Polyphonous, Converging Nodes: the Invisible Object by Raquel Bessudo and Letizia Maggio

Exhibition  /  MunichJewelleryWeek2023  /  09 Mar 2023  -  12 Mar 2023
Published: 20.02.2023

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Working thousands of kilometres apart, communicating with each other only through digital channels, both of them continuing their research, the two artists aim to find a point of convergence that is to give strength and meaning to their works once again on display in a joint exhibition.
The elective and intellectual affinity between Letizia Maggio and Raquel Bessudo is today very well known.

Starting from their first shared project, Adagio.Uno. A special edition in 2019, Letizia and Raquel have never stopped staying in touch, talking, sharing and exchanging stimuli on research, desires, lives: a dense interweaving of plots, stories, made up of suggestions and thoughts, which, like intelligible correspondenc- es with their own frequency, reverberate converging in pregnant nodes of meaning.

Over the years, they have both found complementary artistic elements to base their practice upon, from materials to techniques, up to the exercise of a sign that gradually becomes more autonomous and independent, but at the same time markedly symbiotic.

Thanks to the prolific collaboration with Alice Brazzit, they were confronted with photography, which allowed the incarnation of an intimate language made of the epidermis, colours, and abstract landscapes. The use of video has also affected their research and defined that mutual intimate and dreamlike expressiveness that characterizes them, although with different results.

The path of knowledge and the progressive rapprochement of the two artists has taken on the appearance of a journey 'inside', of a search 'underneath', within things, existences, differences, to find a shared space of communion and resonance, like a non-specific and dislocated assonance, a protected and vital place. Perhaps, that converging node - an invisible and invincible object - of the creative affinity.

This new project, called Converging Nodes: the Invisible Object and exhibited as part of Polyphonous on the occasion of Munich Jewellery Week 2023, presents the outcomes of two complemen- tary and different languages, still somehow influenced by a photographic gaze.

The two artists penetrate objectivity in two opposite directions. Raquel explores the world around her through a pictorial, narra- tive lexicon. She exhibits pieces from different collections, linked by the typical magical realism and suspended atmospheres that distinguish her magnetism.

Scraps of fabrics, superimposed and then sewn, painted and drawn, blend into small glimpses of nature and landscapes that act as a mirror in a game between the inner and outer universe, between the projection of memories and imagined realities.

In these latest creations, a more fervent and vivid colour defined shapes as well as the contours of a world that becomes a sign emerge distinctly.
Letizia proceeds instead by progressive removal and abstraction. Following an opposite and reverse process, she reduced everything to its bare essentials and simplified, abstract, and conceptualized; she gets back to using metal that is cut according to geometric, regular and defined shapes.

The soft consistency of Raquel's brooches is counterpointed by the firm composure of Letizia's creations, in a dialogue made of aphasic and visual signs, mute but generative, like unknown and mysterious codes, 'a primordial tangle of the unsaid and the still to be said' to put it in the words of Ada De Pirro.

The use of asemic writing opens.
It opens as it does not mean. It opens while freely drawing the message, leaving the word out. The sign, therefore, and its gesture, within the shape, enclose a visual narrative that stimulates the imagination and tells without saying.

After all, as Roland Barthes states in his Variations on Writing, the making of writing is nothing else, in fact, if not a 'moment of a manufacture', emphasizing that close link between the story and the making, creating, by hands.

In these multiple narratives that open and allude without addressing, the journey represents the common trait between the two artists, exercised on the one side in writing and taking the form of travel notes, on the other in the offcuts of landscape spotted from a train window, in motion.

Letizia also presents a separate group of works; It might have been milk, which takes up her research on the body and in particular, the female body: a set of pieces that draw breasts - as an original symbolic and generative element - in different formats, materials and techniques.

The practice of representing the dissected body through casts and prostheses has ancient roots and is of classic memory. In the field of contemporary jewellery, Gerd Rothmann inserts himself into that revolutionary current that, since the 70s, has made the body a work of art. In particular, these pieces seem to mention his famous Masculine Feminine necklace of 1986, whose components are elements consisting of the impressions of the nipples of a man and a woman divided respectively on one side and on the other of the jewel.

The two artists make their own traces, both calligraphic and iconographic, which become visual objects, textures and plots that escape from the physical body of the work and continue within space and time, following invisible lines and condensing into converging nodes.

The layout of the exhibition follows this suggestion and marks a graphic and symbolic path that unites small boxes in the exhibition space, containing the various works mixed with images, thus materializing that ideal connection and that invisible object that feeds the creative relationship.

In support and development of this body of work, the photographs of Renee Harari Masri, a Mexican photographer and designer by profession, act as a material counterpoint to the story of the invisible object, presenting the graphic and stylized force of perspective games between light and shapes, lines and geometries.

/Ilaria Ruggiero
Raquel Bessudo. Brooch: I remember the colors, 2022. Textile, watercolor, cooper, watercolor ground stainless steel. Photo by: Felipe Flores. Raquel Bessudo
Brooch: I remember the colors, 2022
Textile, watercolor, cooper, watercolor ground stainless steel
Photo by: Felipe Flores
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Letizia Maggio. Brooch: Brooch #1, 2023. 3D printed PLA with copper, silver, surgical steel. 5 x 3.3 x 0.5 cm. From series: It might have been milk. Letizia Maggio
Brooch: Brooch #1, 2023
3D printed PLA with copper, silver, surgical steel
5 x 3.3 x 0.5 cm
From series: It might have been milk
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Letizia Maggio. Brooch: Brooch Almost there, 2023. Constructed, silver ,acrylic paint, surgical steel. 5 x 8.5 x 0.5 cm. From series: Travel notes. Letizia Maggio
Brooch: Brooch Almost there, 2023
Constructed, silver ,acrylic paint, surgical steel
5 x 8.5 x 0.5 cm
From series: Travel notes
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Raquel Bessudo. Necklace: Windows (Chicago) I, 2023. Textile, watercolour, pencil, silk thread, fresh water pearls, stainless steel. 50 x 11 x 3 cm. Photo by: Felipe Flores. Raquel Bessudo
Necklace: Windows (Chicago) I, 2023
Textile, watercolour, pencil, silk thread, fresh water pearls, stainless steel
50 x 11 x 3 cm
Photo by: Felipe Flores
© By the author. Read Copyright.