Magazine article Artforum International

Sabrina Mezzaqui: Galleria Continua

Magazine article Artforum International

Sabrina Mezzaqui: Galleria Continua

Article excerpt

In a stark white space under a centuries-old archway, Sabrina Mezzaqui assembled works on paper and a video nearly as immaterial as thoughts under the title "Sottolineature" (Underlinings). Sitting just inside the entry way on a simple wooden pedestal, Inter-essere (Inter-being; all works 2005), consisted of rice paper formed into the shape of a book, a work so understated that it might be mistaken for a pile of pamphlets about the show. The top surface was printed with a treatise by Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (in Italian translation) on the relatedness of things: A poet looking at this page will see immediately that there is a cloud inside it. WITHOUT THE CLOUD THERE IS NO RAIN, WITHOUT RAIN THE TREES CANNOT GROW, AND WITHOUT TREES WE CANNOT MAKE PAPER.... AS THIN AS THIS SHEET OF PAPER IS, IT CONTAINS EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE.

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At the opposite end of the room hung La pagina bianca (The Blank Page), a diaphanous scrim of Japanese tissue paper with passages from Isak Dinesen's eponymous story transcribed in ink and scribbled over with lightly scumbled lines so that the words blurred into the paper, rendering the calligraphy more decorative than legible. Silence, as a character in the story says, ultimately tells the most profound tale. Nearby, pinned to the wall, was La scrittura del dio (The Writing of God), seven gossamer pages of the story of that name cut out of an Italian edition of Jorge Luis Borges's collection The Aleph; the pages fluttered furiously against the wall at the merest exhalation. The hearts of the lines of type had been excised precisely with a knife so that only the top and bottom bits of the letters were left; the result resembled some kind of avant-garde musical notation. …

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