The whole thing comes from nothing; the eyes see everything and the mind perceives nothing, while the rest of the body tries to do a summary in which move into, always wavering between the extremes. When it’s tired, the body stops and stops the thought and the emotion, remaining in a losing condition. How to go beyond the oblivion? How to push to the whole distancing from the nothing?
The American artist Jonathan VanDyke asks and answers in the spaces of Galleria 1/9unosunove in Rome through a two rooms fitting that includes photographies, paintings, sculptures and videos. Back from several participations in Buffalo, New York, Toronto and Berlin, the artist arrives in Italy with his first solo show on view in the gallery from October 16th.
VanDyke’s production forms are so different, and some of them communicate a strong, sensitive and erotic tone. There are visual documents about performances in which the dancer search for each other while they are blindfolded by capes, and the paint drips from the capes to the canvas, becoming in that way the witness of the passion between two people closed in their darkness. Then the pain drips from a series of statues that look like normal bodies, approaching them to the viewers, who are dazzled by the colours that are present again also on the paintings and on the tissues used by the artist to cover his subjects. The weave is built on geometrical patterns that resemble the aspect of bricks, bars and walls referring to modern architecture and art.
Therefore, beyond the abandon it pushes to go through the body limits, sensuality, blindness, disquiet, and on the other side there is the spiritual awakening that surpasses the inner schemes and arts – that are rays coming from a unique center. The continuous disorientation and discovery are essential for being born again. Paint is the shining material that answers taking a stand, and it drips on the emptiness of the canvas, colouring it. As Michelangelo Antonioni taught in Oltre l’oblio, his short documentary made in 1948, you can be crushed by oblivion or you can try to react.

Elena Gasparri

Jonathan VanDyke :: Oltre l’oblio
Galleria 1/9unosunove
Via degli Specchi 20, Roma

Rome, from October 16th to November 23rd 2013