Marco Noris, placeless places

This page is also available in: Español.

Remote Locations is the title of a series of paintings by Marco Noris, but the term could be extended to his work as a whole. If by ‘remote’ we understand somewhere that is inaccessible not through physical distance, but rather because it responds to some mental or psychological geography, then all Noris’s projects could be said to be journeys to nowhere.

Ephemeral Informalism is determined by the chance colours of paint splashed from the brushes that Marco and the other artists who share the studio clean at a communal tap. A puddle begins to form around it, an iridescent crucible where a riot of changing colours pools. The wet surface becomes a canvas, acting as a mirror that both reflects and inverts the creative space, absorbing in its water the residue of the creative process, condensing its volatile beauty. In this tiny, precarious swamp Noris gives form to the impalpable synergies of art and sees in it the confluence of individual exploration and social space.

Foucault talks of such inversions when he defines the mirror or reflective surface as a paradigm of the utopian place (“a placeless place”: “I see myself where I am not”) but also heterotopian, a term he coined to describe “enacted utopias”. Heterotopias are real places which allow representation, inversion and questioning of other places.

Noris’s work navigates between utopia and heterotopia too, with Remote Locations  being an example of the former, images that seem mirages because of the fleeting nature of the ever-changing, never-completed shapes. And Postcards from Eternity evokes “placeless places”, like floating fragments or messages in bottles that bob about on the waves without any hope of reaching safe port. On the other hand, the work dedicated to the refugee camps corresponds to what Foucault called “heterotopias of deviation”, where anything that deviates from the social norm is placed. In Noris’s artistic process such places are also stripped of their historical context and become remote, caught up in the shifting flux of shared memory.

Anna Adell – Translation: Geraldine Mitchell