Curated by: Chiara Squarcina, Matthias Schaller
The artist Matthias Schaller develops two themes in the Leiermann series: the mirror - source and medium of intellectual, ideal and rational reflections - and Venice - a symbolic, historical and cultural place, connected to the contemporary world. The path suggested by Schaller therefore proposes an articulated reading.
His photographic works refer to ancient mirrors, present in Venetian palaces and museums, and lead the observer to imagine and, consequently, to reason about which and how many characters have been captured by these mirror surfaces which in turn create a fleeting imitation of reality. For this interpretative line Schaller is hooked to the composition of Franz Schubert Der Leiermann, where a poem by Wilhelm Müller is interpreted-imitated. Thus the sound evokes the image which, in turn, is proposed not in an original guise, but as an imitation to focus on aspects and peculiar thematic developments of the subject. In this way Schaller chooses to share this interpretation to dwell on what and how the mirrors of the past carry today's image of Venice.
This city, for the artist, cannot reflect anything as its inhabitants, year after year, leave the city. A personal vision that leads the observer to critically examine these contexts - the mirror and the city - reformulated by Schaller who wants them to be united by a latent passivity. Thus his photographs critically focus attention on how a wonderful and fascinating context, object of admiration, can be clouded by “absence”. The poet Müller describes the disappearance of a man who leaves the city, and Schubert's song highlights this thought by inspiring Schaller who in narrating the "absence" ferries the observer through a metaphorical atmosphere, from which an aura of sadness emerges. for how time transforms Venice.
In collaboration with Sonnabend Gallery, New York