Different in terms of technique, process and contexts, the three series have in common the desire to explore real but inaccessible places, mythical or mythological, illustrated by maps but hidden from satellites, investigating, through a sophisticated aesthetic interpretation, the relationship with our knowledge of the world and its geographical representation.
Among GPS coordinates and GIS models, artist’s intuitions and designer’s solutions, Virginia Dal Magro deals with the geographical representation with over 60 artifacts that give us back a new world between physical, imaginary and digital solutions.
The starting point of Dal Magro’s artistic path is the identification, through a methodical research, of information gaps in our system of description and representation of the world, to transform them into formal and graphic glitches that produce new visual scenarios.
The visitor is therefore surrounded by a mass of information that actually describes an absence of information.
Hic Sunt Dracones (2018-2019, Cyanotype and gumprint on paper) is an ever-expanding series of small works that act as snippets of a discourse and recall in their title the words that in ancient maps were used to label the unknown, to scare or to encourage te most adventurous to go beyond the limits of the map. Even though nowadays there are no more unknown places or “dragon’s lands”, it wouldn’t be correct to say that every corner of our planet have been mapped. This serie explores all the unmapped places – for military, political or geographic reasons – marked as glitches on the online maps and it aims to create a second layer, made of unknown.
In Atlas of the Known Islands (2018, Aquatint on paper) fiction and unknown weave seamlessly together: the places represented (not all of them are islands in the true sense of the term) are mainly in the sphere of literary and artistic fiction or come from the world of mythology. Through these works Dal Magro highlights the imaginative potential of mythology, which since ancient times has represented an indispensable tool to grasp the vastness of the world.
No location available (2020, Restoration paper), created specifically for the exhibition by Wild Mazzini, is an installation that consists of six prints on Japanese restoration paper suspended, divided into two groups of three, and placed on either side of the gallery, where the viewer is placed in the centre. Each print represents a different cross-section (at different heights) of the same island. Half of the prints represent what is above sea level, the other half represent what is below, which stops being considered as territory to fall into an indeterminate underwater oblivion.
The viewer finds himself physically included in the work, on the ideal borderline between these two worlds – emerged and submerged – invited to feel part of this representation. The choice of the red colour used for the performance aims to strengthen this gap between known and unknown, as red in water is the first colour component to be absorbed, disappearing only 5 metres below sea level. This work is part of and continues 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 a teaching assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan.
Among the exhibitions: 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; Zureta, Geidai University, Tokyo.