In Pictures: Six Memos


Exhibiting artist Laura Robertson selects her favourite artworks from Six Memos: an exhibition celebrating the works – and modern day relevance – of late Italian novelist Italo Calvino…

Tjaša Kalkan’s Dialogues (2018)

Above: I love the silliness of Tjaša’s Dialogues (2018) series. The people depicted – doing handstands on roundabouts, balancing on electricity boxes – seem to be trying to communicate with bewildered passers-by, making some new kind of ridiculous, choreographed language.


Luca Arboccò’s The Three Channels, Trompe l’Œil, IV (2018)

Above: Imagine that Luca’s Perspex ‘paintings’ are stained glass windows with views into a parallel universe; reality slippage, a glitch, meaning we can see another landscape. I like to think that Calvino would have enjoyed implications of these works as an interpretation of his essays on Visibility, and Multiplicity, from his book that we’ve all been reading for this show, Six Memos for the Next Millennium.

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Adam Lee’s Identity Documents (ongoing)

Above: What a treat: a peek into someone else’s home, and better, their bookshelves. “Every life”, said Calvino, “is an encyclopaedia, a library”. The contents of this library reveals loads about the anonymous subject: their love of Patagonia, rocks and minerals, Welsh wit. They care about nature – Places Matter! – maybe they even write about them? Another novelist, perhaps, another Calvino?


Magdalena Franczak’s The Scroll (2017)

Above: Somewhere between a drawing and a sculpture, Magda drew a tiny bit of this scroll everyday whilst travelling along the Polish border; the perfect portable canvas. She’s never unrolled it fully, to see how the mountains changed during the trip, preferring instead to view small sections of the whole. “It’s important that there is some kind of secret”, she says, “that every time I show it, I show a different moment of the landscape.”


Arnaud Caquelard’s At Least As Lost As Atlas (2014-2018) and Yane Calovski’s Compressed Minimum (2016-2017)

Above: Yane’s disturbing, empty frames remind me so much of Paul Almásy’s shot of the Louvre, Paris in 1942; all the paintings had been removed to save them from Nazi looting. Arnaud’s fractured maps, displayed alongside, seem to add to the unease and displacement. What’s happening to us, where are we? And where will we be next, if anywhere?


Zlatko Kopljar’s K 17 (2012)

Above: Zlatko had this bespoke suit made out of the high vis, reflective material used on police and emergency service uniforms. Despite being (literally) illuminated in the darkness, the crowds seem to completely ignore him. Watching, navigating the city’s subways and streets with Zlatko, I feel completely disorientated: we could be in New York, or (as with the scenes of people standing in lines with string between their teeth), some kind of concentration camp or torture facility. He’s like the mischievous leader of a Greek chorus in a tragicomedy… I’m terrified of the final act.

Laura Robertson

See SIX MEMOS, the European CreArt Exhibition, at The Bridge Gallery, St George’s Hall, Liverpool, until Sunday 24 February 2019 – FREE entry

Installation shots courtesy Adam Lee. All other images courtesy the artists

Feature image: Medusa’s Prayer (2019) by Laura Robertson in collaboration with Mark Simmonds

Posted on 23/02/2019 by thedoublenegative