The collaborative exhibition of Paolo Chiasera and Øystein Aasan is based on an ongoing friendship and artistic exchange. Titled “Population Two”, the exhibition amplifies crucial dialogical aspects in both artists’ bodies of work. Chiasera, through the constant inclusion of other artists, artworks, and curatorial practices, rejects the transcendental notion of singular artistic authorship. In parallel, Aasan’s work is conditioned by the essential contribution of the active participant, therefore actualizing the phenomenology of situational changes in real time and space.
Entering the space of PSM Gallery one finds oneself caught in a junction of gate-like structures. Constructed by Aasan, the formations hover on the limits between sculpture, architecture and exhibition design. The effects of Aasan’s gates are purifying and cathartic, immediately referencing Torii – Japanese gates whose function is to shift the human subject from profanity to sacredness before entering a shrine. The gates serve as a threshold from which the viewer is launched into an alternative universe, governed by an other worldly set of rules and sensibilities. Functioning as observatories, they regulate and conduct the viewer’s movement in space while establishing prefixed viewing points. Yet, the openness of the structures emphasizes their bidirectional transformation, a cyclical metamorphosis from their terrestrial, substantive grounding to an ethereal and illusionary sublimation, and back again.
Chiasera’s grouping of paintings, seen already through Aasan’s gates, is a series of deep blue monochromatic rectangles, which occupying the lower part of bare white canvases. Stretched directly onto the walls they seemingly belong to the painterly tradition of color field abstraction. Chiasera’s monochromes are, in fact, backgrounds of nocturnal skies titled The Sky above the Gardens of Sardinia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem. Made originally for “The Gardens of Sardinia, Cyprus and, Jerusalem” – shown recently in MAN in Nuoro, Italy, and in De Vleeshal in Middelburg, The Netherlands – Chiasera’s pieces from his fresco-like installation are left purposefully unpainted, operating as outtakes which are now re-contextualized and redeemed as significant elements within Aasan’s exhibition design. Chiasera’s current group of nocturnal skies belongs to “Il Secondo Stile” (The Second Style), a unique project comprised of a multitude of canvases in which he incorporates artworks from different artists. In the case of “The Gardens of Sardinia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem”, he incorporated works from the collections of MAN and De Vleeshal, but in the case of „The Sky above the Gardens of Sardinia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem“, he instead integrates Aasan’s sculptural-architectural gates, which are now re-contextualized as actors within his own exhibition design.