‘Maybe Metafisica’, Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s solo show at the Triennale di Milano, is an encounter between Milan’s institutional and historical context on one hand and the circularity defining the artist’s long-standing practice on the other. Conceived as a combination of re-staged propositions and responsive gestures engaging with a substratum of contextual narratives, the exhibition crystalizes the idea of an artistic practice as an organic apparatus, a breathing entity systematically re-defining itself in relation to another poetic corpus.
Positioned at the entrance and facing the main gallery room, Giorgio de Chirico’s ‘Il Figliol Prodigo’ establishes the emotive and formal physiognomy of the project. Here the painting does not simply define the spatial and conceptual incipit of the show. It echoes the aura of temporal displacement, the sense of oneiric suspension and the disarticulated concept of subjectivity permeating the exhibition on various levels.
Populating the main section of the space is a constellation of unfinished architectural structures and hybrid objects re-configuring a group of previous works, including ‘Arches’ and ‘Two-Speed Staircase’. These are a selection of pieces that particularly re-iterate the reciprocities between the rationalist structures framing most of De Chirico’s metaphysical scenarios and the monumental vision behind Giovanni Muzio’s project for Palazzo dell’Arte (which houses La Triennale di Milano). They point to an ideal of monumentality transcending the scale of the subject and, as such, contradicting the idea of intimacy that infiltrates the display through other interventions, such as the various references to the artist’s personal history, the fragments of domestic interiors as well as his well-known wall papers.
However the majority of the modules and environments articulating the main gallery reveal a crowd of disconnected elements. A series of clumsy fragments and micro-narratives that appear as derailed from their respective trajectories, producing a haunting sense of incompleteness and dislocation. In line with the imaginary of Metafisica’s artistic experience, these pieces produce a sensual suggestion of the subject as much as they confine it to a position of alienation. Furthermore most of the interventions articulating the display seem to only exist in the form of a proposition, a suggestion or an unrealized vision that, as such, creates a limbo of floating possibilities.
Seducing the visitor into a sort of voyeuristic gesture, ‘We Chose Our Words With Care, That Neon-Moonlit Evening; It Was As If We Were, Party To A Wonderful Alchemy’, constitutes a small claustrophobic environment hidden behind a curtain. A scattered choreography of objects glowing under a warm light, this installation appears as the physical memory of an encounter: a schizophrenic scenario retaining the erotic tension and spectral remembrance of a bodily presence.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz presents us with an osmotic apparatus that both re-stages important moments of his artistic trajectory and embraces the historical premises that have defined Milan’s intellectual past. Once again he opens up the formal and conceptual lexicon he has articulated throughout the years, weaving different threads of personal and public history into one vibrant body. As such, ‘Maybe Metafisica’ re-confirms and celebrates that linguistic fluidity that has characterized Chaimowicz’s work across his multidisciplinary practice.