The inauguration of Fanta Spazio in the beginning of October marked another really interesting spot on the map of Milan, a new space refreshing and contributing to the city’s younger art scene. Situated in the northeast side of the city, the space occupies a typical, although usually uncanny location underneath one of the arches of the elevated railway that spreads into the city as branches of a tree.
A grand metal door gives access to a single room underneath a very tall ceiling; the surface is almost doubled by a mezzanine, which plays along with the idea of a studio flat, but makes it also interesting for the visitor to move in the space and adopt different perspectives to look at the works.
The debut exhibition of Fanta Spazio is the first solo show of Lisa Dalfino. The work “Progetto per una fontana” occupies the central spot with its intense blue color and grainy consistency, revealing itself as an abstraction from distance of the shape of the Pacific Ocean, where a little statue of a girl is riding a whale into this vast surface. Only a step away from this “pond” of crystallized minerals, some strange sculptures stand alone in their whiteness over the grayness of the floor. Only when carefully looked at they are revealed as little snowmen, and only if you are told, you realize that the methodical work consists of molding these figures from actual snow-made snowmen, thus saving their shapes and destiny from melting into the ground.
Maybe, the works on the ground level of the exhibition are unified in the idea of a fixed form of the fluidity of water. In fact, “-15” is supposedly the temperature at the time when Lisa Dalfino caught a frozen lake and drew a frottage directly on the surface.
Accessing the second level of the space through a steep staircase, the whole arched wall is absorbed by a large XIX century painting that was restored by the artist. It opens a window into a darkened, frightening and romantic landscape. In its premises, there is a statue of a girl riding a disproportionally big dog into a corner.
Finally, a couple of ceramic statues, secluded and solitary, are dancing on a molten rock.
Going on about the mythical and fictional nature of these works is an excellent exercise, which can be triggered also by what the founders of Fanta Spazio Alessio Baldissera, Gloria De Risi and Alberto Zenere have written for the exhibition:
Once out of the small and deep hole, the wind slammed her face so hard that she had to cling onto the soft fur of her faithful companion, which she had by now come to know by heart.
Inevitably, she thought of all they had faced to arrive there.
Her mind went back to that afternoon when her father returned from a long trip with a small porcelain figurine; how in the darkness of her room, she could not get to sleep because she was distracted by strange and barely audible sighs. To the moment in which, when approaching the stone table on which the statuette had been placed, the sounds became more and more distinct until he started to cry, telling her his story: the story of a great love, abruptly interrupted by a sudden separation.
She recalled the moment in which they decided to help the prince, leaving to find his sweet beloved.
They remembered those rough and cold snowmen, silent guardians of a snowy forest, which when they asked for help, indicated them the safest way to cross the fragile frozen lake.
Suddenly, a female voice interrupted her memories. Behind her, the sound of the prince’s quick steps, getting away in the direction of the voice. Laughter and sighs of joy soon filled the surrounding environment. The two lovers had finally reunited.
The cold seemed to vanish, and she felt warmed by that act of love.
For a moment the darkness gave way to a warm glow, and in front of her an enchanted landscape opened.
Lisa Dalfino at Fanta Spazio through November 14.