In a T293 Exhibition, Yongqi Tang Copes With Eros/Thanatos in a Baroque Neapolitan Church

In the heart of Naples, at the church San Giuseppe delle Scalze a Pontecorvo, also known as “Le Scalze,” the art gallery T293 presents the exhibition Eros/Thanatos featuring work by the artist Yongqi Tang. Through June 7, three emotional paintings find their place against an architecturally grand backdrop, nestled within the church’s niches.

The exhibition title is derived from Sigmund Freud’s theory of two fundamental drives: Eros, the instinct to create, and Thanatos, the instinct to destroy. Freud’s Eros and Thanatos theory indicates the tension between our inherent drive to choose our authentic ways of being and the impossibility of satisfying it.

In response to the deconsecrated space of Le Scalze, Tang’s artwork in Eros/Thanatos delves deeply into the modern identity crisis, inspired by German philosopher Nietzsche’s famous proclamation of “the death of God.” In this context, “God” does not refer to the religious definition but to the broader idea of certainty and external values. The death of God signifies the erosion of objective values that anchor our identification and orientation in the world.

Within this conceptual framework and blending visual homages to historical subjects from Renaissance paintings with film imagery, Tang’s body of work explores the universal challenge of understanding and establishing one’s self-identity in a postmodernist world from the perspective of a female painter.

Eros/Thanatos, presented by T293 Gallery, is on view at Le Scalze in Naples, Italy, through June 7.

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