contemporary art / history of art

Exhibition: Irene Fenara “Se il cielo fugge”

28 April – 17 May 2016

Vicolo Spirito Santo 1/B
40123 – Bologna

Last week the association Adiacenze opened its new exhibition space with the site specific installation “Se il cielo fugge” (If the sky flees) by Irene Fenara. On view are two videos and a wall painting by the artist. Francesco Privato completed the work with a sound installation.

Entering the room in the centre, the first to recognise might be the emptiness. To do so it is better to come back after the inauguration, because that evening the huge space was naturally filled with visitors. On other days it is an overwhelming experience.

After this first impression the visitor could see a monitor at the face wall on the right hand. Coming closer, it becomes apparent that there is not only a photo of the sea on view, but a video. Waves are approaching softly … What are they approaching? The central line is not the border, where water meets beach. It is the horizon line, where water meets sky. Only that the sky is in the lower part of the image and the sea in the upper part. The image is turned upside down. Nevertheless, the contemplation is not necessarily disturbing. It might as well be perceived as calming because of its meditative nature.

Turning around there is another projection on the opposite wall. To approach it, one needs to pace the long room. Depending on the moment, there might be an even more reassuring impression: it seems to be the same video, which is projected on the entire wall. This time the film is shown in the right direction. However, the sound coming of its direction is more disturbing.

Suddenly this calm scene starts to move. The image gets smaller and smaller. First there appears the black screen frame, then the white wall besides. Afterwards the video gets even more confusing. A room with shutters becomes visible; the floor is made by wooden beams. An arch, side walls with landscape paintings, another room, a glass door, and new side walls with similar landscape paintings and so on are flying into the view, meanwhile the monitor gets smaller and smaller. It seems like something is pulling the screen to a central point behind the projection wall. It’s difficult to define the space that passes by, until the movement stops unexpectedly.

Now the observer sees an unusual image: in a dune like landscape a window opens the view to a space with a similar wall painted landscape, another door, another room with an analogous image, a door and a wall with the small rectangle of the monitor. It is a strange impression: the film seems to show the camera flight through the room in front of its projection; however the picture is somehow unreal. Once again the video is turned upside down. The effect is a strong disorientation. It is alarming.

With this installation Irene Fenara questions our habitual perception. Nothing is like it should be; nothing is for sure. At the same time she offers the possibility to detect new details. Our awareness might be more open, if we allow ourselves to do so.


See the video at