Francesco Bertelé’s work arises from the search for an individual relationship with the places that the artist experiences; these are places where he can express his longing for a deep, primary, organic harmony, thanks to their strong natural character. The most recurring themes of Bertelé’s works are mountains, rocks, rurality. Trying to create a deep relationship with the natural world, the artist activates connections in time and space; retrieves local stories and myths, unearths objects, triggers different forms of sharing with locals.
His works take the form of paths in the woods or, more often, of camps: houses on a tree or on top of mountains; shelters, lairs or observation decks, bivouacs. From these refuges, often on elevated platforms, where the space occupied by the human body is minimized, it is possible to investigate the open landscapes out there. Bertelé shapes the psychological dimension in a sensitive form that contemplates both the aspiration to explore and the need for a safe place where he can rest: a campsite. Ascension and depth, precariousness and protection, are opposite sides of the same medal; the inner research that develops in the loneliness of a hermitage leads him to discover new human, natural and cultural dimensions.
His works include, in most cases, an experiential phase that becomes a narrative element: stories between reality and fiction, often entrusted to codes or puzzles. In this way, the artist encourages the audience to decode the signals in the work, to undertake their own research, to go deeper.
Without renouncing a sought-after and seductive formalization, the work becomes an instrument for a new journey of knowledge, between the inside and the outside.
- 11 March 2020