La favola della mela
2021 | Base / Progetti per l’arte, Florence, IT

Base / Progetti per l’arte presents the exhibition of Jose Dávila. The project, specifically conceived for the occasion, consists of two site-specific sculptural installations which, crossing the two environments of the non-profit space in Florence, enter into conflict and in harmony with each other at the same time. A suspended rock, a circular metal tube intended for construction, a white [black] balloon, a stone on the ground and finally a bronze apple are the elements the Mexican artist places in a unique dialogue full of visual and physical tensions. The aim is to investigate, from different points of view, recurring themes in his work, such as the notion of balance and estrangement, of sculpture and monument, of structural order and generative chaos, coming to the question of how we understand the concept of the natural or the modern today. The center of the experience that Dávila proposes to the viewer is linked to visualization, to the desire to challenge or subvert the effects of gravity. It is these tensions – according to the artist – that have shaped and influenced the history of sculpture – from ancient Greece to the Renaissance, from Neoclassicism to Modernism, as well as the manipulation of materials or the synthesis of a specific symbolic force.

“La favola della mela” (The Fable of the Apple), title of the exhibition, is a perfect symbol of how communication systems, including science and art, work. Systems that have the ability to act as narrative vehicles to introduce abstract concepts into the realm of everyday life. The sculptures, within this exhibition, can be seen, like intermediate gestures, halfway between impending destruction and immutable permanence. It is the staging of an instant that expands to infinity. In part it is a critique of the expanded present of the technological today, where everything seems to happen only here and now, but also a way to reflect on our past, on the way of remembering and consequently on the ways of building our future”. With these words, Dávila describes his intervention at Base, specifying that “using the apple object as a metaphor for one of the most eminent laws of physics (think of Isaac Newton’s theory) and at the same time acting as a symbol of Western Christian humanity (the representation of original sin), I aim to propose an exegesis of the tradition of minimalist sculpture of the 1960s, using a vocabulary oriented to the experience of forms that I highlight by means of the specificity of their materials.”