Milan, 28.03.2022. The contemporary art exhibition “Second Life”, by Loredana Longo for Sahrai arrives at the flagship store in Via A.Manzoni 45 in occasion of MiArt. The artist gives new life and new expressive possibilities to a selection of rugs from the Middle East region.
 Loredana Longo’s project can be considered as a particular collective artwork that results from the combination of two different sensitivities and “hand-intelligence” — two different languages that are measured by the dimension of time during the creative process and by the values underlying it: the contribution of the artisan who made the rug and the artist’s interventation who fire-carved its upper layer with sentences by Western politicians. Loredana Longo has selected the rugs, the sentences to etch, the lettering style fonts and their position in relation to the rugs iconographic structure, searching for an accurate rhythm in the spatial organization of language. Afterwards, fire created their marriage as it removed portions of the upper layer via combustion. Language - primary human code - recalls our bodies, identities and relationships. The phrases selected by the artist are portraits of the persons who wrote or pronounced them: we can visualize their bodies and their gestures. These are declarations of “libertarian” statements that marked our political and social culture, and they are rooted in the popular imagery. They can be transferred into our everyday private life: hope, better future, collaboration, aspiration towards freedom, tolerance and respect. But they can also be aphorisms that become depleted and trivial out of the context in which the words were declared and they took on the flavor of slogans, falling within the scope of advertising marketing. These mottos became grafted onto a pre-existing “territory”: the oriental rug. The rug is not a neutral territory—it is not the painter’s virgin canvas. It is a place “polluted” by its experience as an object, as a place/symbol that captures our steps and actions where we live our domestic intimacy and where we share our social and spiritual lives.
In the manufacturing phase, the rug absorbs the energy and expertise from the artesans who made it—mostly women—and presents signs and decorations drawn from specific cultural and visual values of the communities in which it was created. In Middle Eastern literature, the rug is also a powerful imaginative element that can bring us to other places, giving us a new glance on the world. Loredana Longo has created artworks that can be interpreted in opposite ways: they can be an attempt to dialogue and exchange ideas, a text of good practices, a mantra you chant, you repeat every day so that “you won’t forget”. Or they can be a provocation, a violent act of overlapping of our codes on the tradition of another culture and also a question for people who think they can find the truth in sentences/slogans to “consume”. The work, therefore, is a provocative and questioning reflection: it is a window that opens many scenarios and can reveal multiple meanings. Everything is always in the eyes and the feeling of the viewers. Second Life – Loredana Longo Via A. Manzoni 45 – Milan March 28h – April 11th, 2022 Monday – Saturday I 10am-7pm View the Collection: https://www.sahrai.com/collections/artists-selection/loredana-longo.html