Matteo Nasini at spazio contemporanea in Brescia.

Matteo Nasini: bassa marea
Curated by Davide Daninos
12 December 2023 – 17 February, .2024
spazio contemporanea, Brescia


The light is faint on the beach at night.
Starlight begins to illuminate the outline of some buildings emerging from the damp sand of this otherwise deserted landscape. These shiny surfaces reflect the dim starlight on their enameled skin, still damp from the waters of the sea we have yet to meet.
Initially their almost organic shapes had confused us. We were not sure if we were facing some form of marine vegetation, or in front of parasite antennae, partly concealed by the soft shoreline and the evening darkness.
However, their reflections invite our gaze to look more closely, to discover the details, the bluish hues of their own glazed epidermis. Such phytomorphic apparitions are thus revealed as artifacts, probably made of pottery or clay, baked with artisanal tools.
The low tide must have made them emerge from their hiding spots. And we now realize how their vertical sprouts are actually ends connected to the same circular base, suggesting that such glazed crowns have in the past crowned bodies that were not necessarily human.
This thought can only reinforce the question that has followed us since our entrance. Where are we?

This is the first landscape that greets visitors inside the solo show bassa marea [low tide], curated by Davide Daninos to take viewers inside the sculptural and dreamlike landscapes of Matteo Nasini (Rome, 1976).

As an artist, Nasini has always been interested in forming collaborations between disciplines and fields of knowledge, between scientists, artisans, and musicians, between human and non-human agents. His works arise from experiments, from the questions the artist asks himself without having a preordained answer: What is the shape of dreams? What the sound of stars? Can we ever encounter waves of sand?

In order to find answers to such questions, the artist welcomes the help and volition of the materials he comes into contact with, leaving the observed subjects free to trace their passage through matter, outside of his own control.

In this way the electrochemical activities of sleeping brains manage to translate themselves into sculptural solids: the profiles of its 3D printed porcelain sculptures are the direct result of the shape and duration of dreams, recorded by the artist through digital electroencephalograms (Sparkling Matter, 2016-ongoing).

And the qualities of traditional sculpture, imagined as a solid, static, and imperishable object, are disrupted by the behaviors of sand invited by Nasini to inhabit the rooms of spazio contemporanea (Slowly, sandy, 2023).
Indeed, inside the exhibition bassa marea, the artist stages a new aesthetic experiment to study the ability of sand to take on behaviors from other states of matter. From solid and granular, sand is indeed able to behave as a non-Newtonian fluid, if activated correctly, without having to go through a real change of state.

“As in a dream, or on another planet, the laws of physics seem to behave differently,” suggests curator Davide Daninos. “So bassa marea wishes to transport the visitors’ imagination to different planets, where dream activity is able to build objects and architecture. And its landscape is continuously modified by the different desires and intuitions of the sand. Whose high and low tide always keeps the whole exhibition space in motion.”

The exhibition was produced in collaboration with Clima, Milan.