In Bernini’s Truth Unveiled by Time (1645-52), the invisible figure of ‘Time’ – all the more powerful as a presence for being physically absent – unveils the personification of ‘Truth’. In removing the drapes from her body, ‘Time’ discloses her most intimate nature, both her vulnerability and her strength. The shield that long determined her being and with it her tautological essence, is finally stripped away, giving her the chance – insofar as ‘Time’ allows – to be re-read, re-thought and projected into the world.
Voices from Silence – Truths Unveiled by Time is a group show that focuses on different art practices, all seeking – by developing new possible narratives – to reveal and liberate the potential and multiple positions that are imprisoned in codified and established frames. The exhibition intends to underscore how recent works have delved into the past and, by rethinking the cultural, social and political variables that have shaped history, have proposed alternative approaches.
By crafting narratives that interweave hidden facts with personal memories, invisible details with imaginary perception, and by elaborating on symbols, spaces and images, the works of Francesco Arena, Jesse Ash, Francesco Barocco, Rossella Biscotti, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Marcelline Delbecq and Alexandre Singh take established beliefs out of dead ends and move them towards new unlikely visions. These works offer us unfamiliar perspectives instead of reconfirming the ones we already know. The different journeys the artists take us on, cast us from the world of fixed meaning and into one where the old definitions are no longer welcome.
The works presented in Voices from Silence – Truths Unveiled by Time reflect not merely on the possibilities for alternative historical narratives, but also on the transformative power of a moment, an idea, an object and how it can be perceived, positioned and put to use. Thus new trajectories for modes of interpretation are revealed. Using methods of erasure, repetition, association, invention, suspension, and by making use of mythical, literary and allegorical references, the works reveal the complexity of time by capturing it in the moment, as it is manifested in the here and now. In some cases fragments of history, be they political, cultural or legendary, are disclosed, thus providing a new interpretation of social phases and spaces; in others events till now excluded from historical relevance are turned into parallel stories recorded in a new cultural history. Memories that have never previously been taken into consideration occupy a prominent place and words never before uttered are spoken.
The art object thus becomes an evocative commentary, marking a shift from the old certainties to a more open development. By offering new hypotheses, by creating alternative logical systems and by providing the means for a critical transformation, the works in Voices from Silence – Truths Unveiled by Time encourage us to confront reality in a different way. The exhibition shows us how art can highlight the ambiguity of truth and redefine our perception of the present. Ilaria Gianni