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Antiquitas in Luce, 2017


neon tubes, 40 F/ART transformers

EXHIBITION:  Antiquitas in Luce
WHERE: Museo Archeologico Napoli (MANN)
WHEN: 4th May - 3th July 2017
PRESS: Release

The Archaeological Museum of Napoli presents the solo exhibition of Laddie J. Dill , one of the greatest personality of the Californian art movement “Light and Space”.

This movement , born in California in the ‘60ies, has been brougth to visibility of the public by Getty Museum and focalizes the artistic research on the interaction between materials and light.
Peculiarity of Dill’s art is the introduction in the artistic world of materials which have never been specifically destinated and used in the arts, like neon tubes, industrial aluminum, cements, dirth which in his hands have been manipulated in such a way to acquire unparalleled sense of poetry, dream, and emotion.
“The two installations made of sand, earth and neon lights which the artist has created especially for the Archaeological Museum of Naples are inspired by a clear intention: to render the feeling of unreality characterizing the atmosphere in the venue tangible. Those who visit the museum are impressed by the lavishness and opulence of both container and content, that is to say Greek and Roman masterpieces that reveal themselves to the gaze of the public: A typical museum designed for the presentation of antique art.
The shades of the marble – white, green and grey – dominate the interiors of the museum; the Greek and Roman portrait busts lining the entrance hall of the museum create a kind of corridor in which the visitors linger and get their bearings before they venture into the exhibition rooms. It is here, in this symmetric, orderly and calm space, that Dill has placed an installation intended to upset the expectations of the museum goers: the access, the very fact of being able to proceed in the museum interior are thwarted by a composition that is concrete yet ethereal and unreal, made of earth, sand and above all light. It upsets the balance created by the alternation between white and grey marble of the environment and the exhibited works, disrupting the equilibrium of the whole interior.
Yet this strong visual impact immediately leads to the creation of a new dialogue, of a different visual perception of the interior; a dialogue based on the perception of light and color. Indeed, all the walls near the installation change color, taking on accents of drama and at the same time of total unreality.
Pinkish columns become confused with the black volcanic earth placed on the floor; this color, with the accents of pink, appears completely alien to the setting; indeed, it envelops the visitor in a metaphysical and unreal atmosphere that is quite unsettling.

The sculptures seem to levitate and float in the space; they appear to have lost their material substance, to the point of becoming weightless. The whole classic concept of the plasticity of traditional statues is challenged by the visual perception of the whole, while no longer seems either real or realistic. Everything is dematerialized, in a vision that no longer consists of seeing, but of perceiving. The onlooker is immersed, tout court, in a surreal atmosphere of transparency of rarefaction, eventually coming to doubt his or her own vision.” (Cynthia Penna)


The exhibition is curated by Ornella Falco and Cynthia Penna and has been organized by the Archaeological Museum and the Cultural Institution ART1307.
Photography: Giuseppe Salviati

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