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Mascia Manunza

Nuvola da Viaggio (Travelling Cloud), 2003

Etching: Spit bite, Dry Point, Linoleum, printed on Paper

48" x32"

Photos: Sabrina Ragucci

$2,300 CDN (Please inquire for shipping)

Nuvola da Viaggio is part of Mascia Manunza's multimedia response in three acts that explores the potential, if any, to crystallize and claim ownership of a "Slice of Sky" through drawings, prints, video stills, and 'design.' This body of work, designed for the project Between Clouds I, was organized by Atelier Quattordici - Grafica Upiglio, sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, and presented in Toronto, Amsterdam, and Milan. The two limited editions, published by the workshop, were designed and created during the artist's residency in Italy. Right from the choice of dies, everything hinges on the use of polymer surfaces and experimental techniques – even the Slice of Sky case was made to measure using a special hot-forming process of the Plexiglas.

Act One: A Slice of Sky (the book), is a limited edition art book that features an original chalcographic print of a strip of sky, spanning over 3 meters, folded and encased within a transparent Plexiglas box. Subtle forms are disrupted by the incorporation of letters and symbols borrowed from an early 19th-century cloud classification system. Scattered throughout the pages, they float without a horizon in an endeavour to capture and fix an ever-elusive and constantly changing nature.

Act Two (this work): Nuvola da Viaggio (Traveling Cloud) blurs the line between design and artwork. Created out of the artist’s desire to carry her work everywhere, Nuvola da Viaggio is a print that has been folded, and to which two paper handles have been added to resemble a shopping bag. The work is a portable cloud folded to fashion a bag – captured, distorted and synthetically offsets nature with its artificial reality – a container that also holds ideas around consumerism and possession. Manunza performed a series of interventions with the work, unfolding and refolding the work inside and outside of the exhibition venues in Milan, Amsterdam and Toronto. Collectively, these pieces undertake an inquiry into the state of the artistic object—stationary, in motion, or potentially movable.

Act Three: Manunza’s animated short film Cloud is a sequence formed by linking a series of static images – individual frames. The progression of the clouds swell with rain and electricity. In order to perceive the clouds' motion, one must pause and invest time. Cloud is accompanied by David Occhipinti's music, conceived as a fusion of "metallic, electric interferences" arising from the layering of sounds from multiple electronically manipulated guitars.

Together, these artworks engage in a conceptual exploration of the condition of the artistic object – whether it remains static, undergoes motion, or holds the potential for mobility. As the world is experiencing tremendous change, these works offer a contemporary contemplation on the urge to possess and the longing for stability. Working with early 19th century system of cloud classification, Manunza says: “this classification identifies a “motionless status” of an authentic evolving cloud (like still images of a movie sequence). The classified moment (imaginary cloud) reaches a moment of suspension, until the viewer’s attention moves to the actual contour of the cloud. These instants of changing focus, create a line of demarcation that appears like a boundary rather then a margin between images and words. The border divides the images and the term used for classification and yet at the same time connects the rational with the intuitive.”

Mascia Manunza's oeuvre extols the jubilation of existence, the ceaseless evolution and transformation of the status quo, and the tranquil instability of being.

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