The new exhibition reimagining the remnants of our past travels
Postcards: They’re something most of us have sent or received at some stage in our lives, but as time goes on and digital records evolve, so too does both the beauty and significance of these small, yet “fragile time capsules”.
From the internationally acclaimed artist Marco Luccio, who brought the world New York Postcards in 2019, comes a new exhibition opening on April 4 at fortyfivedownstairs on Flinders Lane which seeks to reposition these delicate artefacts in a whole new way.
Running until April 29, Cuorosensa: A Reverse Archaeology presents yet another thought-provoking collection of mixed-media works by the award-winning Italian born, Melbourne-based artist, who has held upward of 50 solo exhibitions nationwide and internationally.
More than 15 years ago, Luccio began collecting used postcards from New York City flea markets and curio shops when he was a resident at the top of the Chrysler building (notably, the only other artist to have had a studio in the iconic landmark is esteemed Life photographer, Margaret Bourke-White).
Impressed by the evocative nostalgia and intimacy of the cards, they were, according to Luccio “beautiful artefacts, remnants of the past preserved in small and fragile time capsules”.
That sentiment was reflected in Luccio’s wonderful collection of small-scale works, New York Postcards.
In Cuorosensa – an Italian word fashioned by Luccio meaning “sensed for the heart”, which encapsulates the feeling he said he experienced in New York when first encountering the “beauty of the texture” of the postcards, the evolution takes on a much larger scale.
The exhibition sees Luccio’s recognisable themes, from his Eiffel Tower and his Trojan Horse to his meditations on the myths and figures of classical antiquity, presented on layers of postcards with glimpses of the messages they once conveyed laced throughout.
Describing postcards as the “perfect representation of our lives” that are a “testament to civilisation and human connection”, Luccio reimagines what were once fragile artefacts as the bedrock of an interlocking canvas.
By doing so, Luccio elevates their significance as the presumptive ephemera of material culture becomes the base upon which layers of bigger and vaster gestures are built, as the expansive concept of civilisation meets the intimate concept of community … and it is unexpectedly coherent.
In this display of “reverse archaeology”, Cuorosensa allows us to instead dig into our own remnants and celebrate our own personal understandings of history and connection through a symbol that in itself also risks becoming lost to time.
Luccio told CBD News the concept of preservation was another central component to his latest body of work, which recognises the importance of our own heartfelt artefacts by providing an intriguing base for many important discussions.
“They’re like artefacts and they’re kind of fragile as well, so in a sense they are the perfect representation of our lives, because we carry all these words and thoughts and things in our bodies and in our minds,” he said. “By preserving them as artefacts, their importance is elevated as our own symbols of civilisation.” •
For more information: marcoluccio.com.au
Photography: Robert Wagner