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KETTY LA ROCCA. Appendice per una supplica

  • Exhibition
  • 28 March 2019 - 6 October 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Exhibition inauguration and presentation with

Michelangelo Vasta, Archivio Ketty La Rocca
Riccardo Montanaro, Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT
Riccardo Passoni, GAM Director
Elena Volpato, GAM Conservator

Free admission

The exhibition presents the recent acquisitions on the part of the Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT of the video Appendice per una supplica, 1972, by Ketty La Rocca, and some of her artist books with drawings and photos made between 1970 and 1974.

Appendice per una supplica is one of the first artist videos made in Italy, shot in collaboration with Gerry Schumand presented at the 36. Venice Biennale in the “Video-nastri” section, as well as the artist books section “Il libro come luogo di ricerca,”curated by Renato Barilli and Daniela Palazzoli, in which In principio erat by Ketty La Rocca, 1972, was also presented. 

In both works hand gestures are key but, unlike what was being explored during that time by artists such as Bruno Munari and Alighiero Boetti, Ketty La Rocca does not respect communication codes, or sign language, or even the traditional expressivity of Italian hand gestures. She frees these from all pre-established meaning and attempts to conquer newfound freedom, a new power of expression,for the image, placing it in a pre-linguistic void, as is the case with the video, or accompanying it with short and intentionally nonsensical writings like in the book In principio erat.

It is no coincidence that the title of the book evokes the epiphany of the logosin the Gospel of John, that auroral instant of meaning in which the word appears as the fullness of being, unadulterated by linguistic codes and not yet diminished by the conventions and false correspondences of languages and vocabulary. 

Also in 1972, in works like the triptych Senza titolo, on display here, the artist replaces the silhouettes of photos with minute senseless sentences; in fact, the writings, lacking any content, seem to surrender to their own linear beauty and melt into a drawing. And it was through drawing that Ketty La Rocca reclaimed a new possession of images, even those pertaining to the highest examples of art history, totally opposed to their mass consumption. At a time when conceptual art was nurtured on feeble tautological games between photography and writing, La Rocca renewed the visual power of words and images through an uncommon existential drive that explodes in the obsessive repetition of the word You on the photo’s surface: it is the you of the observer that must respond to the artist’s I so that both halves of the symbol can rejoin, and images and words can have meaning.

We thank Liliana Dematteis for her precious collaboration.

*Ketty La Rocca, Appendice per unasupplica, 1972 (frame)