Art Viasaterna: Archives of Empathy by Teresa Giannico
Artart

Viasaterna: Archives of Empathy by Teresa Giannico

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Giorgia Massari
Teresa Giannico | Collater.al

These are the last days to visit Teresa Giannico‘s (1985) solo exhibition at Viasaterna in Milan, which ends on 23 June. The artist proposes a warm imagery, strongly linked to the domestic sphere, which, through a collection of images, explores identity, the everyday and slow time, placing itself in strong contrast to the hyper-productivity and spread of sensationalist images typical of contemporary society. Intimate emotions are celebrated through glances, embraces and everyday objects. The title – Archives of Empathy – suggests on the one hand the creative process of cataloguing images, and on the other hand what the exhibition proposes, namely an inner exploration through everyday scenes. What is surprising is the deception that Teresa Giannico’s works provoke in the viewer. What appear to be oil canvases are actually created through the use of a graphic tablet.

Teresa Giannico | Collater.al

Giannico’s interest in this medium is the result of her academic and artistic path which, as she tells us, “began at the Academy of Fine Arts in Apulia, where I studied painting, in a very rigorous and classical context that led me to become familiar with the pictorial tradition, especially Italian art of the early 20th century. I then moved to Milan to study photography, believing it to be my medium of expression, but when I realised that the camera tied me too closely to reality, I shuffled the cards and combined both my backgrounds. Contemporary photography is nowadays experiencing a strong connection with painting and I think it is one of the most interesting ways to study its conceptual value.

Teresa Giannico | Collater.al

The exhibition at Viasaterna unites the imagery generated by two of Teresa Giannico’s series, landscapes on the one hand and portraits on the other. In this sense, the exhibition marks an evolution in the artist’s research, which renews the themes treated in the past by inserting a clear narrative component. The previously monochrome backgrounds are now replaced by domestic settings that interact with the subjects. From a technical point of view, too, we see an evolution, which undoubtedly draws on the past but tends to go beyond it. “My research has always been based on the perception we have of the photographic image and to do this from the beginning I work by archiving numerous photographs found on the web. In my previous series I would build three-dimensional cardboard models on which I would then apply digital surfaces found online: the photograph of the photograph gave back an ambiguous image and led one to reflect on what one was seeing. In my new projects I eliminate the design phase that characterised the construction of the dioramas, and move on to work much more like a flow of thought. The choice of subjects originated during the pandemic period, where trajectories and points of view changed considerably due to the historical period.

Teresa Giannico | Collater.al

Alongside the portraits, still lifes and landscapes contribute to reinforcing the intimate dimension that the artist proposes. The emotionality conveyed by the glances and gestures strikes the viewer, who is led to empathise with the subjects. “I have often wanted to represent a kind of ‘eulogy to weakness’, an unpronounceable word here in the West.

Teresa Giannico | Collater.al
Teresa Giannico | Collater.al

Courtesy Teresa Giannico, Viasaterna

Artart
Written by Giorgia Massari
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