Dwellings, Part II

May 6, 2004 - June 26, 2004
Central Library, Lobby Gallery
Dwellings (Part II): The Landscapes Within An Installation by Roberto Visani

Curated by Corridor Gallery

BPL Exhibition, Roberto VisaniArtist Roberto Visani simulates a cave environment to transport library users beyond the walls of Brooklyn Public Library. The audience is invited to write and draw in the cave, adding to the artist's narrative constructed through cut and paste, collage, call and response, and "the space in between."


Artist Statement

"When 40 small monsters are clinging to a pregnant mother, it's because we're all fleeing from something." -Seni Awa Camara.

For my installation I decided to simulate a cave environment. My thoughts were to mask the space as a way of transporting my audience somewhere beyond the library. I also wanted to create something original, basic, and the most basic dwelling I could think of was a cave.

Symbolically and historically caves illicit myriad associations: a protected place, an entry into another realm, or a space reserved for sacred acts. Underground spaces in myth and literature include the Minotaur's labyrinth, Jesus's tomb, and the cave of Ali Baba's buried treasure.

The walls of the cave I have created are intentionally blank. I invite the audience to write and draw their thoughts on the cave walls while thinking of themselves in a "contemporary cave context." The Lascauex caves have drawings of bisons and shaman. What would a contemporary cave look like? What thoughts do you associate with a cave? Are you hiding, resting, meeting with others?

My artwork is based on my personal experience, ancestry, and the "day to day." I am a storyteller – cut and paste, collage, call and response, and "the space in between." All of my work is constructed in this manner; by manipulating the relationship between form, material, idea, and craft, I communicate a larger narrative.

Roberto Visani was born in Faenza, Italy in 1970 and grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota. He studied art/ceramics at Mankato State University and received an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan where he studied sculpture, installation art and African art history. In 1997, Roberto Visani received a Fulbright award to research the effects of modernization, globalization and the trans-Atlantic slave trade on indigenous forms in Ghana. His work has been exhibited in New York, Ghana and San Francisco. He has lived in Brooklyn since 1999.

This exhibition is the second in a three-part, multi-artist exhibition series curated by the Corridor Gallery. The site-specific installations are designed to engage the notion of space in general, with a specific focus on dwellings. The Corridor Gallery was founded in 1996 as an adjunct site for the Manhattan-based Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center. Its mission is to provide the Brooklyn community with access to emerging visual artists and poets.

Lobby Gallery exhibitions are supported by a grant from The Greenwall Foundation.