Curated by: Lucia Aspesi e Fiammetta Griccioli
“the eye, the eye and the ear” is curated by Lucia Aspesi and Fiammetta Griccioli. It is Baga’s first institutional exhibition in Italy and brings together five video installations investigating the relationship between the body and the constantly evolving image technology. The exhibition covers fifteen years of production, from her first piece There is no “I” in Trisha (2005- 2007/2020), conceived as a sort of TV sitcom that questions the gender stereotypes of all the various characters whose roles Trisha Baga plays; to the more recent work 1620 (2020) produced on the occasion of this show. Like a mise en abyme, the exhibition meanders through the various media, which have characterized Baga's career, ranging from VHS cassettes and DVDs to 3D devices, and is deeply rooted in her performative practice. Visitors are invited to experience the entire show wearing 3D glasses. Furthermore, the artist presents a rich selection of ceramic works produced since 2015 and six pieces from the series Seed Paintings (2017), composed of sesame seeds and foam mounted on wooden panels of varying sizes.
The show’s display hints at the aesthetics commonly found in natural history museums, not only in its style of presentation, but also by using an unusual classification system that intertwines the idea of the fossil with high-tech devices such as today’s virtual personal assistants, thus creating a sort of temporal short-circuit. Through her ironical and witty perspective Baga focuses on the excessive reliance and hopes we put on technology, staging in her work its most fragile and failing aspects. The show’s title “the eye, the eye and the ear”, individualizes and fragments the bodily senses that are active while experiencing the exhibition, in which the visual effects replicate and dialogue with the sounds in such a way that the narrative becomes a living organism.
Upon entering the exhibition space, visitors are greeted by large writing on a wall, Orlando (2015–20). The text is an excerpt from the foreword of the book Half Mile Down (1926) written by the naturalist and scientist William Beebe, in which the publisher explains the process required to print the book itself. However, Baga has replaced the word “book” with the word “man”, thereby generating a paradoxical swap of identities between man and object. The work acts as a declaration introducing the exhibition ahead, linking the human body to material and cultural artefacts and forming a central issue of Baga’s oeuvre. As opening and closing credits of the show, the same excerpt reappears in reverse on the exit wall of the Shed.