Global city or Babylon? Both. In the solo show “BABYLON ZOO. Evolution revolution”, Stefano Cagol recreates the changes and contradictions of an actual world in evolution/revolution between wars and incomprehension. Cagol does this by portraying the contemporary metropolis, its frenetic noise and its human flows, into a sort of re-mix video, something in between architecture and urban/social structure of three urban realities way different each geographically, historically and culturally: Rome, Tokyo and New York. He realizes these urban portraits in his videos, photographs and installations presented in the gallery OREDARIA of Rome by triggering a sense of vertigo, in between attraction and escape. He changes direction and reverses our point of view, through duplication and multiplication of the image.

Along the exhibition path, metropolitan horizons, often familiar or distant, are disarranged because of new points of view, by bringing images closer or repeat them. Although, each city remains recognizable in its juxtaposition of architectural structures and opposite social substrates. On one side there is Rome, the ancient and historical city par excellence, on the other New York, the symbol of Western culture today, and then Tokyo, megalopolis of the contrast between East and West, past and future.

Every metropolis is present in the unedited video installations as well as in the photographic works as the evocation –and not only documentary- of a place. The various expressive ways used by the artist chase one another in a playful way by shifting, reversing, rotating, duplicating or fragmenting the image.

This articulation of visible contemporary levels evolving corresponds to a stratification of temporal instantaneity. Besides, the speed of the videos is altered as well as the sound.

Rome, with its monuments, its antique ruins full of tourists, its postcard-like landscapes, is reread without rhetoric in the video ZOOROME. (Flying Roma), produced on purpose for this exhibition. Its point of view from above, as through a diorama, gives an unedited framing. City walls, palazzi, streets, the Colosseum, the Fori Imperiali and the altare della patria play a major role as unique witnesses of the past and of the continuous change, while the human presence is dispossessed by an anthropocentric idea.

The megalopolis of Tokyo – where Cagol lived during the work in progress Tokyospace in September 2004 - is never the same and constantly subjected to both visual and emotional mutations, always capable to reflect an ever exceptional everyday life: with its over-crowded crossroads in the centre of the Shibuya neighbourhood, the infinite perimeters, the small streets full of little shops as once a long time ago, and the shopkeepers screaming while grasping a flag to draw attention in the middle of the crowd.

And last, the city of Babylon, evoked by an atavistic symbol of power and by an installation that mixes order and chaos.

The exhibition path evolves in this continuous tension between an aesthetic vision and a disorienting and kaleidoscopic vertigo, according a climax of a whole but never narrative. A decisive moment in this voyage is the video Lies (2004), realized for the solo show in the project “space Platform” in London in January 2005. Here, the symbol of the American flag is presented to create suggestive silhouettes as stains of Rorschach, sometimes reassuring, other times threatening. The video is the point of an itinerary that takes the flag as symbolic element of the current difficult international situation. Cagol started this at Galleria Civica of Contemporary Art of Trento with the video Stars & Stripes (2000-2002) and is ready to continue this with a series of site-specific interventions inside museums of Tokyo and New York. The flag is the symbol of the delirium of decadence, separation, and incomprehension. Until the fall of the gods.

INTRO

© 2003 OREDARIA TEMI E FORME DELL'ARTE SRL UNIPERSONALE