Massimo Bartolini: Afterheart
For Massimo Bartolini the work in Afterheart acts as a sequel to an earlier piece called Serce (Heart) exhibited in his 2011 solo exhibition Serce na Zloni (The Heart in the Hand) at the Centre for Contemporary Art Torun, Poland.
The central work in the current exhibition, itself called Afterheart, is an acoustic sculpture. Here a scaled-up barrel, like that of a giant musical-box, slowly revolves, opening and closing the valves of a wind organ whose pipes form part of the structure on which the mechanism sits. The music produced by the organ has been composed in collaboration with the artist by Italian composer Edoardo Marraffa. The air moving through the structure is like a kind of breath, so although purely mechanical Afterheart is a rather human and intimate work.
100 hours takes the form of two monumental drawings and functions in the space like a theatrical backdrop. It depicts a network of what might be roots, tree branches or even neurons – a purposeful tangle of lines. The title refers to the length of time that Bartolini, along with a good friend, took to finish the drawing. The process, involving many discussions and arguments, is as important as the outcome.
2 Weight Dews is a pair very subtle monochrome paintings made with industrial enamel paint on wood and aluminium respectively. Their surfaces are covered with a delicate layer of artificial dew. The moisture seems fleeting, even incidental, as if it was a reaction to atmospheric changes or the breath of a passer by. The weight of each individual piece, due to the material it is made from is, as suggested by the title, completely different, but it is a difference that cannot be seen.
Pensive Bodhisattva is a sculptural ‘image’ of a Buddhist statuette seen by Bartolini in a museum in London. This particular style of statue is common all over the East from India to Japan and the figure is almost always seated in the same pose; legs crossed, one hand holding the ankle, the other under the chin. This small figure was reproduced by the artist from memory and seems somehow to be contemplating the intricacies and connections of all the other works in the exhibition.