BERETTA Adriana Other Spaces (2018)

In the recent solo exhibition entitled “Stanze e distanze” (2018), the
artist gave herself an architectural task: to recreate the environment, formerly domestic, which was to host her works, reinventing the space in its constituent elements (thresholds, sightlines, new relations with the exterior); finally offering visitors a representation of the dwelling within the dwelling, through an architectural use of the rhetorical device of mise en abyme.

The work entitled Altri spazi (“Other Spaces”), produced for this occasion in the first room, seems to exemplify this tendency by its astute and polysemic character. And since it sums up the meaning of the exhibition, I will focus on this. Altri spazi consists of seven plaster objects arranged on the floor, white traces that define an enclosure and evoke an archaeological site, the remains of something that seems to have survived a probable catastrophe or the wear and tear of time, and which reappears to mark a material stratification, to recall the ancient and yet sacred gesture of the tracing of the temenos, the perimeter of the sacred precinct set aside for the worship of a deity. The remembrance of such an archaic space gives rise to a sense of deference that keeps us clear of it and makes us hesitate before crossing its boundary. In this, the chosen material, namely the plaster that still bears the imprint of its crafting by the artist, plays a role that is far from negligible, due to the fragility with which we associate it, leading us to restrain and control our bodily movements, to prepare ourselves cautiously to pass beyond the boundary.

– Annalisa Viati Navone, Translated from italian by Richard Sadleir, FACES n75 (2019)