Darren Almond, Fullmoon@Baltic Horizon, 2015. Courtesy l’artista e Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli. | Darren Almond, Fullmoon@Baltic Horizon, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Napoli.

Darren Almond. The light between us

A new exhibition by British artist Darren Almond organised by Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee in collaboration with Polo museale della Campania and Incontri Internazionali d’Arte in the context of Progetto XXI (2018 edition).

Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee in collaboration with Polo museale della Campania and Incontri Internazionali d’Arte, in the context of the 2018 edition of Progetto XXI presents The Light Between Us, a new exhibition by British artist Darren Almond. The Light Between Us brings together works from different chapters in Almond’s long career. Each series presents a unique investigation into the relationship of time, place and memory, both from a personal and collective point of view, and the dialectics between the digital and analog language that the artist uses to express these ideas. The development of each picture, which show landscapes captured during specific journeys undertaken by the artist, is in line with the tradition of Eighteenth and Nineteenth century landscape painting. This tradition, deep-rooted in Campania Region, is re-interpreted in Almond’s work, thus creating a new way of capturing the vastness of the landscape, in the wake of contemporary aesthetics and the awareness to technology.

The Light Between Us includes works from Almond’s Fullmoon series. These large-scale nocturnal landscape photographs, begun in 1998, are taken during the full moon using a long exposure time. The resulting images appear unreal: the landscapes are bathed in an unfamiliar light, so much so that the night seems to have turned into the day. The development of these pictures, is the revelation of a moment in time and a demonstration of the physical presence of light. In viewing these works, the audience will be taken on a journey alongside the artist. It is not just the momentary view that Almond is sharing, but more so the presence of passing time which informs each image and perhaps the landscape itself.

Like the Fullmoon series, many of Almond’s works are the results of his journeys into inaccessible and remote places, such as the Arctic Circle, Siberia, the Sacred Mountains of China, and the Mouth of the Nile River. In 2007, inspired by the poet Joseph Brodsky, Almond travelled to the town of Dudinka, in Siberia, where pollution from the local nickel mine of Norilsk has left a suffocated landscape of gaunt, charred forest against a background of undisturbed snow. Almond’s images from Siberia, part of his Night and Fog series, offer a chilling stillness as a reminder of former and current human intervention. These photographs record the impact of passing time and, more darkly, the realities of human impact on the landscape. More recently, in 2015 Almond travelled to the deep canyons of the paper mills around Amalfi, Italy, following the footsteps of German Romantic painter Carl Blechen, a contemporary of William Turner. The topography of the landscape, with its sharp ridge and overhang, obstructed the light from the full moon and thwarted Almond’s early photographic attempts at capturing the light and images. The resulting photographs were made, for the first time, using direct sunlight filtered by a black glass. These diurnal photographs reveal a landscape through the passing time in that they recall earlier memories of travellers like Blechen, but through Almond’s lens also serve as reminders of a past presence.

There will be also presented Almond’s new works from Light of Time series, taken in the high-altitude desert of Atacama, in Chile; these night skies tell the history of time itself, a story of light.

Darren Almond was born in 1971 in Wigan, UK. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2005 and has had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide: The Renaissance Society, Chicago (1999); De Appel, Amsterdam and the Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2001), Tate Britain, London (2001); Nicola Trussardi Foundation/Palazzo della Ragione, Milan, Italy (2003); K21, Düsseldorf (2005); Museum Folkwang, Essen (2006); SITE Santa Fe (2007); Parasol Unit, London (2008); Villa Merkel, Esslingen and FRAC Haute-Normandie, Sotteville-les-Rouen (2011); the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chaumont-sur-Loire (2012); Kunsthaus Graz, Graz (2015), SCAI the Bathhouse, Tokyo (2016). Main collective exhibitions include the Berlin Biennale (2001), the Venice Biennale (2003), the Busan Biennale (2004), the exhibition associated to the Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London (2005), Moscow Biennale (2007) and the Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2009). Among his many exhibitions, The Nothing That Is, Royal Academy of Arts, London; Photographing Monet’s Gardens: Five Contemporary Views, Musée des Impressionismes, Giverny (2015); Fire under the Snow, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and Sublime, les tremblements du monde, Centre Pompidou, Metz (2016).

Progetto XXI is the platform thanks to which Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee explores, since 2012, emerging artistic production on both theoretical and practical level along with the most relevant artistic practices of the last few decades. This project contributes to the production and the circulation of different narratives about the contemporary world and to the definition of a regional system of contemporary arts based on collaboration and interchange between public and private institutions operating in the Campania Region.

Darren Almond’s exhibition, The Light Between Us, is housed at Museo Pignatelli, directed by Denise Pagano, one of Naples’ rare historic house-museums, which since 2010 is also known as Villa Pignatelli-House of photography: an open space, appropriate to host shows, events and meetings which fosters the debate about the themes of photography as a cultural expression, by promoting the rediscovery of still little known historical heritage, the knowledge of the authors and trends of contemporary photography at the international level and the approach to the most modern techniques of communication. The Polo museale della Campania, directed by Anna Imponente, is part of Villa Pignatelli and was founded in 2014 after the reform of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, with the aim of strengthening the activities of promotion of Italian museums. The Polo museale is therefore the point of connection between the center and the periphery and it works to promote dialogue between central and local government, between public and private museums, working for the synergy of the regional system, enhancing and making the cultural wealth of the state museums of the Campania Region accessible.

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Incontri Internazionali d’Arte, a cultural non-profit organization founded in Rome in 1970 by Graziella Lonardi Buontempo, run since 2011 by her niece, Gabriella Buontempo, with the intent to promote contemporary culture in all its forms. Since 2010, Incontri Internazionali d’Arte collaborated with the Polo museale della Campania to create a series of exhibitions, including: Ugo Mulas. La Verifica dell’arte. Da Marcel Duchamp a Vitalità del negativo, NAPOLI by Riccardo Carbone, Rabi’a, Souvenir d’Italie by Raffaella Mariniello, Gabriele Basilico. Bord de mer, Antonio Biasiucci. 3/3 Sacrificio Tumulto Costellazioni, Wim Wenders. Appunti di Viaggio, L’arte del femminile. Julia Margaret Cameron – Florence Henri – Francesca Woodman. In addition to having revived the Malaparte Award in 2012 – which has seen as protagonists Emmanuel Carrère (2012), Julian Barnes (2013), Donna Tartt (2014), Karl Ove Knausgard (2015), Elisabeth Strout (2016), Han Kang (2017) – the Association is involved also in the support of young Italian creativity, through a programme of residencies for young artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2015, in collaboration with Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee and Polo museale della Campania, the exhibition I am not I by Boris Mikhailov was held at the Madre – Museum of contemporary art Donnaregina of Naples.

The exhibition has been produced as part of the project Itinerari del Contemporaneo-Confronti, funded entirely by POC (PROGRAMMA OPERATIVO COMPLEMENTARE) Regione Campania.

Thanks to the artist and Galleria Alfonso Artiaco for their collaboration.

Thanks to Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Galerie Max Hetzer and White Cube for the works on loan.