Which details compose our memories? Sometimes a particular scent or sound, but most times they lie within an image. For example, if we focus upon our experience at the nursery school, we would probably recall a glimpse of the classroom, the windows which overlooked the garden, two classmates wrapped up in oversize smocks drawing or playing with clay and the blurry face of the teacher. Three years spent in that place of which we knew each corner and scent condense into that unique moment built by our minds.
Marica Fasoli's project Flashback is rooted within this premise, but goes beyond it. A world – and time – tour through fifty-two postcard-sized images. Fifty-two little oil paintings which represent, for each year from 1950 to 2001, a symbol, an unforgettable icon. A spontaneous artist yet gifted with an outstanding maturity, an experience as a restorer which provided her with attention and patience, Marica Fasoli is an atypical personality within the current Italian panorama.
The first impression raised by her works, characterized by a spasmodic attention for details, recalls hyperrealism, if not even trompe-l'oeil. However, at a closer look, the artist chooses a different path. She doesn't want to accurately reproduce reality, but rather represent its "revised" version. Her images are filled with a light which seems to come from their inside, carrying a playful and contagious joy, conveyed by a sugary and polished palette which recalls meringues and glaze. Getting to know her paintings is like approaching a pastry-tray: urged by the desire to touch and smell them, as if completely seized by them.
As if it were a personal need of redeeming the world, her joie de vivre also permeates the Flashback series, even when it represents dramatic events, like Aldo Moro's death or the Twin Towers attack. At the same time, her extraordinary virtuosity makes us perceive, as if they were real, crinkly wrapping paper, fragments of adhesive tape which are almost peeling off, plastic bands and tangled cords whose ruggedness can be almost perceived, ripped and provisionally attached pages. From history to literature, from cinema to politics, music, news and art, the artist has chosen key moments, filled with common feelings and poetry, and translated them into flashes, into a burning and instant emotion, through a conceptual operation. 1950 is described through a paper moon which seems to exit from a bundle of partially burned wrapping paper, while stars palpitate on the background (in spring, shortly before committing suicide, Cesare Pavese published La luna e i falò). To describe 1956, the artist selected the Andrea Doria shipwreck, translating it into a metal fragment upon which the name of the ship is eaten by rust. 1958 is delightful, the canvas turns into a book, with its cover, pages and wrapper (Il Gattopardo by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa is posthumously published). Walt Disney's death (1966) is represented as if the little canvas was wrapped by an old strip; a page from a novel by Pablo Neruda enclosed with a tiny rough rope and a heart narrates 1970, the year when the Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize for literature; a ring-a-ring-o'roses of paper dolls to embody the first cloning of human embryos (1993). Until the birth of Google – which the artist uses for a little self-quotation, by creating a box of games which recalls pop culture and Alighiero Boetti – and the Twin Towers attack. The tragedy of 11 September 2001 is whispered by the brush tip: two pieces of torn adhesive tape, the almost dying towers, and a crinkly, dark and smoky sky, ripped open by the killing airplane. The end of a world and of a crazy collective illusion of safety.
Catalogue: Text by Alessandra Redaelli; Edizioni PUNTO SULL’ARTE
Marica Fasoli | Flashback 1950 - 2001