Nicola Evangelisti
2 December 2015 – 28 January 2016 Area35 Art Gallery Milano milano
Press Review

Nicola Evangelisti, after having examined the relation among real and virtual in the context of the econo- mic crisis, turns his gaze towards the international political outlook, focusing on the discomfort created by the current terrorist wave in which mass media communication have a significant role to play.
It’s such a significant coincidence that the English term BEWARE contains the word WAR; as if there were an inherent warning of an armed threat to our security. Quoting the title of a famous album of a musician loved by the artist -Paul McCartney- we could define this project a TUG OF WAR, at least for the deployment of a quite interesting arsenal made by his installations.

It is not really war and terrorism chic which is symbolized, but the communication process of informa- tion, the distance between objective facts and their perception: a dyscrasia that makes them subjective. Safety, both mental and physical, is under attack, actualized by the duality between tangible and intan- gible reality.

There is, in these series of installations, a distance between the object of analysis and Evangelisti’s artwork, a kind of filter, a deforming lens represented by the artistic medium. The Information is - by definition – something unambiguous in relation to the fact it refers to. The correlation between “News” and “Event” corresponds to the relationship between “material” and immaterial”. The natural semantic shifting underlines the distance between the meaning of the word and its own signifier.

BEWARE project’s artworks are just the uncertain empty space in between the incident and its relative information.
A multitude of information on the same event, represents at the same time, press freedom, and a ma- licious or partisan distortion if manipulated by an ideological strategy.

If the information is an exchange of consciousness among several people, it contributes unsurprisingly to the definition of public social consciousness. The invasion of territories proceeds in parallel to the control of consciousness and public opinion. Such control corresponds to an annihilation. A tendency to move the rational verticality of the spirit towards the ferocious dynamics of the horizontal.

The violence killing victims of war and terrorism isn’t more powerful of the one we experience in the moment horror of death is broadcasted in real-time throughout the web: virtual reality in this way tends to match with another form of reality that manages and influences our emotional, behavioral aspects and, therefore, our life.

Duality between tangible and intangible reality is translated by Evangelisti into artworks made by phy- sical parts, measurable, and by others only visible through optical effects. Objective and material ele- ments are grafting onto others that can be defined virtual, being both common parts of the same form of reality.

In its ambivalent duality, white is symbol of candidness, life and loyalty, as well as darkness, death, grief especially in Asian culture.
White and Black, darkness and light alternates in solidness and emptiness of the artworks, Life and Death exchange significances by proxemically shifting from one reality to the other.

It is not by sheer coincidence that the origin of the definition “white weapon” refers to white reflected by the sunlight on the mirroring steel of swords, knives and lances. “White weapon” like black instrument

of death.
Holy Knife by Nicola Evangelisti and Mauro Melotti is a sculpture half composed by a military knife and half by its holographic reproduction.
In reference to his exhibition, Useless Army – where Evangelisti took part with the installation DEMO- CRACY made of shotgun shell – the “useless army” of Art, fights an intellectual war with militarily blunt arms but sharper in terms of exposure and social protest.
Rifle shells characterize the installations FREEDOM, WAR, DEMOCRACY AND PEACE, English words that stigmatize the American military strategy to continually move the war front beyond their borders. Evangelisti, paraphrasing the “pax romana” concept from the imperial period, defines the actual as “pax Americana” Where wars are being fought in the name of peace and democracy.

Holy Lance and the shell installations are symptomatic of those who decided to make peace with war. Fought war in the name of peace or religion, paradoxes which have gone along with human history from ancient times till today and that seems not to leave room to any fraternity and harmony. Holy Lance is a wall installation of ambient dimensions composed by mirroring metal silhouettes. The blades and the knifes used to kill the victims of the caliphate are set forming a gunsight image – visually overlapping a cross – underlining the paradoxical capacity of violence in the name of God. Mirroring steel blades, digital forms that have found, in this matter, the capability to reflect the light and the contextual images. We reflect ourselves in the arms and in death’s symbols, likewise in those of peace and faith, in a perceptive continuum whose boundaries are superimposable and interchangeable.

Light that generates shadows like the black colors of flags that darkens the Lybian sun, the obscure side of good, “caligine luminosissima” that clouds minds.
The gunsight symbol, at last, exemplified in different ways within the exhibition, appears also in form of a holographic light hanging before an impending bullet, ready to hit the unconscious visitor: strong is still the interconnection between the objective reality and the supposed one, a more than ever representational synthesis of the world we live in.

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