Solo Show @ Las Palmas Project (Lisbon)
In 1888, Georges Seurat painted one of his least admired artworks, yet one of the most mysterious in sentiment: Parade de Cirque. The painting depicts immobile figures outdoors under artificial lighting at the sideshow of the Circus Corvi. In the center of the scene, the dark figure of a trumpet player seems to somehow behold the key to the mystery of the painting yet, while inviting us in, he remains still and silent. As Roger Fry said: “ […] Seurat, one feels, saw it almost as one might suppose some visitant from another planet would have done. He saw it with this penetrating exactness of a gaze vacant of all direct understanding […]”
A few years later Erik Satie composed the famous ballet Parade, featuring costumes and scenes by Pablo Picasso. Probably inspired by Seurat’s painting, Satie conceives a ballet with no plot but the performances of a bunch of characters which present themselves, trying to invite the spectators to attend a show they will never see. Even today a parade is strictly linked to the idea of “telling something” by means of physical presence.
Paolo Brambilla’s recent art ponders on storytelling and narrative mechanisms for their basic role in shaping and redefining the sense of pathos of whole generations, so creating a wide range of icons that go beyond entertainment to arrive at influencing the world’s individual and collective perception. Brambilla defines his latest productions as “visual scripts”, agglomerates and interweavings of narrative fragments that create enigmatic scenes with a strong emotive impact. Brambilla’s works remind of a spell or an artifice, they are clear and enigmatic so to obtain extraneous effects which are not allowed by the natural order or by the immediate appearance of things.
On the occasion of his solo show at Las Palmas Project, Paolo Brambilla presents his own take on the subject of parade. By combining works from various recent projects, Brambilla creates a scenario which, much like the painted curtain of some theatres, presents visual hints of something that is still to be shown. This threshold is guarded by a whimsical figure whose silently stands before all stories begin.