Wanda Casaril, Elisabetta Di Sopra e Ilaria Margutti
Curated by Francesca Brandes
BIENNALE DEL MERLETTO di VENEZIA
14 JUNE – 2 OCTOBER 2022
Museo del Merletto
The exhibit’s core motivations lie in the tenacious thread
that the female artistic mode entrusts to reality’s material and ideal construction. Of course, the three artists have very different paths, but the exhibition’s primary interest is precisely in this imaginative and intentional simultaneity (despite the use of various tools).
Elisabetta Di Sopra (Pordenone, 1969) is a video artist who has been active in Italy for many years, a lecturer at the Ca’ Foscari University’s Master’s course in video art, and the main collaborator of the Archivio’s Carlo Montanaro at the Fabbrica del Vedere in Venice. Her video, entitled Opera, alternates on a double screen the images of an operation performed by a surgeon who comments on her actions (of care, precision and necessity) and the gestures of the fibre artist Ilaria Margutti as she embroiders poetic words on fabric arose during quarantine. These are verses by Antonella Anedda, from Margutti herself and from other women who narrate – each in their own way – anxieties and fears arising from forced isolation.
|Ilaria Margutti (Modena, 1971) lives and works in Sansepolcro (Arezzo), where she is both an artist and an art history teacher. On show is Ipotesi del continuo, an installation consisting of two canvases (250×80 cm each), with hand embroidery and canvas inlays, silk thread and twisted Florentine fabric. The work’s title refers to Georg Cantor’s theory on the possible dimensions of mathematical infinity sets. The scholar demonstrated the existence of an endless sequence of different infinities: on this assumption, Margutti reflects on the impossibility of escaping the expanding rhythm of the universe. Ilaria investigates the languages through which Nature speaks to us, from question to question, from embroidery to embroidery: in doing so, she reconstructs a visible relationship with the Universe, every universe, and our home.
In addition to the two artists, it was deemed interesting to add the testimony of a doyenne of fibre art, Wanda Casaril. Born in Venice in 1933, Casaril taught textile art at the Istituto Statale d’Arte in the lagoon capital until 1983, then devoted herself exclusively to creative work, with numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad. The same code defining the conceptual clarity of Elisabetta Di Sopra and Ilaria Margutti, with their precise yet imaginative work of infinite construction, also drives Casaril’s installation on display: an act of protest with resolute connotations, hers, against the rape of the environment that surrounds us.