Diversified by techniques, process and contexts, the three series share the desire to explore real, but inaccessible places. These can be mythical or mythological, illustrated by maps but hidden from satellites, or investigated by a sophisticated aesthetic interpretation, but always a relationship we have with our knowledge of the world and its geographical representation.
Through GPS coordinates and GIS models, artist’s intuitions and designer’s solutions, Virginia Dal Magro deals with the subject of geographical representation by presenting us with over 60 artifacts that depict a new world where physical, imaginary and digital solutions come together.
Dal Magro’s artistic process starts with the identification, through methodical research, of the information gaps in our system of describing and representing the world. These are then transformed into formal and graphic glitches that produce new visual scenarios.
Visitors therefore find themselves surrounded by a mass of information that in reality describes the absence of information.
Hic Sunt Dracones (2018-2019, Cyanotype and gumprint on paper) is a continued series of small works that act as visual notes similar to labels used on ancient maps that mark the unknown, either to scare off or to encourage adventurers to go beyond the limits of the map. Nowadays, even though there are no unexplored places or “dragon’s lands” left, it would be incorrect to claim that every corner of our planet has been mapped. This series explores the unmapped places that for military, political or geographic reasons are censored in online maps, providing a second layer, made of the unknown.
In Atlas of the Known Islands (2018, Aquatint on paper) fiction and the unknown intertwine together seamlessly. The places Dal Magro represents, although not all are islands in the true sense of the term, are taken from literary and artistic fiction, or mythology. Through these works she highlights the imaginative potential of mythology, which has since ancient times represented a powerful tool with which we ponder the vastness of the world.
No Location Available (2020, Washi paper), created specifically for the exhibition at Wild Mazzini, is an installation that consists of six prints on Japanese rice paper. They are divided into groups of three, and suspended, on either side of the gallery space, placing the viewer at its center. Each print represents a different cross-section of the same island. Half of the prints represent what is above sea level, while the other half represent what lies below and is not considered as territory, representing a mere underwater nothingness.
Viewers are an integral part of the work, placed on the border between visible and submerged worlds, they are invited to immerse themselves in this representation. The color red is used in the performance to mark the gap between the charted and the uncharted, as red is the first wavelength to be absorbed by water and is blocked out at 5 meters below the surface. This work is a continuation of the investigation of the seabed undertaken by the artist through the three-dimensional works in the Try Again Series.
Virginia Dal Magro (Milan, 1994) currently works as an assistant teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan.
She has exhibited in: Can’t Find a Way There, Try Again, curated by Cristina Moregola, Bandera Foundation, Busto Arsizio; Piano B, curated by Luisa Turuani, ZENTRUM, Varese; Salad Days, 12 Star Gallery, London; and at Zureta, Geidai University, Tokyo.