Il mio corpo nel tempo - My body in time. Lüthi, Ontani, Opalka

luthi curated by Adriana Polveroni and Patrizia Nuzzo
13 October 2017 > 28 January 2018 – opens on Friday 13 October, 7.30 p.m.
Galleria d’Arte Moderna A. Forti – Palazzo della Ragione
Cortile Mercato Vecchio, Verona












“What is time?”, Saint Augustine asked himself in the Confessions. “If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know”.

This observation remains valid even after more than 1600 years, because time and the question about time are universal issues that transcend us and whose debate finds us disarmed, defenceless (because we have no answer). We do not know what time is and especially nowadays the answer to this is even more complicated due to the fading border between past and future or due to the flattening effect of an eternal present.

Art, however, and artists in particular, seem to know the answer. Art does not hide time, does not veil it. Not because it exhibits it, by manifesting it, but because it shows it by incarnating it.

Some artists reveal the passing of time, that inescapable fate that corrupts the body and the face, by means of their own bodies and their own faces.

Since their debuts, artists such as Urs Lüthi, Luigi Ontani and Roman Opalka, have exhibited themselves and have never stopped doing so, showing the passing of time through their bodies not because they are narcissists but because they have decided to be a living documentation in answer to the eternal question posed by Saint Augustine.

From this point of view, their work falls within the area dear to certain philosophers – Heidegger and Parmenides before him – who state that truth (Aletheia) is what is not hidden. It consists in the revelation of truth as authentic unveiling.

In times like ours, that negate and tend to hide and to disguise the passing of time, and in which the human body becomes the device with which to implement this negation, their work takes on additional critical value.

The exhibition “Il mio corpo nel tempo”, part of a programme of initiatives based on the close cooperation between ArtVerona and Galleria d’Arte Moderna A. Forti-Palazzo della Ragione, envisages three artists, Urs Lüthi, Luigi Ontani and Roman Opalka, presented through their works starting from the very beginning all the way to the present or, in the case of Roman Opalka, up until his death. The sequence of images, in which it is sometimes difficult to recognise the present day individual – especially when one sees Urs Lüthi’s extraordinary transformation from ephebic youth to the fat old man he is today – reveals an extremely coherent and highly interesting artistic journey.

It is very similar to the staging, or shall we say the ‘laying bare’, of Aletheia, of truth without veils, offered up to the eyes of the visitor as pure disclosure of time and of one’s self.

The artistic itinerary takes up four halls, one hall for each artist, in which their images are presented, from the beginning to the present, each one according to their own language: Opalka rigorously formal and almost minimalist; Lüthi free with ironic hints, the format ranging from photography to installation; Ontani almost Baroque, rich in colours and, intentionally, in quotations.