Raffaela Naldi Rossano: Παρθενώπη
Curated by Delia Gonzalez
Text by Danai Giannoglou
26 January – 16 February 2019
The myth of Parthenope (Παρθενόπη), like every myth, has numerous variations. The motif that keeps repeating itself in every version is the one of a female-like figure, a siren, who dies for the love of Ulysses, creating through this act the city of Naples that initially took her name. Mythology depicts Parthenope as a gender fluid creature which is at the same time a powerful, rebellious and seductive woman but also because of those characteristics she is considered to be a danger to society. This reference becomes the center of Raffaela Naldi Rossano’s approach to the notion of formation and transformation within communities and identities. Mythology is being weaved together with historical facts, such as the story of Nafplio, a coastal city in the Peloponnese which was built by the Venetians in medieval times out of a need and a wish to create Greece’s Naples, and with the artist’s personal experience of the space and more specifically of Nafplio, a city unknown to her, but supposedly made in the image of her hometown, Naples. The different environments and contexts create the terms for a simultaneous inhabitation of the past, the present and the future. The installation at Aetopoulos project space is the mirage of a futuristic ‘’topia’’, with the prefix u- or dys- treated with a question mark. Different temporalities and spatialities co-exist in order to explore the ways and the limits of transformation. A new-age siren’s song which brings together artificial sounds and poetry excerpts read by Naldi Rossano herself and other artists, is leading the viewer towards the exhibition space. In the artist’s environment one can feel a strange bodily connection to the elements of the installation, which even though solid, they leave a taste of liquidity. A swing in the middle of the space invites you to mentally participate in a state of suspension and perpetual waiting for a connection, a common ground. The installation is being dominated by the absolute symbol and the interface of every community, the currency. Buried in the Nafplian sand which has substituted a part of the gallery’s floor, but also hanged on the wall as the symbol of a collective origin, the source of everything, Naldi Rossano draws her inspiration for those coin-like sculptures out of resin, from the coins of Magna Grecia and the aesthetics of cryptocoins. In a constant search of what togetherness is and where it is dwelling, Naldi Rossano selects fragments of different types of imperfect communities in order to create her own, a horizontal society re-examining the borders of identity, and redefining the inhabitation of the natural and digital environment, which remain in a state of constant transition.