Enter Viewing Room
The dialog between the work of the Belgian artist Mathilde Nardone and the work of the Finnish artist Antti Pussinen, resemble more to an ancient dance, rich of contrasts and counterpoints spinning around a familiar melody. Even if the final result is easily mistaken with a classic photograph, both artist Antti Pussinen and Mathilde Nardone are not working with camera and lenses to create their art. Antti uses a personalized peculiar version of the ancient technique of Photogram to trap Lissajous curves onto photographic paper, and Mathilde composes her Nature Morte directly on the screen of a scanner. Antti transform the dynamic to static, while Mathilde catches the static and reveal its inner dynamic. One works in black and white, the other present the whole pompous color range of the floral world. The Finnish artist catches the unseeable frequencies waves and present them in their instantaneous forms of futuristic space design flavor, the Belgian artist picks carefully selected flowers to tell us about unknown stories out of her family history, facing themes concerning the whole humanity. In a way, we could say that both artists are presenting the opposite of what at first seems: what looks like abstraction is actually a tangible and unique shape of an existing matter, and what looks like a very recognizable form is actually a metaphysical metaphor. The contrasts are dramatic and yet harmonic, like a Tao including darkness and light in the dance of existence. In mathematics and physics, Lissajous curves are graphs of a system of parametric equations depicting oscillation and waves by comparing their frequency and intensity, ending describing a complex harmonic motion. In vacuum, energy travels as electromagnetic waves, as oscillating electric and magnetic fields. Antti Pussinen’s photograms, exposed directly to black and white Fomapan photographic PE paper, using a modified color CRT-tube. The cathode ray -stream of high energy electrons- is controlled with electronic sound waves, drawing the forms and patterns of the images. The ray passes through a tilted lens, creating variation in the sharpness of the images. The visible ”raster” is actually the color-separation grid inside the used CRT-tube. Antti Pussinen captured his curves during 2018, and all artworks are unique and originals, not reproducible, thanks his peculiar technique: an attempt to re-expose and image with same sound, would reproduce a complete different image. By selecting the scanner as the tool for the creation of her Natures Mortes, Mathilde Nardone get out of the classical concept of still lives, evolving them into very contemporary “non genre” pieces. When an artist paints or photographs a still life, he/she first has to make a composition of flowers, fruits, or objects, he/she wants to represent, and is this composition to play the rôle of the subject of the artwork. By selecting the scanner as her tool, Mathilde Nardone has to place the subjects of her works on the glass of the machine, and she will be able to control only the back of her composition, while its face, the real subject of the work, will be left out her view and control. Same thing happens for the lights of the piece. Mathilde cannot control or direct the lighting on her subjects to allow the scanner to work, but the machine will interact with the subjects independently of the artist will, creating nuances, light spots and shadows surprising even the artist herself. Say it with flowers. Floriography – the language of flowers – had gained popularity during the Victorian era to the extent that it had become a complex means of coded communications. Using particular blooms or even just their scents, Victorians were able to convey emotions that the strictures of the time made impossible to speak about openly. Mathilde Nardone doesn’t use floriography in a classical way, but still, she uses it to speak about themes that are not always the easiest. The flowers used in her art are always telling a story, usually related to her life’s paths, or her family, longing the theme of identity, belonging and immigration. Themes that are always actual, always hard, always rich of polemics. To talk about such hard themes by using such a delicate subject is a refined way, quite surprising for such a young artist. There are flashes and reminiscences in her compositions, showing an early interest on art as a representation of the inner self. But the young artist is not in search of the past, she prefers to retain the one that remains. Treated in the manner of Flemish still lives, the detail and abundance of flowers are at the heart of the young artist’s work which is pushed to its paroxysm through the removal of all other objects, vases or recognizable intermediary supports, thus causing a floral spurt. She rivals with inventiveness and technique to bring out the veiled parts of her composition through pure matter such as grains or seeds, depth by superimposing layers of flowers on a background of chilling blackness, and movement by finding the means of sublimating these elements through a diffuse light that hangs on the mesmerizing and hypnotic front planes of her work while fading out the more distant planes, more murky and blurred.