'Ruth Sacks alla Galleria Extraspazio, Roma' by Daniele Fiacco
Ruth Sacks, a young South African artist, makes a work arise out of an encounter. She moves in the flow of events, extracts things, processes details, exhibiting them just enough to render a narrative insight visible. So we find ourselves in front of these works, immersed in a to-and-fro between past and present, seeking to understand the change of meanings in time and the way in which these meanings make it possible to tell new stories.
From this viewpoint “Pooling Dust” is truly eloquent. It’s a reflection on the concept of “reuse” which leads to the birth of new structures. The plan of the Pantheon is reproduced on the gallery floor in white marble dust. The work carries within it a historical memory, harking back to the ancient practice of dismantling old buildings and recycling the materials to build new ones, but also to the upgrading of the buildings themselves (in the case of the Pantheon: from Temple of pagan deities to Christian church, something that allowed it to survive any plundering). Sacks goes a step farther, and what remains of the Pantheon is an ephemeral trace, the suggestion of further change.
“Spare Change”, another interesting work, is a sort of verbal Polaroid, a work on the impossibility of creating a work, or better, the autonomous residue of the work itself. For the exhibition the artist wanted to create an installation using the coins that tourists throw into the Trevi Fountain while making a wish to return to Rome. The project was never completed, and what remains is a faithful chronicle of all the bureaucratic obstacles that rendered this misadventure “inconclusive”. The unity lying at the heart of the works on show is of a processual type. What emerges from all the installations and the video of the performance “The Pervasive Echo” is that the artist is never preoccupied about repeating herself or of camouflaging the already said. Rather, she aims at being allusive and fleeting, at being different, depending on the angulation she intends to propose. Sacks is very clear about her approach when she writes: “I look to the past in order to comment on current situations. My objective is to react to different circumstances, remaining as sensitive as possible with regard to context.”
Fiacco, D. 2010. 'Ruth Sacks at Gallery Extraspazzio, Rome': Arskey [online]
(translated from the Italian)