Using an imagery borrowed from the rotogravures of the 50s, these works carry us away to a world somewhere between a flea market and a fab lab; at the intersection of Jordan Belson’s chromatrope and a retro-futurist set of Star Trek; between Émile Cohl’s animation and a system of laser projection. Because when the child was a child, he didn’t know that he was a child, but once he grew up he didn’t forget of once having being one…