05/05/2022 | EXHIBITIONS


Posted by: Valeria Cerabolini and Maria Grazia Vernuccio

MyOwnGallery from May 12 to 22 will be the stage of a special exhibition that brings together memories of the past and the present, vintage photos and videos and recent paintings, melancholy and even painful languages and the colors of hope. It is LIFE, a journey between war and peace discovered by Elena Chioccarelli Denis among the memories of her grandfather, an explorer in Africa at the time of the Second World War, and that have greatly influenced her training as an artist. A truly different exhibition in which to be moved, reflect, smile, rediscover the feeling of family and start again.

There are family ties, the happenings of history, the events of the war. There are places, changes, departures, returns, affections. There are pages and pages of diaries and letters found, rearranged, and transcribed. There is an immense baggage - as she recounts - behind the works of VITA. The past seems to translate into awareness, belonging, feeling, as if in her heart Elena Chioccarelli Denis had internalized almost a century of history. Without having experienced it directly, without having ever been to those distant places. And it is precisely for this reason that we feel it present. And this is how its poetic captures and moves. The title LIFE therefore acquires depth, bringing back to us the value of understanding one's own roots.  And Elena's art flies to lightness with touches that suggest an elsewhere, without ever forgetting where everything began. 
  There is a quote on the side of the work Libera e Felice (Free and Happy) that summarizes this attitude of the soul handed down by her grandmother, also an artist, with whom Elena spent three decades of her life: "I go out in the morning alone, in a canvas dress and sandals, down through the valleys surrounded by the strong scent of jasmine, and I look... and enjoy... and I feel free and happy!". And the work is an explosion of blues and greens, against the backdrop of a landscape only slightly hinted at. A place and a motion of the soul that succeeds in pointing out new roads to travel, even if those traveled by the delicate women of operas such as Il Viaggio (The Journey) or Prigionia (Prison) indicate that nothing has been easy or taken for granted. Then as now, while we do not stop watching astonished new conflicts and new migrations. And it is again the quotes from the work Exodus to make us not forget how these passages are full of pain and struggle: "The step is taken, we have left the free life, channeled on a rail that we do not know where it will lead us".
  The search for forms and inventions is never taken for granted in Elena's works, starting from the use of old linen sheets (also recovered) as canvases for many of her pieces. Research that becomes unexpected and is converted into "traveling boxes" that contain artworks such as Resilience in wood and linen, a symbol of something she never wants to be separated from. To carry with you forever, even in the distance, that in a world increasingly dematerialized, reminds us of the concreteness of our existence and of the value of the memory. 
  Here, remembrance becomes not a rhetorical quotation, but a predisposition, in a world reshaped by an emotional geography that indicates new roads and new maps of reality.  Here is the revealing of the deepest sense of Elena's research, showing the inexorable thread that describes certain humanity, lacerated then as now, uprooted then as now, wounded, lost, humiliated by the atrocities then as now of war, in the multiple wars that sadly mark once again the fragility of peoples, men, women and children and that an emblematic artwork defines as "War booty". Images that we find again in some of those operas because those who have such memories inside, live them in an even stronger and dramatic way. But the art of Elena Chioccarelli Denis also tells us that from pain we can be resurrected, that carving, sculpting and shaping our memories is a way out. Art as a cure, a way to look forward, a universal language to relate and recount ourselves, to rediscover that kind of humanity in which we still believe and give LIFE to LIFE.

MyOwnGallery - Superstudio Più, via Tortona 27 Milan
Opening by invitation: Wednesday, May 11 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Exhibition open from 12 to 22 May, from 11.00 to 20.00

Elena Chioccarelli Denis, Vita II, 180x180
Elena Chioccarelli Denis, Cammino, 90 x 140, mixed technique and linen
Elena Chioccarelli Denis, Partire, 70 x 100, mixed technique on wood
Elena Chioccarelli Denis, Libera e felice 70 x 200, mixed technique/canvas