Per Barclay, Simen, 2004–2005
Per Barclay: In/Visibile
Apr 10 – May 11, 2024
Giorgio Persano
Turin, Italy

Galleria Persano is happy to host, in the inner garden of Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua, a series of photographic works by Per Barclay, whose entire work is oriented towards the breaking down of limits, be they conceptual, spatial, material or processual. The Norwegian artist works on perceptive habits, overturning them: his environments are investigated as if they were bodies, and bodies as disturbing sculptures, thus becoming enigmatic devices, because they force the spectator to abandon his usual habits and cognitive customs, in order to access a different and unprecedented horizon of meaning. In the construction of the photographs and installations, Barclay seems to access the unfathomable territory of the Freudian unheimlich, that which is known and mysterious at the same time. The game of subverting the common vision enables the photographed subjects – be they dancers, young women and men or mature individuals – to become symbols of the unconscious.

In addition to a carefully created formal and conceptual framework, which he derives from a solid art-historical education, the visual oxymoron is thus the constant in all his work: in the dancers, violence meets levity, stasis meets dynamism, dance meets struggle, beauty is mixed with pain. These elegant figures are compromised, soiled and oiled, held back by the existential drama they embody. And it is the relationship between subjective perception and its deformations that constitutes the common thread running through the exhibition, in an analysis of the alienating power of the photographic medium. It constitutes an invitation by the artist to walk around the abyss of vision and to scrutinise its ambiguities and depths, between the sensible world and the intelligible dimension, poised on the subtle threshold between the visible and the invisible.

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