Christiana Protto – Return to Go and other options, 2011

Christiana Protto –
Return to Go and other options
Monographic Publication

Texts by
Roberto Annecchini,  Angelica Horn, Erhard Metz, Christiana Protto

Ed. Christiana Protto
Frankfurt am Main, 2011

During a six-month study trip to the People’s Republic of China, I produced photographs and
drawings that contained many references to Chinese history, art, literature and everyday
culture. These works and a site-specific version of my wandering studio were presented in a
solo show in 2008 in Hangzhou and documented in my monograph Reise in den Osten.
Since then, I have developed various painterly themes from this matrix of references that explore Eastern and Western pictorial traditions.
The Return to Go and other options catalog documents my artistic return to Europe, whereby
my experiences in China still resonate clearly. Following presentation of my “Chinese”
drawings in the Roman Studio Change (Bracciano, 2009) I worked in Frankfurt/Main, in the
rooms at Schifferstrasse 66 used for projects by Home Abroad. The names of the rooms (“Green Room”, “Salon”, “Sun Room” and “Heart Chamber”) are attributable to the patterns and colors of the surviving wall décor from the 1950s to 1970s, which likewise preserves traces of the former inhabitants. Here, I returned to the ornaments, landscapes and gardens that had, among other things, prompted me to go to China. The suns, roses and palms on the wallpaper patterns evoked a sense of Europe that is not northern, but was always linked by various channels to the middle and far “East”. My paintings exhibited at Schifferstrasse 66
emulated the colors of the wallpaper but also included a plethora of gray, brown and beige
tones that had lodged in my mind as the somewhat restrained palette of private and public
rooms in China.

The title of the exhibition “Return to Go” held under the auspices of Home Abroad initially
symbolized my wish to travel to Korea and Japan on a working stipend and the related need to
take artistic stock of things. It also referred increasingly to the intense encounter with the
genius loci of Schifferstrasse 66, an enquiry that I took up again after presenting my works on
the white walls of the Voges Gallery, by returning in 2011 to the ‘salon’ with my show
“House Spirits”. Pride of place in my contribution went to a stuffed textile sculpture and three
small-sized works converse with one another and with the room, but also allow the latter to
speak for itself.
A three-month studio scholarship for Dublin as of November 2011 will enable me to study the
Asiatica in the Chester Beatty Library there. This likewise marks the start of my artistic “travels in the West”.

Text by Christiana Protto
After Hangzhou and before Dublin

Christiana Protto