Presented by the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute Jakarta on the occasion of the 15th Italian Contemporary Art Day
Hosted by Rubanah Underground Hub, in collaboration with Yeo Workshop and A.M.A.C.I (Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani)
Jakarta, Indonesia (30 November 2019 – 11 January 2020)
On the occasion of the Day of Contemporary Art, promoted by the AMACI – Association of Italian Museums of Contemporary Art, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute Jakarta proudly present a contemporary art exhibition “Primitive Mornings” by Filippo Sciascia.
Art converging Science exists around us, to represent how creativity is essential to understand our scientific legacy and is completed by implementing an artistic lens, connecting our hands and our brains. Contemporaneously, Art and Science serve us to understand and examine the world around us. It is a story about everything we know and everything we don't know about our universe, and it begins with light. It is how we see the world and it is one of Science's most enduring questions. Artists and scientists attempt to understand life with ideas, and to express that concept.
Filippo Sciascia studies the influence of daylight on the evolution of history and societies. Light assists as a metaphor for humankind and allows us to observe the environment. The achieving of its effects is a perennial concern in art history and Science. The importance of light in photosynthesis, to understand the environment and the characteristics of light, has revolutionized nearly every field of Science. In the process of paintings, he creates links to scientific data. He interprets them using oil paint, natural pigments, indigo plant-based color to obtain chlorophyll extract to get green paint. Then combine electrical lights to capture the luminescent effect under the canvas to expand the concept of creating using electricity itself as a media.
Today we increasingly depend on the internet data developed from electricity, still harvested from natural resources such as fossil fuels, the wind, water, and, most importantly, the sun. Sciascia comments on this relationship between humankind and electricity and using it together with oil paint on canvas to represent the relationship between man and light and formulates layers and a more accurate reading of his work as to whether it is a painting, sculpture, or installation.
Sciascia uses electricity itself to recreate the pattern of Phylogenetics, which is the study of evolutionary relationships among biological entities. Filippo Sciascia handles the conceptual approach following the painting as the center of the practice. The ease of moving within the archives of art while the model of conceptual art manages the radicalism of thought.
All the sources are applied not only conceptually but physically into a complex of ideas that includes every branch of Science, human endeavor and thought. His approach in relationship with painting is always conditioned by the message he wants to convey.
Art is modified by his own history and the relationship with the territory of life and Science. To practice art capable of generating the experience of knowledge we need to learn continuously to look towards the future. A more scientific approach to creativity, to renew the meaning of what art can express in our times.
Art and science have long coexisted, and are both essential in the way we understand and examine our world around us. In contemporary times both forces have converged, where creativity is crucial in understanding our scientific legacy using an artistic lens. Filippo Sciascia’s works are an enquiry into the relationship between art and science.
Primitive Mornings tells a story about everything we know and the mysteries of the universe that we do not know about, through the use of light as an artistic device. Both artists and scientists have attempted to understand and express the concept of life through various ideas and methods. Sciascia does so by studying the influence of light on the evolution of history, mankind, and societies. Mankind always had a primordial need for a light source, and the discovery of fire changed the course of humankind to be no longer afraid of the dark and the need to seek shelter in caves. Having control of a light source meant they were still able to see and create even when the sun was no longer up. Our contemporary light source however comes from another breakthrough in human evolution, electricity. The discovery of fire and electricity meant the independent man, liberated from being dependent entirely on nature (the sun) as the sole source of energy.
Sciascia takes on a highly conceptual approach to his paintings as the centre of his practice, where his works often borders between a painting, a sculpture, and an installation as it includes various mixed media interventions into his works. Beyond being a conceptual artist, Sciascia grounds his ideas with scientific data and research; bridging the gap between art and science which have long been interpreted as two separate methods of enquiry.
The artist begins with the role of light in nature through studying the process of photosynthesis in making food and energy for plants. He interprets the concept of light by using oil paint and natural pigments derived from plants, to symbolically add chlorophyll extract into his paints that he uses on his works. He also adds crushed melatonin pills to allude to the circadian cycle, and how daylight regulates the natural cycles such as eating and sleeping of living things including mankind.
Sciascia also incorporates electrical lights in his paintings to explore the concept of electricity as a new, manmade source of light. He shines the light underneath the canvas to create a luminescent effect of different shapes such as a phylogenetic tree diagram used to study evolution and genetics. He also introduces the use of aluminium which is derived from bauxite, one of the oldest natural materials used by mankind for centuries to create tools and objects. The use of the metal is juxtaposed against organic materials like plants mentioned above, and comments on technological advancements and mankind’s continued evolution.
These conceptual interventions onto the canvas surface using chlorophyll, melatonin, electricity, and aluminium serves to amplify the conceptual dimensions of his works and breaks away from the theoretical styles of traditional representational painting.