To launch its 2023 programme, ifa Gallery Berlin is pleased to announce Mapping the Air, a solo exhibition by the Italian artist Elisabetta Di Maggio (*1964). Moving within the scope of nature and the environment and showing organic forms, the exhibition takes up the broad themes of sound and earth – areas that the ifa Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin look to jointly address in-depth in the new programme year.
Image above: Elisabetta Di Maggio, Vuoti d’Aria #01 [Airless #01], 2021, lead glass, branch, leaf of a Shallon mock berry, calyx of a Physalis Akekengi plant, stabilised and hand-cut with a scalpel, white coral, 30x30x30 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Christian Stein, Milan.
This project revolves around a theme central to Elisabetta Di Maggio’s art: the communication networks that serve to transmit information. Her works reveal the close ties that exist among webs, circuits, grids and structures, which, despite belonging to different worlds, are part of our everyday lives.
When we think of circuits or webs, examples that come to mind include the complex venations of leaves, the tracery of lines on human skin, the routes of subway trains, or the intricate shape of a nerve cell: upon closer examination, these seemingly disparate things echo each other in many ways. Drawings of the synapses in our brains, for instance, resemble the roots and branches of trees, as meticulously detailed as illustrations in an old botanical trea-tise. The delicate filigrees of the plant world and the channels of the body suggest connections, reminding us of the intricate networks of human communication.
In the ifa Gallery Berlin, Elisabetta Di Maggio will be showing delicate works made of paper, cabbage and eucalyptus leaves, coral and entomological pins. Using a scalpel she lays bare finely branched systems and networks, highlighting analogies and revealing hitherto unseen connections. Her works on paper from the eponymous series Mapping the Air seem to float in the exhibition space like cartographies drawn in the air, their interconnections and processes as invisible as those with which life on earth develops. Walls are almost always built to divide things, and become lingering scars on our social and political landscape. In Mapping the Air, walls instead become membranes that continually open up new perspectives and paths even as they carve up space. Here, the walls are made of incised tissue paper, so one can walk past the barriers and look beyond them, moving on. The drawings that compose them are based on the real maps of various cities; they are put into relation with the structures of single-celled organisms, all on the same scale, mingling macro with micro. For a further series, Vuoto d’Aria, she arranges dried twigs alongside leaves and other materials in vitrines, making them appear to float within an airless space. The exhibition is completed by further objects and works on paper.
Elisabetta Di Maggio’s entire project, Mapping the Air, is thus a metaphorical reflection on our existence as parts of a whole, fragments of a natural world that, at the microcosmic and macrocosmic level, is constantly shifting and changing due to the extraordinary fecundity of its laws.
Opening: Thursday, 9. February 2023 | 7.00 pm
Artist talk: Friday, 10 February 2023 | 4.00 pm, With Elisabetta Di Maggio and Chiara Bertola
Book launch: Thursday 13 April 2023, 19.00
Conservare il Futuro/Conserving the Future, by Chiara Bertola, 25 years of exhibitions at the Foundation Querini Stampalia. With the support of: Italian Council
Exhibition dates: Friday 10 February – Sunday 30 April 2023