Fisicofollia: a futurist’s landscape reimagined

Giovanna Cerise’s latest installation, Fisicofollia, opened at LEA6 on Monday December 16th as part of the LEA’s Full Sim Art Series.

Fisicofollia takes as its springboard the Futurist movement,  and particularly the works of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Fortunato Depero, Giacomo Balla, and Enrico Prampolini.

Marinetti effectively founded the movement following the publication of The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism (1909), in which he declared,  “Art, in fact, can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.” Violence became one of the themes emphasised and glorified by the movement, alongside others such as speed, technology, and youth, together with objects such as the industrial city, the car and the aeroplane; indeed, almost anything that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature.

Fisicofollia – LEA6 until December 31st, 2013

Futurist were slow to develop a distinctive style in the early years, initially basing their works on Divisionism, the breaking light and colour down into a field of stippled dots and stripes, before adopting Cubism as they looked to find a more individual means of expression through their works.

In terms of paintings, many of the works by Futurists exhibited strong lines and often imbued a sense of velocity through a blurring of lines and form. These aspects are somewhat reflected in elements of this installation. One section in particular uses colour and blurring to great effect. Elsewhere, there is a more free-form interpretation of the movement’s works, which embraced not only paintings, but sculpture, architecture, fabrics and fashion.

Throughout the main part of the build is the figure of a man, constructed from blue-shaded pyramids or tetrahedrons. Of varying sizes, it appears to be leaning back, arms raised horizontally, and is found in various sizes and numbers across the installation. Many of these figures are regimented into lines, some even into ordered into ranks. The latter are especially evocative of the movement’s militaristic leanings, their ordered rows, identical poses and colours suggestive of soldiers on parade. Draw in close to these figures, and they seem to mix and merge into a stippling effect, again perhaps again echoing the influence Divisionism had on the Futurists.

Fisicofollia – LEA6

Geometry is used to great effect throughout the piece. One section of the installation appears to be draped in mist; approach it, however, and one discovers the mist is in fact a series of closely spaced, translucent grids, forming a moiré pattern which breaks-up  the landscape and which shifts and changes as one’s eye (and camera) moves.

Patterns are also formed through the use of multiple parallel lines, spaced and placed to give the impression of stairways. Higher-up, in what is very much as three-dimensional design, these come together, Escher-like, to form eternal stairways leading nowhere, presenting a place where, to use Giovanna’s words, “lines, planes, shapes and colours combine, alluding to an invention related to childhood and madness.”

Fisicofollia – LEA6

Along with the visual elements of the piece is an accompanying sound scape, and it is recommended that the visitor has sounds enabled when visiting in order to benefit from the auditory elements present in the installation.

As well as describing Fisicofollia as a free-form interpretation of the Futurist movement’s approach to art, Giovanna also refers to the piece as:

A multi-dimensional performance space, in which light and shadow, colour and movement are the protagonists. The scene expands to create a multiplicity of perspectives in a continuous emotional tension … The visitor can interact with the environment simply going through it, resulting in different visual impressions.

Fisicofollia – LEA6

Fisicofollia is open through until the end of December 2013.

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