Τὰ δὲ πάντα οἰακίζει κεραυνός
Lightning rules all, Heraclitus.
The aphorism was carved on the architrave
of the cabin entrance in the Black Forest of Martin Heidegger
Greetings! We are pleased to announce Fulgurales, the personal exhibition Luca Reffo at Giudecca, Venice. Conceived in dialogue with One Contemporary Art, an exceptional area renovated at the beginning of the 20th century on the first floor of the Giudecca maritime artisan complex, the exhibition will present a fine selection of recent works and new productions that reflect on the loss of balance in the contemporary world.
The project, already a part of the Latitude 0 to 3 research around the identity of the landscape, addresses the issue of the ecosystem crisis by linking it to the crisis of the inner landscape, the vertigo of the Diluvio, the upheaval of orientation, proportion, stability, and unity. Fulgurales originates from the name of lost Etruscan books that codified fulgural art, useful for reading the future by interpreting the place of origin,
direction, and arrival point of lightning.
Beginning with “Serpent Ritual” by Aby Warburg, Luca Reffo highlights the need for a critique of modernity that substitutes poetic-mythological causality with a technological one, allocating humanity to the loss of space for thought and the world to chaos. The text is a program and testament of self-healing from demons that plagued the psyche: in order to conquer clarity, Warburg addresses the cult of the snake that originates from the depths of the psyche and directly from the ancestral fear spurred by the reptile, rooted in our neurovegetative system. During the serpent ritual, the Hopi,
native Amerindians of Arizona, hurl a hundred snakes rounded up in the desert on an image of colored sand, a sky full of clouds with four serpentine lightning bolts. After wriggling free and disrupting the image to invoke rain, they were released and sent off to the plains. The snake taking the place of lightning became not only a metaphor but a
living animal symbol transformed into a living messenger to invoke a storm by temporarily domesticating the elusiveness of natural phenomena.
On a journey between the past and present, between different cultures and contexts marked by collapses and loss of meaning, the artist accompanies us on the trail of lightning in a game of references, hyperbole, and falsifications, on the winding path that “walks through things”.
The cycle of artworks on display, including paintings, drawings, photographs, and specific site interventions, aims to investigate the symbol of lightning intended as a universal meteorological apparition of the supernatural, to the origins of the unknown attitudes of the inorganic. The paintings, conceived around the quality of the light
expressed by the electrical discharge that inhabits the landscape outside and within us,
are colored with the shades of silver and the rainbow, with blinding light and the depth of the void, describing an instantly immobilized world ruled by lightning and destined to become something other than itself.
Luca Reffo's painting aims to highlight the evocative faculty of the image: the painted image is thought of as an unfinished superimposition of the cultural components and inner processes that boldly identify it. The artwork turns into a contradictory place,
inhabited by different forces and acted on by multiple non-spatial dimensions in intensity and direction.
The artworks on display seem to lose weight and size, becoming projections. The large and the small orbit in a discontinuous space. The blow-ups invade the white space, in an uncertain balance, as a counterpoint to the paintings. The development of the exhibition follows the multiplicity of points of view of the research, transforming
Fulgurales into an observatory, shortening the distance between the outer and the inner, between the world outside the exhibition space and the imaginary.
Luca Reffo, b. 1973, lives and works between Milan and Venice, Italy. He currently teaches Painting, Atelier 12, at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. He is co-founder of Départ Pour l’Image Editions. Selected exhibitions: 444 / Celestial Means of Locomotion, Spazio Choisi, Lugano, Switzerland (2019); Vanishing Point, Siam 1886,
Milan, Italy (2018); BYOPAPER!, Papeteries Étienne, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2018); No Less, Kunsthalle Eurocenter Lana, Merano, Italy (2014); Close to Me, Galleria Rubin, Milan, Italy (2012); Looking Within, Robert Kananaj Gallery, Toronto,
Canada (2012); Shine on Crime, Galleria Rubin, Milan, Italy, (2008); Dream Before The Dreamer, City Point, London, United Kingdom (2005); Invasioni da Camera, Palazzo Parafava dei Carraresi, Padua, Italy, (2000).