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At the beginning of time Reporting in English

For the first time, the Museum and Florentine Institute of Prehistory “Paolo Graziosi”, in collaboration with Gallery Margini Arte Contemporanea, Massa Carrara, opens its doors to contemporary art by presenting on Thursday 5th April 2012 Simone Ialongo’s solo show titled “At the beginning of time”. On the occasion of the Culture Week, from April 14th to 22nd, special guided tours will be arranged together with a meeting that will focus on the relationship between contemporary art and prehistory. The works created for the project “At the beginning of time” of Simone Ialongo determine a parallel, but not interchangeable, path to the preexisting one of the Museum, which shows archeological finds from Paleolithic to Metal Age. The new work presented by the artist, specifically created for this exhibition (the four collages on paper and the two on wood, the three ones on plinth, an installation with earthenware elements, two photographs and one sculpture composed of natural elements) are part of a personal reflection of the artist upon the research of time, its measurement and the value men are used to assign to it. In nature, time shows itself through events and seasons, but only at the moment when it is measured it starts to exist, thus involving other elements as the concept of memory, future and past. For these reasons, the artist has focused on the rituals and symbols that have always dealt with the flowing of time and the exorcism of fears and hopes connected to it. These themes have always been at the centre of his research, as two works of the previous production and those ones composing “the initiatory journey realized for the Museum of Prehistory”, placed at the end of the exhibition path, attest. The two original works consist of a video realized in 2008 titled “Quasi per ignem” and of a work carried out in 2007 about expectation of life’s length from the point of view of modern and contemporary artists through a book titled “artist’s life”. The artist himself, talking about his project that develops through two different and autonomous paths corresponding to the two floors of the museum and that find their union in the reflection upon the value we are used to assign to time, says: “For the first cycle, titled “First lesson of abstract archaeology”, I have used Arturo Palma di Cesnola’s text as bibliography. I have realized a sort of “abstract lesson” composed of two collages on wood and four collages on paper. Precious materials are used in order to highlight human intervention: we can see them where human culture, both palaeolithic and contemporary, has intervened with the production of manufactures or the interpretation of them. The second group of works, titled “Research at the beginning of man’s spirituality”, is my personal and realistic attempt to understand what might be placed at the origin of the purely human inclination to care for its own spirit and to believe in abstract and superior entities. I have sought the spirit as I was an animal. In fact, in order to carry out such research, I addressed myself to natural elements, to the time of things, the moon, the earth and its creatures. I used techniques from experimental archaeology, from prehistory to early history, from Upper Paleolithic to the Bronze Age.” As the curator writes in the catalog: “The artist has invented an original reflection on the capability of “natural/artificial” objects to tell the stories they are connected to. It is also a research about the human need to interpret natural signs and about that to rationalize the world, but it also deals with the desire to imagine and plan it. This is an attitude very similar to the definition of archaeology by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Kurt Vonnegut, Günter Grass and Louis Borges who agreed, by commenting on the drawings of the plateau of Nazka, that it is one of the disciplines with the higher coefficient of concreteness and fantasy at the same time. In this case Ialongo, even if he has studied Paleontology, has succeeded to establish a project that does not create just a commentary of archeological finds in the Museum. Instead, the result is a reflection upon the perception of “time” and upon the storage of its different stages of knowledge. In this way the artist poses some open questions without any rhetoric about the role of the museum from an historical point of view and compared to the new “liquid modernity” we are part of. In fact, in the age of globablized messages, electronic means are just archives of our activities, automatically updating themselves, even if their contents will be lost when a new kind of technology will be invented. It is just from this perspective that thinking about from which point of view we observe and share some details become necessary. Ialongo’s project aims to highlight such necessity, but also to give his own solution.” Museum and Florentine Institute of Prehistory "Paolo Graziosi", Via S. Egidio n.21, 50122, Florence.


Visiting hours: Monday 3.30 – 6.30 pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 9.30 – 12.30 am; Tuesday, Thursday, 9.30 – 12.30 am and 3.30 – 6.30 pm.

Closed on Sunday.

Tel. / fax 055 295159 ; info@museofiorentinopreistoria.it, www.museofiorentinopreistoria.it.

The exhibition is realized in collaboration with Gallery Margini Arte Contemporanea, Massa.

Info: Tel. 0585 42048 , info@marginiartecontemporanea.com, www.marginiartecontemporanea.com.

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