“Gipsoteca”, critic text by Laura Poletto, 2009, eng
In 1994 Andrea Morruchio produced a photographic series based on Antonio Canova’s works, conserved within the Gipsoteca of the Museo Canoviano in Possagno. The surfaces of the plaster originals are covered with a constellation of small bronze cylinders – points de repère for their translation into marble. These became the very subject of a formal and emotional reinterpretation. Morucchio’s black and white photographs intensify this strongly anti-realistic1 technique - which extends like a network over the surfaces of Canova’s bodies. These points are the participatory instruments of that “invisible geometry” of proportional and relational harmony amongst the parts with which, through a process of sublimation - “sublime execution”, Canova realized his sculptures. The photographic lens concentrates on accentuating the formal, expressive and sculptural qualities of the work, intensifying the gaze on the discovery and rediscovery of a muscular contraction, a gesture, a feeling, a fleeting thought passing over a face. Thus goes for the wrestlers, Creugante and Damosseno, as for the Pietà’s Christ, whose volumes are extrapolated and isolated, almost through a sort of abstracting process. The close-up, the details and the succession of different framings of the same subject emphasize the psychological tension of the works, as well as the formal relations, the curves and bends of the profiles, the full and empty spaces. Almost like a slowed down vision, it revises itself through the succession of takes which are always based on a progressive shot by shot difference on the desperation, pain or gentleness. In the series of photographs of the Pietà, Le Grazie and of the small Platonic group of Amore e Psiche stanti, the lens focuses on the expressive, emotional and dynamic centre of the composition, and on that exquisitely fragile play of hands caressing and protecting a butterfly2. They are often sequences, almost like still frames of an action in progress, which manage to sensitively interpret the “movement” and the sensuality of the Canovian oeuvre - sculptures around which one circulates, which are always different depending on the point of view, that is, multi-focal. But Morucchio’s work establishes and accentuates a new relationship among the works through the studied measuring out of light and shadow, articulations of close-ups and mid-shots, defined by significant and graduated perspectives. He often uses the still life technique, while the emotion of a mute and precious dialogue - almost metaphysical – condenses itself in the photographs, taken in one of the areas conceived by Carlo Scarpa, where the natural light descends from the angular skylights, lapping and sliding over the sculptures of the Ninfa dormiente, the Naiade, the Monument to George Washington and the Self-portrait...
1 A. Corboz, Pigmalione servitore di due padroni (Introduzione a una esperienza che non avrà luogo), in Canova, a cura di S. Androsov, M. Guderzo, G. Pavanello, Museo Civico Possagno, Gipsoteca, Bassano del Grappa, 2003, p.13 2 F. Licht, Canova scultore, in op.cit., p.350