«The fantastic must have something of the involuntary about it, something submitted to - an interrogation as troubled as it is troublesome, rising suddenly from a darkness which its author was obliged to take just as it came, and to which, at times, the author hopelessly desired to be able to provide an answer to.»
On the occasion of the exhibition No old thing under the sun at the Eduardo Secci Gallery in Florence, Sabrina Casadei presents to the public a series of works characterized by a certain level of abstraction and an arbitrary organization of lines, colors and surfaces, with the specific goal of establishing new kinds of reality or unreality of landscapes. According to the artist’s vision, in fact, painting isn’t just a device to obsequiously reproduce all aspects of what is visible, but a semi-symbolic system where history, form and action all coexist with different effects on temporality and human perception. It isn’t an imitative source of nature, but rather a visual possibility of nature itself.
Sabrina Casadei is interested in the aspects of the fantastic, intended as a series of aesthetic reflections that underline the complex mechanism through which humans relate to the inexpressible, to mystery, to the enigma hidden behind all reassuring and ordinary forms.
Following such a creative impetus, the artist distances herself from all artificial aspects of the fantastic and of the unordinary by principle, thus creating in the viewer a spontaneous sense of disorientation that shatters every sense of safety, diving into that feeling of the fantastic which shines bright in the quotidian and doesn’t represent the rule, but rather counters it with stealthy stoutness.
The project No old thing under the sun analyses the creation of a diagonal landscape, a progressing generation of new manifestations of vision.
If on one side it’s true that the representation of landscapes is very often a compromise between a utopian, pure world, almost fairytale-like, and the need to create a realistic copy of what is present in nature, Sabrina Casadei opens to a third interpretation, and reconsiders landscapes beyond their very nature. Nihil novi sub sole, nothing new under the sun, recites a pass of the Bible; nothing new on Earth happens from creation. Yet innovation, the unusual, the fantastic, they all nestle in what is already known, in what we consider to be old. And it’s for this very reason that, by capsizing the biblical reference, we understand that there’s nothing truly old under the sun, No old thing under the sun. Sabrina Casadei, recalling a speech present in the book Italian Landscape by Luigi Ghirri, reconnects to the topic of the fantastic as something hidden in the quotidian; a theme also dear to the great photography master.
At the exhibit, artworks of different sizes are arranged onto a wall, recreating the look of a painting collection; a semiotic tool that accentuates the spatiality of each landscape, organized in progressive levels of depth. Each possibility of both the real and the symbolic merges together to generate new structures and mechanisms, until reaching the extension of research on spatial dimensions, which is here overturned and reorganized. Thus, a dialogue arises between the artwork, the viewer and the surrounding space, creating a constant upturning of stereotypes and rules of the image.
Sabrina Casadei leads us into that unknowable and unexplainable feeling that is present on the background of any observed phenomenon and beyond appearances. Such a process doesn’t avail itself of just the surrounding reality, but also draws vital nourishment from what is hidden outside the physical and mental boundaries. The works by Sabrina Casadei fully grasp the spirit of the times as an immediate manifestation of being with regards to consciousness, hence highlighting the subtle spirit of life within distant facts, as well as nearer ones, and analyze space, situations and all those matters reaching closer to existence, such as values and principles. The motto that filters from any pictorial work is clear and simple: there’s no landscape that’s already been seen if you go beyond the concept of landscape itself, and therefore reach an uncontaminated and twice as satisfying vision in its true essence; nothing is old if you look upon it with renewed light and energy.