17 March - 28 April 2012
Speak Through is a new series of works by London-based artist Monica Biagioli whose current practice comprises installation, as well as works that incorporate text. In Speak Through, Biagioli presents a series of text works that explore the Jungian theory of archetypes, as well as the sculptural installation Before Charge (2012).
In “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious” (1934) Carl Gustav Jung defines archetypes as “the contents of the collective unconscious” – an innate psychic structure that stores the ancient images or archetypes associated with myths and legends. Jung’s preoccupation with manifestations of archetypes such as the Shadow (i.e. Devil, Dracula), the Child (i.e. Cinderella, Rapunzel), the Hero (i.e. Odysseus, Robin Hood), and the Wise Old Man (i.e. Merlin) in both mythology and fairy tales underpin Biagioli’s series of text works such as Avenger (2012) and Vampire Weaver (2012).
Archetypes in fairy tales provide structure through their various character types which correspond to individual personalities and thereby allow the reader to connect with the universal themes within the stories. In the Jungian construct, each archetype is a real force charged with a specific energy. In Speak Through, Biagioli works with molten lead to assert the physicality of these psychological entities, as she carves out lettering by hand and pours lead into the moulds to create the text works. Through a play of word association reminiscent of concrete poetry, various archetypes and their related functions and meanings are reconfigured to create compositions in lead.
Before Charge is a pipe structure that twists around the entrance with two listening areas that project a different spoken word piece that links the meta-concept of the archetype to its colloquial representation as fairy tale. One pipe emanates fragmented shreds of archetypes when the viewer moves close to the structure; The Legend of Alderley – a tale with its roots at Alderley Edge just south of Manchester – can be heard in its entirety through the other pipe.
Monica Biagioli studied at Goldsmiths where she received her MA Fine Art in 2000. Exhibitions include the BEAR PIT (2011), CARTER presents, London; Memory Flash (2011), CARTER presents, London; State Your Business (2010), Lokaal01, Breda, Netherlands; and Unrealised Potential (2010), Cornerhouse, Manchester. Biagioli’s works are in numerous collections including IBM Corporation, Ft.com London, and Blackwood Gallery in Toronto. In 2011 she was Guest Researcher at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).