Conceived for the former clothing factory Max Mara, now housing the Collezione Maramotti, the large installation Are We Still Going On? of Kaarina Kaikkonen follows the structure of the building, peculiar example of brutalist architecture and organicist fifties. I saw the work of Kaarina Kaikkonen in the streets of Helsinki, for the first time, but the shirt installation hanging from the buildings bizarely reminded me of Italy.
In Reggio Emilia, the old entrance to the factory – where the work was carried out – is ideally divided into two areas, the horizontal chains reinforced concrete pillars that connect not only give an architectural rhythm to the space, but become part of the artist’s work. The installation consists of two symmetrical structures that evoke the skeleton of a large boat. The simple hull is sectioned into two parts that develop from the ceiling down to the floor, with the same compositional rhythm semicircular realized with clothing knotted together.
For the selection of colors that define the two complementary structures, the clothes suggest a symbolic dialogue between the masculine and the feminine: light on one side, the other cooler tones. Everything emanates from a combination of coloristic harmonic beauty.
The project brings forward the cultural collaboration between Italy and Finland. The artwork for the Maramotti Collection is the first stage of a project that involves the construction of a second installation Towards Tomorrow, conceived for the square of the MAXXI-National Museum of XXI Century Arts, which will open April 14, 2012. As a large sail, the work will move with the wind, connecting one of the gaps that characterize the external profile of the museum and remodeling the building by Zaha Hadid.
Private view invitation: February 25, 2012, in the presence of the artist
Selected by Ingrid Melano