Louise Giovanelli at Moon Grove
“Ambiguities come up when a element is efficient in a number of methods without delay,” William Empson wrote in his foundational work of literary criticism Seven Varieties of Ambiguity (1930). The narratively cryptic particulars of Louise Giovanelli’s work are rife with free, lax which means. In every of her 5 cinematic canvases hung all through Moon Grove’s Georgian-style rooms, we see the identical nameless younger girl’s face in seductive, non secular, or hallucinatory throes: Is she performing out a holy ritual, or ingesting psychoactive drugs?
Giovanelli’s supply materials is the bizarro world of movie and media that surrounds us and gurgles in our dwelling rooms. Shut up, her depictions of celebrities shed any resemblance to the actors and break down into mottled patches and pointillist brushwork, the paraphernalia of illusionism. Eyes do quite a lot of work in these work, slipping again into their sockets, the whites looming on the edges. The artist invests portraits with excessive drama, evoking an uncanny feeling of suspense. The viewer is led to think about what would possibly occur subsequent, or what might need occurred earlier than, with out having the ability to outline the vaguely troubled, emotional taste of the second at hand. Again and again, she presents us with the identical ethereal scene, one that might in any other case disappear within the fleeting temporality of a cult film.
Many influences are claimed, although principally to formal ends. Their garish neon-green haze riffs on Munch’s The Sick Youngster, 1885–86, whereas the tight cropping echoes Seventies cult-film frames. The Trecento grasp Duccio, as an example, might have left his mark with glowing atmospheric results and verdaccio complexions, however Giovanelli’s canvases, putting of their simplicity, gesture towards a extra ecstatic, and maybe sinful, mode of worship. Her work offers a sort of escape, a sure equivocation. Such is the unusual, transubstantiating energy of Giovanelli’s work, poised between revelation and intoxication, the sacred and the profane.