… As in Como, where the installation (photography, video, painting and writing) launches a surprising reinterpretation of the energy of the image through the memoirs of a journey taken by Alessandro Volta. It is a trip that the inventor of the battery, a native of Como, took to Switzerland from Lombardy. (Text: Antonio D’Avossa)
The Swiss artist dug up texts and memories, places and impressions, and mainly relived the territory (inversely since she went from Switzerland to Lombardy) of the energetic potentiality of image and color. Of this reflexive memory Barbara Fässler offers us an extraordinary spatial and pictorial battery, where photography is the infiltration of energy into memory, and where the opposing poles are reflected in the negative of the photograph and in the positive of the pictorial image. It is this cumulus of energy that infiltrates the metaphoric battery configured by the installation.
The guiding colors are not simply filters of different temperatures, hot/cold, or indicators of opposites polarities, positive/negative; they offer themselves as a profound visual reflection on the possible reversibility of the image in terms of subjectivity vs. objectivity and pictorial vs. photographic, maintaining a constant potential energy. Just like those two colors (azure and orange) that provide an up close recollection of a voltaic sky and of citric acid, and that unassisted project us upwards and downwards, bounded by the celestial and the terrestrial.
It is here that a dialogue is spatially instilled to overcome a contingent temporality. And it is here, when all is said and done, that Barbara Fässler, inverting and charging Voltas poles (but on an image battery), guides the viewer to the heart of each exhibited image.
Excerpts from Alessandro Volta’s Diary “Viaggio in Svizzera”, 1777 written on the wall:
In the orange part of the church, the inventor of the battery comments the women he observed in Switzerland: “Le donne cominciano a vestir galante, e le giovani non son brutte: almeno ne ho vedute alcune di assai buona apparenza: non aveano imbusto, e mostravano bel seno (in carne).”
In the blue part Volta describes the impression the Gotthard-Massive and the forces of it’s Nature made on him: “Il complesso e l’aspetto di tali cose offre ai sensi sopraffatti, e alla meditazione profonda che succede, argomenti parlanti della estrema vetustà di questo nostro globo…
… tosto di presenta al pensiero già atterrito da tal immagine di distruzione universale un’idea delle rovine ancor più strepitose.”