Of stateless water. We need ports to dock, sailing boats and fins for swimming. We are fish out of water.
Port Tonic Art Center is an international artist residence and contemporary art center on the French Riviera, and has replaced the original functions of the settlement for the repair of pleasure boats.
The artificial marina, now unused, is back a paradise for fish and a kind of artificial/natural pool for swimming away from the waves of the open sea.
Port Tonic is like a helicopter in stationary flight: it resists the forces of nature, attracted by the earth, aims the horizon reacting to the sea.Davide d’Elia
Port Tonic Art Center (PTAC) – Les Issambres – Frenche Riviera – France
Résidence, Eté 2019
The fishing floats found among the materials of Port Tonic represent the unit of measurement of this tension, microsystems with an elaborate and functional architecture, structures able to coexist with the ecosystem that encompasses them.
Like amphibious sculptures they float between water and air: The camouflaged und. The upper part, instead, light and tapered, stretches with fluorescent colors to be able to be sighted by human eye even from a distance.
The works created during the 2019 residence are set up in the corner of the exhibition hall in dialogue with the large windows that frame the sea, are measured with the horizon line, real or supposed, duet with her by moving the planes of the scene.
There are three focal points around which the works presented at PTAC unfold: perception of the horizon, perception of time, buoyancy.
Central position of the Sunserif installation : the plastic strips that until a month before were completely covered with aluminum powder, then partially cleaned and made transparent again, continue and invite you to think about the sunset line.
Opposite, next to the large corner glass window, on the small square window, the line between sea and sky is accentuated by the application of a transparent vinyl on the glass: the intervention, Belvedere 01, blocks the movement of the sea from view thanks to the superimposition of a monochrome iris blue, a sort of suspension of the horizon that dialogues with the ideal line described by Sunserif.
Around this horizontal veil, a series of schematically painted works with acrylic colors on fabrics different from the increasingly hot perception and vice versa, so we will have a sort of thermometric pyramid : the warmest moldy fabric of the damask fabric that is warmer than the fabric tartan up to the coldest and most glacial iris blue.
The Isla Fluo Tante 00/01/02, the three diptychs on the walls are crossed by the horizontal boundary along the equilibrium line between hot and cold perception.
Isla Fluo Tante 00 is the synthesis of a total perception of tartan fabric on floral damask.
In the Isla Fluo Tante 01 diptych, the two parts of a float are painted : the aerial part is painted on damask fabric while the underwater part is on moldy fabric.
In Isla Fluo Tante 02 the temperature of perception rises towards lightness, or if we prefer towards the artificial, here the painted float relates in the upper part to a canvas of iris blue antifouling painted in the lower part to a tartan fabric .
Lying on the floor, resting on two soft protective supports, Fluo Tante 00 and Fluo Tante 02 painted in acrylic on tartan fabric, are the only works not to float, for the moment, but in power and fully suited to do so.
To the right of Belvedere 01, Fluo Riana is suspended, unique and on a single support, painted cold iris blue anti-fouling and fluorescent acrylic floating on a “warm” support of vintage floral damask fabric.
Proceeding towards the corner of the two windows, going around Sunserif, you come across The Notary : an antique frame (beginning of the 1900s) arrived at Port Tonic Art Center with me, from Rome, and as I have suffered action of the horizon. The work is being worked by scraping the wood down to reduce it to the minimum thickness and proceeding, along its height, to immerse it in its same shape, accentuated this, by a sort of “tsunami” inverse of antifouling iris blue paint.
The Notary resembles, unintentionally, the landing in front of Port Tonic, a sort of flat “C” that surrounds a small mirror of water; randomness? Maybe. Even if on the horizon one never reacts by chance.