Phantom kiss_Nuvola Ravera

15.09.2022 – 20.10.2022


The backstages of the backstage

A kiss not given, a desire denied. Planning stages of something that, perhaps, had only been invoked. 

Nuvola Ravera investigates the spaces of neutralization and overprotectiveness, presenting in this solo exhibition semi-sculptural, semi-pictorial and semi-textual su(o)bjects. Portions of a narrative based on instances of re-discovery of the removed. Fragments tied to the impossibility of expression intertwine with those tied to care, protection and the culture of exhibiting. Phantom kiss is the foreshadow of an encounter that has yet to happen, a latent connection that does not materialize into definitive gesture. An exploration into the dynamics of relation and attachment that are anything but unusual. We are aware of them because they also nurture the possibilities of the care of existence and life as well as the fruits of human industriousness, among which are also what we call ‘works of art’.

These are taken care of by those who make them, who exhibit them, and who will experience them. That is elementary. To take care of the possibilities of care, this is what nourishes Ravera’s poetics, who declares it by allowing her reflections to take on multiple forms. In writing, painting, sculptural shapes, drawings. These are all ways of manifesting the non-linear textures of care as much as the versatility and inexhaustibility of her work. Nuvola Ravera is constantly at work, testing her assessments and continuously elaborating on what she considers to be attempts and failures of works that cannot be encompassed under a single name or a single form. Prototypes of unborn projects. Previews, perhaps in progress. Or maybe not. Expressions of the unfinished.  

We go where things mature, first in phantom form, then in practice. This is what the kiss recalled in the exhibition title does, explains Ravera reflecting on her research. First there is a gaze that is kissing already, as if it were a dash between the visible and the invisible. A suggestion of the encounter between the material and the immaterial, between what there is and what will be. Multiple backstages of her projects are revealed through sketches, paintings and sculptures, which in turn shape an exhibition that is the backstage of her poetics. Those exhibited are still unfinished exercises, although they disclose certain possibilities of protection. In fact, ‘shield’ is the word chosen by the artist to elaborate on a metaphor that encompasses her latest works based on family relationships and material transformations, and to influence the evolution of meaning. As we encounter one backstage after the other, what will we say about them? Perhaps we will see them as an organic unity, the continuous transformations that are present in all of her work. Perhaps we will become aware of the relations between exhibition spaces and spaces of care, which the artist explores by relying on the intimacy of gaze and the fragility of forms. Perhaps we will also wonder about the possibility of dedicating ourselves to time, acknowledging that clinical spaces and exhibition spaces – both dedicated to care – can be more or less reassuring. Perhaps, one of Nuvola Ravera’s ways of being in the world will become our own, so as to engage with it in a passionate and generous exchange of mutual forces. 

Davide Dal Sasso