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Matteo Fraterno THE MATTER of MYTH. Prologue

31 May-18:30/13 July-18:30

THE MATTER of MYTH. Prologue
Η ΥΛΗ του ΜΥΘΟΥ. Πρόλογος

Curated by Federico Decandia

Friday 31 May 2024

6,30 p.m.

Archive Laboratory for Contemporary Arts Hermann Nitsch Museum
Vico Lungo Pontecorvo 29/d

THE MATTER of MYTH. Prologue by Matteo Fraterno, curated by Federico Decandia, is the photographic documentation of the artist’s residency at the Epigraphic Museum in Athens in September 2023, which saw the production of a series of frottages made on the epigraphs preserved in the museum’s courtyard. THE MATTER of MYTH is articulated in three distinct moments: the Documentary Prologue follows the workshop conducted by the artist on 18 May 2024 at the Archaeological Park of Grumentum (Potenza) and introduces the exhibition scheduled for autumn 2024 at the Epigraphic Museum of Athens.

The constituent nucleus of Prologue, set up in the underground spaces of the Hermann Nitsch Museum from 31 May to 13 July, is the photographic documentation by Zafiro Vlachou that records the artist’s processual attitude of retaining that memory of contact that in frottage, considered in its technical autonomy, is continually deferred. It is Fraterno who stops at this threshold: ‘Approaching the surface I felt a sort of vertigo, an involvement such that I no longer had any awareness of the discontinuity between my body and the material. It happened with the walls of the Ucciardone, with the Pikionis paths at the Acropolis and, if possible, more intensely with the epigraphs. I chose to work exclusively on the stone inscriptions located in the courtyard of the Museum because it is with exposure to the sun, wind and rain that the material of the myth restores its most intimate vividness’ (M. Fraterno).

Fraterno’s is therefore not a scientific sampling but a need to revive that unactual force of the imprint that consists precisely in ‘resurrecting the question of contact in the visible’ (G. Didi-Huberman). The presuppositions of the Athens residency of September 2023 can be found in two parallel researches just preceding it: the first is thematic in nature and stems from the long wave of a prophetic experience of voluntary confinement in the Fondazione Morra Library at the beginning of 2020 (Esperienze/L’infinito intrattenimento, 2020) [ENG. Experiences/Infinite Entertainment, 2020]: on that occasion, Fraterno had rendered iconographically the dreams induced by the daily exercise of reading, a modus operandi that also accompanied him in 2023 in the production of a series of drawings inspired by epitaphs – from Seikilos to Dick Higgins – spanning the entire history of Western civilisation. The second research is rather of a technical nature and refers to the incorporation of frottage into his artistic grammar. For Fraterno, frottage initially takes the form of a pretext for approaching the pure matter of interdiction; it is what allows him firstly to have a tactile experience of the ‘skin’ of the walls of Palermo’s Ucciardone prison (La Materia dell’Ucciardone, 2022) [ENG. The Matter of Ucciardone, 2022]. This work, part of a triptych of works focusing on the forms of imprisonment, was intended to investigate the global immune obsession exacerbated by the post-pandemic legacy. In his work, Fraterno indicates as an antidote to civil melancholy, the bodily approximation to the material of Pentelic marble: not the concept nor the imaginative abstraction, but the pure contact that precedes and guarantees integral openness to the other.


31 May-18:30
13 July-18:30
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Museo Hermann Nitsch
Vico Lungo Pontecorvo 29/d
Napoli, 80135 Italia
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Fondazione Morra