Life on Tralfamadore
The Flat – Massimo Carasi, Milan
October 08 – November 21, 2020
Tralfamadore is the name of the imaginary planet described in great detail in many of science-fiction author Kurt Vonnegut‘s novels, including his most acclaimed work “Slaughterhouse n. 5”. Billions of light years from the earth and surrounded by an atmosphere lethal for humans, this celestial body is inhabited by alien creatures who believe in a circular conception of time in which past, present and future exist simultaneously. Tralfamadorians therefore have the ability to experience reality in four dimensions and are able to see along the timeline of the Universe.
In the theory of relativity, the fourth dimension refers to time, a component that constitutes the unified four-dimensional space-time in which all the events of our universe occur and exist. In 1827 Möbius noted that the existence of a fourth dimension would allow the transformation of a three-dimensional body into its mirror image through a rotation in the fourth dimension. In this exhibition, Luxembourg born artist Sali Muller (1981) – who frequently uses mirrors and reflective surfaces in her work – presents a large installation together with three new three-dimensional compositions capable of generating a sense of disorientation similar to that often caused by the concept of a fourth dimension.
Contrasting with the shimmering planes of “Der Moment in dem sich alles dreht” (the moment when everything turns) that rotate in the gallery space, the walls showcase the “two-dimensional” works of Daniel Mullen (Scotland 1985) and Paolo Cavinato (Italy 1975). Both artists, albeit using very different techniques, represent planes, surfaces and lines that describe an “Other Space”, which is simultaneously disoriented and disorienting, abstract and figurative. Surprising for their unusual execution, Daniel Mullen‘s paintings – for the most part acrylic on linen -, represent intersecting planes floating in sidereal space, while abstract lines remind us of the time tunnels that film sagas like Star Trek or Star Wars have accustomed us to. Even the colors used, while covering a complex range, seem to describe glacial or fiery environments, inhospitable to humans.
Playing on a world between inventions and paradoxes and two- and three-dimensionality, Paolo Cavinato‘s perspectival projections created using stratifications of painted fishing line represent the fourth dimension in works such as “Solaris” and “Interior Projections”. To these metaphysical transpositions of physical (or material) environments, Cavinato adds his abstract series of “Iridescences”, inspired by Giacomo Balla‘s studies on light titled Iridescent Compenetrations from 1912, from which non-objective abstraction was born.
Tralfamadore is found here in an infinity of sensations, illusionary colors, coplanar and divergent planes. The Tralfamadorian cosmogony is also affirmed in the project room with a solitary work by Stefan Milosavljevic (Serbia, 1992) “Mundos perdidos que se acarician suavemente” (lost worlds that gently caress each other) from 2020. Pre-existing objects, with their own past – two spheres, one in black marble measuring 35 cm and a simple blue marble – trigger relationships and stories that act as layers, which build up to form a new memory. Time, the fourth dimension, thus intervenes again, with a dry irony typical of Kurt Vonnegut.