Buona Fortuna by Jorge Mañes Rubio
An exhibition of the latest project of young Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio.
In his new work Buona Fortuna, Rubio transports us to the mountains of the Parco Nazionale del Cilento in the south of Italy, where several isolated villages were abandoned after a series of devastating earthquakes and landslides. Hidden among these ruins, and despite all the decay and destruction, several churches and chapels reveal themselves in all their glory.
A closer look into Rubio’s photographs expose empty altars and pedestals; in fact all the relics are missing. This is direct consequence from the looters and art merchants who didn’t think twice about breaking in and remove paintings, sculptures and other sacred relics. Despite all the emptiness and disrepair, Rubio manages to capture these places in all their beauty –a tragic, sublime, almost surreal representation of a fragile yet astounding legacy.
With his large format colour prints, the artist invites us to walk into an ephemeral world where grandeur and decadence clash together. A conflict that draws the viewer into a deeper reflection about the value of these contemporary ruins, and ultimately the meaning of them.
Buona Fortuna is not asking for reconstruction nor restoration of the churches, but to preserve them as what they are today: truly works of art. Rubio is currently busy trying to get all the permissions and funding to reopen some of them to the public. His plan is creating a series of new artworks and installations that will replace the stolen figures, transforming these abandoned places into new cultural scenarios. But for now, his photographs have brought to life places that we couldn’t even dream of.
About Jorge Mañes Rubio
Born in Madrid in 1984, Jorge Mañes Rubio is the founder and director of Seethisway. He graduated from Scuola Politecnica di Design Milan in 2007 and Royal College of Art London in 2010, where he confirmed his tireless eager to travel beyond the usual scopes of design. In 2014 he obtained the prestigious TED fellowship.
His work explores unseen or forgotten places, creating artworks that reimagine and revive these sites as attention-worthy destinations. His practice revolves around political-social interventions, creating small objects, fictional narratives and immersive installations. During his exhibitions and lectures, Rubio invites the audience to experience these stories as if they were their own.