8 infiniti circa
di Novella Oliana
8 infiniti circa (8 infinitives approximately) reflects on a portion of space – the Mediterranean – and on its aquatic surface. In Gibellina, this same surface covers a wall and becomes a metaphor for a heterotopic place. As a sensitive membrane and as a limit for the visible, the image of the sea reconnects to a new reality: it becomes a text, a manifesto and a map needed to inhabit a place (and its reverse) characterized by flexible and transforming properties.
This work develops through different perceptual experiences and manipulations the artist performs on the same images: the aim is to talk about the sea surface and the representation of the “island”, intended as an idea, a projection and a desire of crossing. Every action involves an embodied experience and it is part of a process made of “verbs at the infinitive”, the same ones that Franco Cassano refers to when he describes the Mediterranean.
If fiction creates an alternative reality by subverting perception, then this research explores an imaginary place in which form and content transform and entangle, separate and juxtapose. This work is a cartography of an experience between thinkable and visible.
Novella Oliana is a visual artist, a teacher and a researcher focusing on theory and practice of artistic research. She works with photography, video and writing. With a background in cultural studies relating to Mediterranean and Middle East, she is a PhD scholar in Visual Arts at Aix-Marseille University (France). As a teacher she focuses on the methodology of visual perception and design, by exploring both creative process and image as visible matter and medium. Her work Stanze, spazi, Universi, curated by Manuela De Leonardis and Carlo Gallerati, has been shown at Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Marseille in 2018 and it is the focus of her publication Chambres, universes: fragments d’un espace inventé, in Espaces d’interférence narrative. Art et récit au XXI siècle, (ed. Jean Arnaud), PU MIDI, Toulouse, 2018. Her practical and theoretical research reflects on the representation of the Mediterranean as a surface, a space and a heterotopy. She considers the image as the place for creative process to happen, and as an event for experiencing an embodied knowledge. She lives and works between Rome and Marseille.