ALTAR

In residence from 03.07.2019 to 13.07.2019 | opening 14.07.2019_6 pm
Curated by Maria Chiara Valacchi

The project Mandranova In Residence, launched in 2012, successfully reaches its sixth edition with the participation of American artist Isabel Yellin.

For this residency, Mandranova, a farm and resort located on the hills of Palma di Montechiaro in the province of Agrigento in Sicily, a few kilometers from the archaeological site Valle dei Templi, invites artists and creatives to engage with the particularities in the landscape and architectural history of the surrounding territory. During her two-week stay, Yellin produces a never-before-seen collection of work consisting of five installations strongly rooted in local traditions and laden with references to the farm’s history. She thus leaves us with a fitting addition to her traditional organic forms and a series of natural and artificial elements sourced on site.

Isabel Yellin (New York, 1987) cultivates a practice rich in psychological connotations and anthropomorphic allusions, a creative process intent on attracting and soliciting unstable sensorial perceptions in the viewer, perceptions often tied to personal, intimate and cultural experiences.
Her abstract sculptures – collapsed and enmeshed with spiral copper tubes or laid on the ground – are the material translation of our unconscious desires such as comfort, satisfaction, abandon and pleasure. Each piece, for the first time in Yellin’s career, consists of complex scenographic installations in which an autochthonous tradition is joined with a series of ancient materials and fleshy forms of a very tactile nature, veils of ochre-colored cloth and shrubbery inspired by a vegetation that is by now asphyxiated. Even her drawing, normally separate from the sculptural work, documents and actively intersects with the realization of the works: on various pieces of paper we find the indefinite shapes of hybrid figures that declare the desire to extend even further the projection of one’s own ego.

What Isabel Yellin achieves during her residency is the transposition of a series of human emotions into sculptural apparatuses: true altars which, losing their primal function as sites of exchange between man and divinity, become – in a setting where it is easy to lose the perception of time – mediating devices adept at (re)connecting man with himself and his own desires. In the muted colors of the earth, organically attenuated by the nature of the surrounding territory, the artist reveals different parts of herself; each oeuvre acts as a mirror onto which we can reflect our own thoughts, purified from any ornament and superfluous external superstructure.

Text by Maria Chiara Valacchi