Exhibition  /  08 Sep 2007  -  14 Oct 2007
Published: 05.09.2007
Galleria Maurer Zilioli
Raffaella Formenti. Sculpture: Untitled, 2007. Raffaella, FormentiSculpture: 2007. Raffaella Formenti
Sculpture: Untitled, 2007

Raffaella, Formenti
Sculpture: 2007

© By the author. Read Copyright.

(...) She is, first and foremost, an indefatigable collector of messages, relics and fragments, fleeting impressions and quotes from our everyday surroundings (...)
‘Deriva’: for the sailor, ‘drifting’, rudderless. For Raffaella Formenti: deliberately letting herself get out of control and returning to control, borne up by the waves and surges of innuendo and suggestion emanating from living right now. Navigating within reality, ‘browsing’ as if inside a computer processor with sprung springs and short-circuited cables – this is how Formenti’s (b. Brescia 1955) artistic strategy is presented to us. She is, first and foremost, an indefatigable collector of messages, relics and fragments, fleeting impressions and quotes from our everyday surroundings, selected from the flood of advertising and advertisements, packaging, information sheets, prospectuses and signposts, with which we are continuously and intrusively bombarded and whose absurdity we no longer really notice.
Formenti, however, detects these quirks of the media, their recondite ‘nonsense’, as one in the know, an initiate in the rites of commerce. She acts as an analyst and ‘agent provocateur’, who aims at awakening with a jolt our lulled and anaesthetised perceptions and enlightening us. Seemingly lost in a thicket of words, she suggests we should wander with her in a delirium of illusions, in a fictitious Reality Show, as it were.
The artistic action begins with wrenching the primary material from the soul, defacing and traducing its high-gloss aesthetic and manipulating the ‘façades’ (surfaces) of fruit crates, brochures and all sorts of commercial communications vehicles. Thus their original pragmatic context is deleted to reveal their comical side, the perverseness of the codified language of a consumerism that can no longer be contained, which is constantly battering us everywhere. ‘Raffo’ has invented a module, a sort of folded pixel, for constructing her works and with it she transplants the original material into multi-coloured textures to form a complex mosaic that might continue on infinitely.
The outcome: sculptural accumulations, three-dimensional assemblages, installations that usurp space, reliefs and wall objects, also with painterly qualities, which are united with poetic sophistication into expansive environments. Viewers are disconcerted and startled with scraps of text: ‘Tutto speciale’ (All special), ‘Gratis’ (free), ‘Vincere’ (Win), etc. Details of images leap to the eye, freely oscillating springy antennae and keyboards invite us to play. They simulate the physical, concrete contact with a non-existing network, one that forces us away, drives us into chimerical worlds.

Three factors from her academy training at the Brera in Milan have retained pillar functions in Formenti’s work: the word, the sign, the colour. They join forces, so to speak, in each work to enhance its expressive impact, above and beyond the discourse carried on by the artist, which revolves around the ‘magic world of the supermarket’. Selection, composition and deliberations on content – classic and fundamental aspects of art – therefore, pilot navigation ultimately into constructive channels and reveal the serious, indeed intellectual, core of Raffaella Formenti’s aesthetic strategy.