Paula Doepfner: Next Time I See You

17.04.18 — 29.06.18


Galleria Mario Iannelli is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Paula Doepfner’s new and recent works, entitled Next Time I See You.


Paula Doepfner has developed an organic language using various materials and media - from drawing, to installation, to performance – giving life to a space containing interconnections between nature, art and science.


In her work, texts of poetry, music, philosophy and neuroscience, are united as if they were flows of thoughts and neural networks; at other times the works are put together with plants, or inserted in blocks of ice that melt during the exhibition. Drawing is a kind of device for projects that starts from the observation of nature and transforms into writing. Through this practice, in which rational and irrational experience are in dialogue with each other, Doepfner’s works are poetic and representative images of how our consciousness functions. But how does our consciousness work? It is a question that neuroscientists and poets, biologists and philosophers, as well as those who simply observe the intelligence of nature, are all trying to answer.


Studies of plants have verified their extraordinary receptiveness to human emotions, as well demonstrating how they employ their senses for an interconnected purpose. An example is the pines of Rome that join together their branches in order to protect themselves against the wind and by doing so fundamentally contribute to our lives and that of other animal species.


In neuroscientific research on consciousness, neural correlations play a central role, in the same way as Bob Dylan has used in a number of images , such as “the yellow railroad in the ruins of your balcony” in the text of Absolutely Sweet Marie.
It is from precisely this song that Paula Doepfner takes the line “But where are you tonight sweet Mary” as the title of one of her works in the exhibition.
This is not only playing homage to the great lyrics of this American singer- songwriter but also to the experiment of the Australian philosopher Frank Jackson who imagines Mary as a neuroscientist who studies colours, isolated in a life made up of a single black and white image who suddenly comes into contact with a red object. In one of her performances - undertaken in collaboration with a double bass player - Paula Doepfner falls into another synesthetic experiment, painting blindfolded with her hands on the walls of a closed room, and producing slight, low sounds by moving leaves and branches.


All her works reflect this process of growing self-awareness and are therefore subjected to a continuous process of organic or symbolic metamorphosis.


At the entrance to the gallery, “M’avresti consolato” (You would have consoled me), a block of ice that slowly melts, liberating the plants and handwritten texts by the artist sitting within it, that lies on a metal plate on the ground.
In the same room, “Giorno per giorno” (Day by day), a wall painting with marks and delicate strokes made with black pigments. Also ephemeral as the transitory memory of the installation itself.
In the second room, “Graveyard dream blues”, a work-in-progress installation of works on paper, drawings, sketches and pages taken from books.


The glass diptych “I’ve been shooting in the dark too long, when something is not right it’s wrong”, separates the second from the third room. The pigments inside the glass sheets bring to mind the lost gravity of the dried flowers, pressed and suspended in delicate formations, offset by the cracks present on a piece of armoured glass that highlight the splendour of the intense colours.


But where are you tonight sweet Mary II”, closes the exhibition and requires a more careful and detailed viewing. It is a work on paper, in which texts written in very small characters are close to dissolving in space and perceptive capacity. These form complex graphics, similar to representations of the nervous system or to informal scores of music.
A meticulous work comparable to another ongoing work, “I Pini di Roma”, in which Paula Doepfner has counted 8,300 up to now.


With the title of the exhibition Next Time I See You, a poetic form of greeting, Paula Doepfner seeks a complicit empathy with the viewer because it hides within itself the message of awareness - in this case towards the other – thus freeing a spectrum of emotions and tensions.




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