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Press release

CLAUDIA LOSI
26 March - 3 May 2003

We are pleased to announce the personal exhibition by Claudia Losi entitled Mari. The artist will present four installations: For Ryökan Project, Acts of Love, Shifts and Navigators.

The work of Claudia Losi, born in Piacenza in 1971, is very much tied to a direct experience of Nature, to a relationship with the natural sciences and to the passing of time. Slowness and time are important components of her work, components that are consciously contrasted with the speed of contemporary reality. For this reason, embroidery is one of her favourite means. It was with this technique that in 1995 she executed Lichens, corrugated lengths of thread that represent vegetable organisms, embroidered on rough cloth. They seem like syntheses of landscapes, insular maps, microcosms in which the sense of co-existence of the different temporal layers assumes, literally, a physical manifestation. Losi accompanies these works that thematize microcosms, with works that are concerned with geography and the geological history of the Earth.

For Ryökan Project was begun in 1999. The stages of the Continental drift, which led to the present shape of the Earth's crust, are embroidered in orange silk onto seven balls of wool. The project is derived from the story of Ryökan, a Zen poet and monk who lived in the second half of the eighteenth century in Japan. The only possessions of his that have survived, now preserved in a museum, are a bamboo bowl and a ball of silk (mari, in Japanese), embroidered with peonies and butterflies. During his long pilgrimages on foot, he used to carry this ball with him, slipped into the sleeve of his kimono. When he reached a new village, he would use it to play with the children who ran out to greet him. To play with a ball, make it bounce, kick it and, at the same time, establish a relationship. To produce in space something that is akin to speech, to talk and to response. The mari, in this story, is thus a delicate object, embroidered with care with coloured threads that have the function of keeping the ball compact, but which, in turn, become worn. Something precious that rolls on the road.

Acts of Love (2002) is the second installation. It comprises various sculptures in felt that are suspended from different heights by elastic threads. Each one of these sculptures represents a pair of animals (manta rays, snakes, dogs but also a woman with her child) depicted in acts of reproduction or protection.

Passing through a room where there are arranged the last three balls in the series Shifts, (2002-2003): embroideries on silk spheres that represent the contours of the continents superimposed in different ways to each other- one reaches the last installation.

Navigators (2003) is an unreal landscape: it resembles certain hilly regions of the Appenines. The landscape was rebuilt in foam rubber and covered with a dyed cotton cloth. Onto this the silhouettes of whales have been embroidered: the blue shadows of the cetaceans that millions of years ago swam, like today's flocks of birds and falcons, in the sea that covered the Po valley. The embroideries were executed by Fall Khady, Senegal. This work is tied to a project that is in the process of being carried out: to reproduce, in lifesize dimensions and with the correct proportions, in sewn cloth, a whale of 23 metres in length.

Texts

Claudia Losi