Travels voyaged and told of; travels invented; mythical travels and travellers, symbols of civilisation, present in the imagination of all and the foundations of modern culture. The myth of a journey offers one of the most significant focus around which the Western culture explains the meaning of life. The journey towards a destination, as in epic literature, in which the most suggestive and heroic meanings in the search for the truth are woven. Ulisse leaves and returns to Ithaca and after various adventures is once again at the starting point. The journey towards knowledge by Dante, the ramblings of Bloom in the Ulysses of Joyce, the apparently motionless ”Voyage autor de ma chambre” of De Maistre, are only a few of the countless journeys told. We ourselves are a place, an interior setting and in this setting we see ourselves as we are. The metaphoric journey of life, a journey which in its own way is a metaphor of me-taphor (which is in fact a move towards travel): in the place where I arrive I discover another aspect of the place of departure. Movement of senses. The journey is in fact a process of creation of this metaphor through the association between places, one which we are living in and the other which we have inside ourselves in our memories or in our habits.
Voyage autor de ma chambre comes from a special project created by Giulio Paolini for Noire Gallery, which is the central point of the exhibition. The room is the metaphor of the work, but also of its author, suspended between the real and virtual world, between the architecture of a building and the ethereal dimension of thought. It is in his own room that the artists awaits for an image or idea. The work does not the work offers itself as a space for representation, a place of vision, a scene of itself: author and spectator meet here.
Paradoxically even Alighiero Boetti’s journey in the film Turnable in 1969 is literally evolved around a room. The artist places the camera on a record player which as it spins in whirls films the walls and objects in the space around it.
Similarly Direzione by Giovanni Anselmo not only determines a sense of direction in space of the works, but allows our actions to have an influence in placing the compass towards the real cardinal points. The journey continues with: the famous sea crossing by Kounellis, the Leonardesque flights of Leo Gasperl photographed by Moncalvo with the help of Carlo Mollino, Hiba Schahbaz’s miniatures, the traditional Laotian love songs by Shirin Neshat, Richard Long’s map, a record of old routes, and Juan Fontanive’s bird flight.