Universo dentro – Sophie Whettnall

From to

Universo dentro : Explorations of Intimate Immensity  
Sophie Whettnall
exhibition in the cloisters of the San Pietro monastery complex in Reggio Emilia
21.05 > 04.07.2021

As part of the Fotografia Europea 2021 festival, Fondazione Palazzo Magnani and Marina Dacci have invited Belgian artist Sophie Whettnall to organize – in the cloisters of the San Pietro monastery complex in Reggio Emilia – an exhibition: Universo Dentro (21.05 > 04.07.2021). This project, organized in collaboration with CENTRALE for contemporary art, is part of an exchange of exhibitions between the two partners. Indeed, CENTRALE will soon present in Brussels the exhibition La vita materiale, a project by Fondazione Palazzo Magnani.

Inviting a visual artist to a festival dedicated to photography highlights that artists’ productions are no longer confined within the rigid framework of specific techniques. Sophie Whettnall’s choice was motivated by the formal and conceptual importance of the photographic image in her creative process. The images she frantically collects are omnipresent in her creative space. The title Universo Dentro alludes precisely to this imaginative process by the artist, who, by appropriating the photographed reality, makes the visible reveal both the perceptible and the imperceptible, both the artist and the viewer.

The Universo Dentro exhibition was conceived as a journey capable of immersing visitors in different times: the historical time of the place, the time of the work and the time of its contemplation. Sophie Whettnall invites the visitros to an immersive observation and projects them into multiple times that underline the fact that the human experience of time and art is made up of heterogeneous and homogeneous layers.  She manages to fix “time in an explosion of space” and allows the viewer to open up to the world and to themselves.

The viewer can thus look at a silver veil pierced by hundreds of small holes – signature of the artist -, that allow light to filter through, but can also (re)find there the marshmallow-colored sculptures (La Banquise, 2018) or the wooden panels chiseled like a mashrabiya (La Forêt, 2018) presented in 2019 at CENTRALE as part of the exhibition Sophie Whettnall & Etel Adnan, La banquise, la forêt et les étoiles (04.04 > 04.08.2019).

At the end of this journey, all these works, like so many mental and material layers placed end to end, create a narrative into which the viewer projects himself. Universo Dentro mobilizes memory and a series of references that go beyond the context of representation.

A collaboration between Fondazione Palazzo Magnani (Reggio Emilia) & CENTRALE for contemporary art (Brussels)

Curator : Carine FOL


With the support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and Wallonie-Bruxelles International