installation Shots

PRESS RELEASE

Willy Verginer | Rayuela
Opening: Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 20:00
Curator: Yaron Haramati
Text: Sarai Shavit

Rayuela is the Spanish name of the familiar children’s game hopscotch, known in Italy as “Gioco del Mondo” – the game of the world. In the Italian street version, children skip between numbers written on the sidewalk in chalk, with one goal: to get from Earth to Paradise.

The solo exhibition of Italian artist Willy Verginer forms a dialogue with the novel Rayuela, written by Argentinian author Julio Cortázar in 1963. The award-winning novel revolutionized Latin literature, leaving its indelible mark on world literature and gaining cult status.

Rayuela recounts the story of a young student called Oliveira, who moves to Paris, falls in love with a woman, and returns to his native Buenos Aires. At one point in the novel, the characters are voluntarily admitted to a hospital that may or may not exist, just as it is unclear to the reader whether the actual characters in fact exist.

Cortázar’s great innovation in Rayuela was the invention of an original world, surreal in its fulness, that broke the laws of literature as they were known up to this point in time. Rayuela does not offer a conventional plot and familiar reality, and especially it does not adhere to defined rules of language. The novel is packed with mixed language, incorporating different jargons, registers, and even foreign languages, deliberate typos, interrupted lines and wordplays, to the point that some consider it a 20th-century mythological lexicon.

Even today, reading Rayuelasends us simultaneously to philosophical theories, Buddhism, and literary and musical works. Thanks to this wonderful amalgamation, Cortázar invites the reader to an artistic experience that enlists the imagination, evokes contemplation on inner monologue, and invites active reading.

Willy Verginer’s works, created after Cortázar, are first and foremost a new literary language.

The exhibition explores the hidden threads that stretch between the mind, the place, and language, and the massive and voluminous sculptures come alive in the space that surrounds them. Just like in Cortázar’s novel, in Verginer’s works, reality as we know it is irrelevant. The key to understanding them is held in the bodies that blend different imaginary realms, changing distances and dimensions, and in relinquishing a grasp on time.

The figures in the exhibition are based on timeless people who created original and meaningful relationships with reality. The works can be read as a surreal literary work of sorts, or alternatively, as a Hyperrealist visual artwork. At the same time, they can be perceived as a new form of super-reality: The reflection of all the possible realities in a moment.

The experience of observing Verginer’s works offers an alternative reality, one that objects to conventional postmodern definitions. The piece as a whole resonates a wonderful and constant sense of disconnect, filling it with human and familiar moments of grace. These moments invite the viewer to come inside for a wild, comical and touching game. In the wake of Rayuela, you will get to know a new emotional world. The skip between heaven and earth. The metaphor of life.