The Gallery Apart presents ‘Over Yonder’, by Marco Strappato. The work brings together the works produced during the last months spent at the Royal College of Art in London and the new series of works, conceived and produced during the artist-in-residence at qwatz – contemporary art platform in Rome, inspired by the 1985 album by Italian songwriter Franco Battiato titled ‘Mondi lontanissimi’, where journey represents the main theme, both across the Earth and the space, and therefore the meeting with other new and possible landscapes. In this regard, the main source of inspiration, on which the artist also draws for the title of the exhibition, is ‘The Wild Blue Yonder’, a 2005 film directed by Werner Herzog that narrates a typically science-fiction story, but shot in a mock-documentary style and making full use of archive images to which a new and different meaning is attributed. This is exactly what Strappato does in his work, triggering off short circuits between the signifier and the signified. It is from this need to go beyond the mere recognition of the object or of the image that the artist takes the expression over yonder, which sometimes is used in place of the more common over there, but with a slightly different meaning, as it refers to the location of a thing that cannot be seen readily by the speaker.
Strappato is constantly researching images to be used as words, images that represent the landscape in all its possible forms. The work and thought underlying Over Yonder have opened up new iconographic horizons, allowing him an exploration of the universe according to a personal science-fiction mythology that feed on those who, like Franco Battiato, have already made this mysterious, transcendental cultured, Dante-inspired journey, though in a musical context but with the same capacity to evoke images. Herein lies the reference, to the limit of appropriation, to the album Mondi lontanissimi, with Strappato shares the yearning for research, fascination with the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar, the exotic, in a word the fascination with the inconnu.
Image: Marco Strappato, I’ve caught Derek Jarman and Yves Klein looking at my desktop wallpaper, 2015.
Rosco chroma key blue paint on 2 canvas (90x160cm each), projection, size variable.
Photo by Giorgio Benni.