A row of astonished faces cut like Byzantium icons, outlined heads of an Egyptian memory, all looking with giant eyes in the same direction. Fiction in fiction, question in question. Where and what is that flock of heads looking at? It is looking at something while being looked at. They are the emblem of the very act of looking, short circuited in the gaze of the onlooker, tenderly confessing that poetic vocation which is, maybe, common to all painters: that of looking out. Looking out onto the world, even though only for short enlightening moments of clairvoyance, leaning out in that elsewhere we become in the bursting of the abandonment, because a true painter never gets stuck in the quicksand of the self, where it gets reassured in a pitying and pathetic scenario of false awards, but moves away with the same sweetness of a falling petal and leaves to everyone the privilege of looking out.
Tying word to things, images to dreams, colours to emotions in a rarefied silence.
Privileged places because invented and unreal if not beyond the threshold of the real for the hard logics of the final and primary meaning of things.
That in the 'painting' of Monica Spada is an essential and necessary becoming. The giving of pauses, breaks, states of quietness platonically paraded. “The “misery” of greatness or the pettiness of the being. Sensitive and secret places whispered in an imaginary tale, that strictly faithful to itself has been cut out and performed in clean, pure and veritable cyclic dimensions in the last twenty years. Monica Spada has defined the borders of her architectures and has given them back to the equivalence of the sensible values of a poetical gaze on the meaning of a time of the soul.
Francesco Giardinazzo “The Delphic oracle and the angel” 1999
At the beginning there was the island where the god was born, a land in the middle of the sea. Poets narrate that Apollo chose his dwelling in the farthest land, among the Hyperboreans: “beyond the sea, at the end of the earth and the springs of the night, beyond the unfolding of the sky and Phoebus's ancient garden”. 1. He let the mortals, in search of a solution “to their higher questions”, go and turn to Delphi (Bacchilide3, 61-62). Apollo is the master of that oracle whose voice, according to Heraclitus, neither denies nor affirms, but “speaks through signs” (semainei)2. Its logos is the world symbol. From the depths of the earth the voice of the god comes. That of Monica Spada is a 'painting' of hyperboreal spaces, trustful in this mythical shadow. It is born in the shadow of the Delphic deity, it is omen and distance. Hers is a chthonic 'painting'. Like the deity's oracle it raises from the earth, among the rocky rhymes and becomes meaning.
Giancarlo Mandrioli from the exhibit catalogue “LABYRINTH, myth, edifice, dance"
…and so, we will continue to be amazed, when, free from any disquieting gaze, we will find ourselves in a reality where inside and outside penetrate each other and mix in an unreal dimension: we are in Monica Spada's “In the dream of space”, a metaphysical space which requires a decision that involves both direction and perspective. We will have to decide then between inside and outside, overwhelmed by the endless doubt of not knowing if the outside is truly real or just an illusion skilfully created in a completely closed-in space. In a perfect system of lines, colours and chiaroscuro, we seems to detect several paths, entrances that can be possibly taken, alcoves where to lay in wait, corners where to hide or expect surprises. Maybe, by quoting a great story by Borges, one single word could be enough to identity all that can be seen in this work: “Aleph…yes, the place where, without getting confused, all the places in earth are to be found, seen from all the angles”. In this space each place represents endless places, each staircase an endless going up and down, each room endless rooms and the ocean an inconsolable crave for it. Only ideas and dreams can inhabit these rooms, move towards a light both near and unattainable. Each point is centre and suburb and everything seems to obey arcane laws and magical architectures, too perfect to be human and real. Getting out of this space-labyrinth is impossible if we keep on living in a dreamlike world and only by waking up we could free ourselves from the spell and give a sense of reality to the space, making it accessible and easy to leave.
Translation Angela Lombardi
Enrico Lombardi “La Terza Natura” (The third nature) 1999 (a few considerations on Monica Spada's 'painting')
The dream of an outside time has always inhabited the human unconscious, where each gesture is pure and founding and the relationship between man and world is not yet hierarchically unveiled and ordered by words. Man and animal stare at one another and, although sensing the immense distance that separates them, can still feel a sense of community with the world.
Their radical otherness is not yet conceptually stated and in their gaze something alike can be found, may it be the amazement of sharing a common space or the feeling that the same end will, sooner or later come; or else a reciprocal grace!
Let's try to imagine something more radical than the atrophy of memory? Then, to the image of an absent-minded man wandering in a world he no longer recognizes, replace that, even more disquieting, of an entire humanity which has lost even the form of its own being. The amnesiac, in fact, no longer recognizes “his” world. He, for instance, sees a house, a face, an animal but he is no longer able to find any traces of familiarity with them. Those things, stand there, in front of him void of any meaning. He is nonetheless able to abstractedly recognize them as “a house”, a “human face”, “a living being”… He, in other words, knows what they are: faces, houses, animals.