Monday, February 1, 2016

Exhibitions | Daniela Bertol "Being, Vitruvian" at ADPML Gallery

Being, Vitruvian, curated by Marita Batna and Michael Morgan, is the first of two exhibitions encompassing the visual narrative of Daniela Bertol’s creative research Form Mind Body Space Time, where practices of "making" intersect practices of “moving”. “Making movement” is inspired by geometric configurations which are also archetypical shapes and symbols in several cultures and are deeply embedded in the human psyche.
The title expresses the search for harmony in geometry present in Vitruvius where the proportions of architectural space are also related to the human body (15 BC). Vitruvius’ theory on proportions is one of the most famous Western examples of explorations on the harmony of the human body in relation to geometry. Leonardo da Vinci illustrated this theory in his iconic drawing Vitruvian Man (c. 1490) which maps the human figure to regular geometric shapes. Rudolf Laban (1879-1958) initiated his theories on human movement from these ancient explorations expanding the harmony of the human body to the harmony of movement and extending the two-dimensional symmetry in the plane to the three-dimensional symmetry of the Platonic solids.
 Being, Vitruvian departs from such historical precedents using the classical iconography from these timeless theories in a contemporary digital framework. The symmetry of the five Platonic solids is explored with computational models and 3D printing in a dialogue between the digital virtual world and its physical counterpart. The Platonic solids become a ‘movement infrastructure’ used by Bertol in her psychosomatic practices: movement sequences are inscribed into the solids whose geometric properties are used not only as framework but also as source of inspiration. The morphology of human movement and the manmade Platonic solids inscribing movements are unified by geometry.
The form of movements also aims to express the Vitruvian qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas: the geometric body defines not only the aesthetic intention behind each movement but also provides strength and balance. Movement is an existential statement of a human subject’s presence in space. Geometry facilitates the encounter between morphology and phenomenology, transforming the Cartesian statement “Cogito ergo sum” (I think therefore I am) into “I move therefore I am”. The awareness of movement is realized in a geometric framework, where the human body expands into the surrounding space defined by symmetry based properties.
The multiple media presented in the  Being, Vitruvian exhibition are also the methods utlized in the research Form Mind Body Space Time: drawings, digital models and 3D printing seemingly merge with performative actions recorded with video and photography. Digital post-production emphasizes the geometry of the movement sequences in a dialog between an imaginary virtual world superimposed to video recording of physical movements performed by Bertol during her daily practice. The exhibition is also a statement of how art is a means of scientific exploration in both video and built fabrications; the quantitative aspects of movement sequences are analysed through the qualitative filter of abstracted video visualizations and digital drawings.

The photographs below are installation views as well as virtual tour/walkthrough of the exhibition. The work is displayed in four interpenetrating rooms, which, similarly to the research content, can be categorised but also seaminglessly flow one into another to represent how multi-disciplinary content can become meta-disciplinary as the 'whole is greater than the sum of its parts'.
The atrium, site of the 'movement infrastructure', is room 0, the beginning of the loop.

Room 1: Title and Research Aims

Room 2: The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts
Menger Carpet,Thoughts, Aphorisms, Quote

Room 2-3: Parametric Geometry (digital models)

Room 3: Geometry of the Human Body
Room 4: Making and Visualising
in the dialog between physical and digital, reality and its representation

Room 0 (Atrium): 'Movement Infrastructure'