Etna as a perfect metaphor for the cycle of life and an unstoppable source of energy and contrast. These are some of the reflections of the French artist Ruben Brulat, who has recently concluded the month of artistic residency at the foot of the highest active volcano in Europe, in the constant search for a dialogue between man and nature, space and matter. Reflections that Ruben translated into a solo exhibition, Embrasementpromoted and hosted in the Cottanera winery, within the second edition of the artistic project Cottanera Visions, in collaboration with the Ncontemporary Gallery (Milan, London).
Sound suggestions, installations, engravings, sculptures, photographs, videos, Ruben’s exhibition unfolds in a path along the lava territory that surrounds the vineyards and arrives inside the cellar, the barrel cellar and the tasting room. In a continuous flow, the French artist dialogues with Etna and its territory, its inhabitants. He listens to the moods, the sounds, he observes the life that is reborn from the volcanic ash.
Embrasement, embrace, is not just the title of Brulat’s exhibition but the evocation of the artist’s style who, in that total physical immersion in nature, conveys his language and his artistic message. “What struck me most about Etna is the way in which its inhabitants experience the volcano and approach it – comments Ruben Brulat. There is a strong identification, a sense of belonging and presence but also a kind of awe. It is true that Etna is a woman, you perceive its feminine energy and the maternal feeling with which its inhabitants turn to the mountain. Compared to other volcanoes, during my stay on Etna, I saw a strong contrast in the landscape outlined by the volcano – continues Ruben – This contrast, where the lava alternates with a rich vegetation, buds are born from the ash, represents an unequivocal metaphor for me. : birth, death, rebirth, life “.
French, originally from Provence, Ruben Brulat defines himself as a performer “in search of the fusion between nature and man”. In his almost pictorial photographic shots, the naked body of the artist is immortalized with the use of an optical bench, immersed in the most inaccessible and extreme nature. “In this month spent at the foot of Etna I learned that life exists, it flows, even when it would not seem like it, that man needs a new dialogue with nature and to always interact with humility and respect. Faced with the immensity of a landscape and a presence like Etna, we humans have no power and control. We just have to observe, learn and look for a new form of dialogue ”- comments the French artist.
The artistic residence on Etna was born from Ruben’s meeting with Mariangela Cambria, owner of the Cottanera company, who carries on the passion for art inherited from her father through the artistic project Cottanera Visions. “I believe in artistic research and have always been fascinated by the ability of those who manage to take us, through their works, to a deeper level of connection with ourselves – explains Mariangela Cambria. “I was struck by Ruben’s physical and intellectual way in which he connects with the territory, without dominating or distorting it, but also giving it a voice through the involvement of local people.
Ruben’s work aligns perfectly with the philosophy of Cottanera Visions, which is to restore beauty to the territory ”- continues Mariangela Cambria. The exhibition Embrasement it will be open from 6 June to 15 October 2022 from 10.00 to 18.00, from Monday to Saturday, by reservation, at the Cantina Cottanera, Strada Provinciale, 89 – Contrada Iannazzo, 95030 Castiglione di Sicilia CT.
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