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In the Shadow of Forgetting by Aldo Iacobelli

May 30, 2014  ·  2 min read

By Benjamen Judd

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If you’re in need of a serious culture boost and a reminder that aesthetics haven’t completely gone the way of 140 character-condensed status update, head down to the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) and check out the latest exhibition by Italian artist and designer, Aldo Iacobelli which is on display now until Saturday, June 21.

After relocating to Australia from his beautiful native city of Naples, Italy, Iacobelli launched his artistic career in the mid 1980s with the Royal South Australian Society of Arts. He has been the recipient of numerous development and project grants and in 1991 he undertook an Australia Council Studio Residency in Barcelona, Spain.

For his latest collection of work, In The Shadow of Forgetting, Aldo Iacobelli’s draws broadly upon personal experience. For example, My Days (2011-13) consists of 224 mixed media drawings in recycled frames. For Iacobelli these works are a form of visual diary, representing the processes of thinking that drive his work on a daily basis. He is particularly interested in memory, those recollections stored in the mind and often completely forgotten – until something arouses their return. For Iacobelli,Montedidio, a book by Neaoplitan writer Erri De Luca, evoked a torrent of potent memories of growing up in Naples during the 1960s inspiring his series of six pencil and smoke drawings Neapolitan Souls (2012).

Literature and art play a strong role in Iacobelli’s practice, which explores not only personal memories but also the impact of stories told by other artists and writers. Reflecting on Frau Weinreb (2012) focuses on Elias Canetti’s true account of an encounter with elderly widow Frau Weinreb who sniffed and licked the portraits of her late husband at night. As a way of coming to terms with this strange yet fascinating act, Iacobelli produced four graphite drawings of tongues. Similarly A tale from the Lower South East of South Australia (2012) reflects upon A Single Sound, an unpublished novella by Linda Marie Walker revolving around the suicide of a young man in Mount Gambier – drawings that respond to the youthful memories of another artist and writer.

In The Shadow of Forgetting is now showing at the CCAS until Saturday, June 21.


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