Stephan Crasneanscki “Solo Show – Le syndrome d’Ulysse”
Louise Alexander Gallery, Porto Cervo, Italy
24/05/2012 to 25/06/2012
Echoing the impulse of his well-known Soundwalks, in this exhibition the New York–based artist Stephan Crasneanscki presents ten photographic diptychs––images of the Mediterranean Sea and its eastern coastlines––that follow Ulysses’s epic voyage. The story of Ulysses’s odyssey was, for most of history, transmitted by voice, by sound––a medium that resonates with Crasneanscki’s larger practice. However, here the artist’s images, although of a journey many times told, are silent and still, artifacts of a grander narrative that is impossible to re-create.
Some of Crasneanscki’s photographs, all from 2009, such asTroie (Troy) and Iles Ionennes (Ionian Islands), are nearly monochrome, the sea and the sky melting together in washes of white or black. Other works, like Ile de Djerba (Djerba Island) and Mont Pellegrino (Mount Pellegrino), picture the sea in brilliant shades of blue beneath a bleached or cloudy horizon. Each photograph was taken from a sailboat positioned twelve nautical miles from the shore, the border between national and international waters, thus rendering the photographs timeless. There are no boats or watercraft on the sea, no high-rises, resorts, or even villages on the coastline. The water and the land seem untouched, as we imagine Ulysses must have experienced these sites.
For the finished works, Crasneanscki split his photographic prints with a vertical slice, creating two uneven parts, each framed in white. A thin space separates the facing sides of the photographs, suggestive of what Crasneanscki describes as the break between the real experience of a place and the shadow it throws on memory and representation.