Piazza Vittorio Veneto 9
Opening November 25, 1997
The Giorgio Persano Gallery inaugurates on 25 November 1997 the exhibition of Per Barclay “Fin de Siècle”. Since his last exhibition in 1995, Per Barclay has had solo shows in Vassivière, Paris, Madrid, Londonderry, Oslo, Pontoise, Bergen, and collective shows in London, New York and Tokyo.
In 1998 the Museet for Samtidskunst (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) of Oslo will host his first retrospective exhibition.
“Fin de Siècle” features a group of new works in which Per Barclay offers a reflection on our passage in time and, implicitly, on life and death, the beginnings and the endings.
In the spaces of the gallery Barclay stages two large installations of strong impact: in the left space a guillotene whose blade cuts across the room from one end to the other at regular intervals; in the right a large photograph of a war cemetry. Next to it three bronze skulls on pedistals have castanets in their mouth, ears and on their eyes.
The guillotene appears as the symbol of a split, the separation between the before and after, but its allusion to the “fin de siècle” of the French Revolution also refers to the recurring of history, its flowing and returning through symbols and archetypes.
The work in the central space of the gallery contrasts by its lightness: it is composed of two plexiglass cases suspended diagonally from the ceiling containing a whirling wind of silver confetti. Thus to the theme of death Per Barclay juxtaposes that of the celebration, as a rite of passage that marks an end and a new beginning, a means of exorcising and affirming life over death.
Finally, the photograph in the entrence hall returns to us the image of this very space flooded with oil and reflecting a very strong light. Through the play of opposites – white and black, light and darkness, air and earth, time and space, it becomes the metaphor of the continous cicle of life and death, beginning and ending that informs the exhibition.