For ArteFiera 2018, Banca di Bologna is pleased to present a project by artist Elia Cantori (b. 1984, Italy).
On the ground floor of the Banca di Bologna headquarters—a room that looks out onto Piazza Galvani—Cantori is showing several new pieces from his Dead Constellation series, begun in 2011. At first glance, they resemble photographs of a starry sky. But in point of fact, they are direct impressions of a handful of meteorite dust scattered over the photosensitive paper. When it is exposed to light, the meteorite particles mask the points under them, which become white dots on the dark background when the photogram is developed. The meteorite dust—the echo of a “dead constellation” that came apart billions of years ago—forms a new constellation on the paper, an imaginary one. These works forge a fascinating dialogue with Erin Shirreff’s new video Son, on view at the same time at the Banca di Bologna Hall in Palazzo De’ Toschi: just as Cantori recreates an astronomical image in the darkroom, the Canadian artist uses animation to stage a total eclipse of the sun inside her studio.
The sculptures in the series Untitled (1:1 Map) are aluminum casts, created with a traditional sand-mold technique, of several maps that the artist had in his studio. The content of the maps—the regions they depicted, the scale, etc.—is in no way revealed by the aluminum surface; what it instead preserves, and accentuates, is the pattern of folds, the traces of use and wear. The sculptures are thus maps (with the 1:1 scale of a casting) of maps; rather than describing the world, they speak of the tools we use to depict it. Together, these photograms and sculptures by Cantori weave a discourse about the limitations (and allure) of cartographic representation