Matteo Girola – Op-Fot • Fotografiamo l’ArteFocusing on “new spaces or forms of expression that could be explored”, Kristalia has always involved me in an atmosphere of clear and accurate research that is also spontaneous and dynamic.
A space that echoes contemporary art without superstructures, a light-hearted space offering some clever ironic touches that make me smile, such as the Bristol Harrison and Wood duo.
Much of my artistic research has involved landscapes, psychogeography and perception. With this background, I accepted Kristalia’s offer to work by my own methods on a range of outdoor chairs during one of my stays in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, I have always been fascinated by the relationship between artists and enlightened customers in industry, such as Piero Manzoni, the Danish shirt-maker Aage Damgaard, as well as contemporary photographers invited to interpret sophisticated design products.
The Dutch word “Uitwaaien” means: “going for a walk outdoors to shed light on ideas”.
The project is a series of short films, where space blends in well with a product, which, in turn lets itself be absorbed and embraced without compromising its function, a vital feature of my work that focuses on naturalness. Such communication did not arouse any particular attention in the surrounding environment but was left to interact without prompting, synonymous with an open form of energy with no pedestals, such as that between Kristalia and the local territory.
Water, wind and especially light with its changes are the linking elements that form Dutch visual culture; always present in selected settings along the coast between Den Haag and Rotterdam, where the North Sea challenges the long dam that protects the Netherlands. Uitwaaien is represented as “episodes”, like a logbook, each one with its own annotated subtitle (quoting song titles as a tribute to Kristalia’s connection with music), where chairs are part of the journey: starting with the sand swept up by the swollen sea, the sand dunes where an admiral cycled for many miles and the atelier, where a grandmother paints.
“Matteo Girola (Milan, 1983) investigates notions of indoor and outdoor space and bordering areas, exploring the use of images linked to new technologies and to social networks while examining opportunities to create real ‘photographic communication”
Matteo Luigi Balduzzi, “Art Around”, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, 2011
“(…) Taking photos of reality is, above all, a way to understand. Girola uses photography in this way, reflecting on changes in an image and the reality that it reproduces, a condition that is very frequent in contemporary society.”
Luca Panaro, “Peer to Peer”, Marche Centro d’Arte, 2012
Uitwaaien – when the wind blows (David Bowie)
The beach at The Hague on a day when the very strong wind lifted up sand and inspired kitesurfers arriving from the city by bike with their board under their arm.
Uitwaaien – sand dunes and salty air (Groove Armada)
The sand dunes at Wassenaarse Slag that protect the Netherlands from the open sea and preserve the local flora and fauna.
Uitwaaien – quayside synthesis (The Chemical Brothers)
The quayside at the fishing port of Scheveningen is a very popular place also thanks to its renowned culinary offer of fried fish.
Uitwaaien – imaginary landscape (John Cage)
At the edges of the Celestial Vault, an environmental work by James Turrell dated 1996, near Kijkduin, perfectly integrated with the landscape.
Uitwaaien – blow up the outside world (Soundgarden)
A day of sun and clouds at home. The large windows of Dutch houses that capture as much light as possible often never conceal but rather offer the outside world a glimpse into their small family theatres.
Uitwaaien – new world coming (Nina Simone)
On the Wilhelminapier, within walking distance of Hotel New York in Rotterdam. The hotel was the headquarters of Holland America Line, one of the main transport lines from Europe to the USA, which took at least 850,000 migrants over to the New World.
Uitwaaien – castles made of sand (Jimi hendrix)
The arrival of a storm at Maasvlakte 2, a 2,000-hectare extension of the port of Rotterdam, built on reclaimed land behind a 4-kilometre dam.
Uitwaaien – simple things (Zero 7)
The strong clear afternoon sun should be enjoyed before it gives way, just after sunset, to cooler temperatures, even in summer.
Uitwaaien – grandma’s hands (Bill Withers)
Aperitif time at the atelier of an artist who left Sardinia in the middle of the last century to continue life alongside a commander of the Dutch navy.