Critics’ Picks

Erin Shirreff, Son, 2018, HD video, color, silent, 45-minute loop. Installation view, Palazzo De' Toschi, Bologna, 2018.

Erin Shirreff, Son, 2018, HD video, color, silent, 45-minute loop. Installation view, Palazzo De' Toschi, Bologna, 2018.

Bologna

Erin Shirreff and Elia Cantori

Banca di Bologna
Piazza Galvani 4
February 2–March 4, 2018

The works of Erin Shirreff and Elia Cantori, shown at separate Banca di Bologna locations for two exhibitions curated by Simone Menegoi, have something in common: an investigation of the cosmos and the darkroom. Two new works by Shirreff are installed at the Palazzo De’ Toschi, where an underlit, sacred atmosphere welcomes viewers and draws their attention to a video projected on a large, double-sided screen, Son, 2018, which reveals a view of nature determined by perceptual disorientation, beginning with the title, a homophone of the word sun. The artist, fascinated by the total solar eclipse of 2017, has chosen to rework images of the totality using stop-motion and digital animation in order to emphasize the stock solemnity with which astral events are generally received and presented. A black circular form made from cardboard remains fixed, central, and distended for most of the video’s duration, while an assortment of colored gelatins, geometric signs, and evanescent images arrive to modify its presence, resulting in a radically new image. Many Moons, 2018, displayed in a room adjacent to where Son is installed, is a low platform on top of which is a base made of pages from the New York Times rendered illegible by a layer of graphite and supporting sixty-one dark plaster shapes arranged like a monochromatic astral map, which brings to mind the dusty atmospheres of Giorgio Morandi’s canvases. The pieces, all negative casts of ordinary objects such as bottles, plates, and cups are the materialization of a void, of an idea that becomes reality.

At the Piazza Galvani location, Elia Cantori exhibits four recent photographic works from the series “Dead Constellation,” 2011–18, all created by exposing meteorite dust on light-sensitive paper. Finally, there are two aluminum sculptures, one hung on the wall, one positioned on the floor, from the series “Untitled (1:1 Map),” 2016, created using a sand-mold technique. Cast from geographic maps, they annul any and all territorial information, conveying only traces of foldings and use.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.