From the beginning of his career until the end of the 1980’s, Mario Airò’s work represents a lucid and poetic reflection on the place and conditions for encounter between the literary past and current study of commodities, between archaic suggestions and mythologies of the near and distant future: a point of encounter that is a point of equilibrium and reconciliation in particular.
For his first one-man show at the Associazione VistaMare, the artist has created a work that melds light, sound, and installation practice in a simple but stratified set of references and correspondences between the geological time of humanity, technological news, and the common theme of daily artistic life as memory.
The exhibition space is used in its values together with threshold and limit: the first of the two illuminated projections is located in the entrance hall, welcoming visitors, and the second is pointed at the back wall of the last room, as if it were opening an escape route to another place that is remote in time. In both cases, the luminous images projected on the floor and the wall that intersects with the ceiling suggest the idea of signs as the trace of a passage, and thus creativity as function of the memory and the need for registration: the first design of light that is encountered is almost an abstract sign, which is subsequently connected with the impression of a shoe that left prints in the ground, while the second evokes rock paintings and the birth of representation as one of the first functions of the genesis of the myth of creation.
One of the first documents of the existence of man – thus, the vital deposit of his primitive stage – is conveyed as a luminous trace, almost a sign of Promethean nature, together with the more banal and prosaic evidence of passage, a shoe print. In both cases, the correspondence between sign and light suggests that drawing is the artistic practice that is closest to the production of myth. This myth is not rhetorically content with originating the atavistic world but, on the contrary, descends into the present, plays with technology and lightness, experiments with the significances of the mechanism of projection – from the illusion of the Platonic cavern to suspension of the principle of reality in the darkness of the cinema hall – and, finally, looks enchanted and seduced into the future.