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Opere a ripa, review by Sara de Chiara

An exceptional collector of textiles, Seth Siegelaub described their special role in the history of humanity because of their unique dual character: fragile to the natural elements and human use, at the same time resistant and durable, textiles became vehicles of communication through the narratives and cultural values embedded in their motifs.

A collector of textiles in turn, gathered on several travels to Asia, Isabella Ducrot is primarily intrigued by the structure of the fabric itself, where its essential duality originates: the interweaving of opposing elements – weft and warp – which gives an unpredictable strength to the individual threads, making the fabric resilient, durable, bearer of a message. The recent textile works brought together in Opere a ripa, a name that evokes the ancient Roman river port and its symbolic meaning as a place of exchange, take the form of female dresses, emptied of the body, flattened like tailor models on which the artist painted different patterns.

The large installation Turbante (2014) unfolds along the walls of the exhibition space: the light fabric of a turban is unrolled and surrounded by a paper frame that enhances the weightless quality of the cotton, turning it into a long white paper scroll waiting to be written. As a counterpart to these works in which an absent body is evoked, the body is the protagonist of the series of erotic drawings on paper from the 90s. Traced with a loose gesture, they stage another duality, here entrusted to a physical embrace, to intertwined bodies.