Hontoria, Javier, Critic's picks, ARTFORUM 2015

Petra Feriancová
Largo Avellino, 17
November 12–January 20

View of “Petra Feriancová,” 2014.

Petra Feriancová’s exhibition in this unique Neapolitan space, “Things that happen, and things that are done. On Beginnings and Matter,” fulfills the expectations its title creates. Her installation occupies all three floors of this foundation, and it tackles ideas related to the creation of the world that stem mostly from mythological sources. Comprising sculptures, photographs, and films, the presentation adheres firmly to the artist’s concern with display.

A sense of the primeval arises from the very beginning, with fragments of Greek myths printed on large sheets of paper in on beginnings and matter (all works 2014). In one of them, Pythagoras states that the world is akin to nothingness, and looking at Feriancová’s oddly shaped, hollow sculptures made with animal skins, which lie on the ground, as in Pneumaticos, we discern the void inside them as the tension between air and matter unfolds.

A conviction that creation stems from catastrophe is at the heart of this project. Natural forms such as shells or stones are set within rigid geometrical structures, while wooden scraps are arranged in severe formations. In the basement, video footage of quotidian scenes shot by the artist is edited in a rigorous, rhythmic pattern. Next to it, a much larger screen frames the film 24 hours, composed of found images shot with a 8-mm camera that have hardly been edited at all, letting potential narratives flow freely for twenty-four hours. This clash between opposing methodical poles is emblematic of a struggle between chaos and order, united into one single entity throughout this show.

— Javier Hontoria

< >