Rocketing up the stairs – Lucia Leuci

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Your latest show “My Heart’s With You” at 63rd-77th Steps – Art Project Staircase in Bari (Italy) was curated by Alex Ross who wrote a sensitive-funny conversation between “L & R” as the exhibition’s text. How did your collaboration started?

After some exchange of e-mails in order to focus the objectives of the exhibition, I sent some preparatory drawings of the work. Alex has created a fictional dialogue between “L & R”, the two female protagonists. The thing seemed so relevant that I decided to entitle the project in that way. Anyway, by those thoughts, the popular character of the local market and the humility of everyday life emerge very well.

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

What caught first my attention were the water transfer tattoos on cutlery trays, with their pink colors. Where do these inspirations come from?

I spend a lot of time in Chinese shops and megastores, searching for characterizing objects that could describe our current situation, simply by exposing them as a work of art. My interventions are slight, the conceptual difference is minimal as the sum of the same objects that are stratified. For example, removable tattoos on cutlery trays as well as the lock of synthetic hair and all elements that humanize my pieces. These tattoos, that I applied on the two trays forming the sculptures on the wall, do not evoke the concept of tattoo as it is usually intended. Mine is not a permanent sign, but an ephemeral characterization of everyday life.

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

How did your view and research change from the time you left your hometown? And how was relating to it for this exhibition?

Perhaps the city has changed, but the social context of Bari does not, it has never been easy. I wanted to focus on the daily life of “Libertà” area, one of the most popular and authentic expressions of this metropolis.
In big cities there are different social codes from the average. And this is even more true in the buildings of the popular side of Bari, which become small-scale social entities, with their own rhythms and rules: sometimes they differ from those with social codes, that we normally know about. This was my main purpose when I approached the capital of the region where I was born.

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

From June 27, 2014 to August 15, 2014 you will be part of “Speedboat” exhibition at Nicelle Beauchene in New York. How will you contribute to this group show?

In the exhibition “Speedboat” at Nicelle Beauchene in New York, I will expose some artworks that I titled “Portraits”. They are transparent resin plates with objects embedded, which become descriptive clues/attributes of a particular person, and a character. For this reason, I thought about a title so clear and simple. The significance, at least, is the “play of references” that these objects produce in the viewer.

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Courtesy of Lucia Leuci. Photo Rosa Ciano

Which direction are you giving to your works?

After these last projects, I will continue to analyze the life in the cities, especially that one of teen-agers. As they are the most receptive subjects of the society, in an aesthetic and anthropological sense, I will study their habits, their choices, the way they change and look, etc. In order to represent the main characteristics – such as precariousness and ephemerality, relating to the emotional status and also to the use of materials – of the society in which we live. Or – at least this is my intent.

63rd-77th Steps – Art Project Staircase 

Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

 

 

Advertisements

Bien ou Bien?

The current exhibition at Mon Chéri in Brussels, offers a fresh selection of young, upcoming artists. This group exhibition entitled BIEN OU BIEN?, which is organised in close collaboration with the Parisian galleries Valentin et Jeanroch Dard, features several young artists: Gabriele Beveridge, Aline Bouvy, Hamishi Farah, Mike Goldby, Manor Grunewald, Lucy Kim, Torben Ribe, Amanda Ross-Ho, Dominic Samsworth and Michael Staniak. Among these, I selected my personal favorites, on which you should keep a close eye in the future.

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

 

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Hamishi Farah, a 23-year old Melbourne-based artist, had her first major solo exhibition, Albeit Tho at Blackartprojects in Melbourne earlier this spring. Her acrylic paintings reveal a strong connection, almost an obsession-like relation with the online community. This digital era as a way of life is revealed through her cartoonish-like approach to painting, with image saturations and a strong inspiration coming from graphic art and contemporary pop culture. Her work examines the contemporary society as it is nowadays, but she does it almost with a naïve approach: and this is something that makes it really fresh, finally revealing to be more realistic than ever.

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

 

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

 

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

The same playful line is pursued in the work of Torben Ribe, with his collages and acrylic paintings. This Danish artist (born in 1978 in Hobro, Denmark, works in Copenhagen), has already made his big début in the Parisian art scene earlier in 2013, with his major solo exhibition entitled Landscapes and Fruit at Gallery Hussenot. As a starting point for his work, he creates a strong relation with the exhibition space and interior design more generally: creating thus “interior situations”, as Frieze magazine has described (Frieze 20th April 2010). Through these arrangements, the artist creates surprising encounters in the interior space, using ambiguous domestic pieces that caught our eye: these might seem banal at first sight, but there is always a disturbing element which is strongly present.

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

 

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

 

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

Photo: Benoît Cattiaux / Courtesy of the artists and Mon Chéri, Brussels

The work of the third selected artist, Melbourne-based Michael Staniak (born in 1982), continues with the same themes as Farah and Ribe, although with a more methodological approach, studying the instant digital creations. The artist uses for example digital uv prints in his work, which create a strong visual layered effect: a good example of this is his recent series of paintings, Instapaint. Staniak studies digital strategies more within the framework of object making: even though he paints mostly by hand, by building texture with layers of plaster, his work end up resembling to digital prints, creating thus a modern trompe-l’oeil. This Australian artist had his major international breakthrough with his major solo exhibition earlier this year, Image DNA, at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles.

Hamishi Farah

Torben Ribe

Michael Staniak

Mon Chéri

Oscar Murillo – We Don’t Work Sundays

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

One of this summer’s must-see exhibitions in Paris is We Don’t Work Sundays at Marian Goodman Gallery, the third major solo exhibition of Oscar Murillo (born in La Paila, Colombia in 1986). This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in France: it continues with the same thematic as his previous shows at the South London Gallery and the Mistake Room in Los Angeles: the aesthetics of shared labor. The exhibition features also some of his new work, proposing thus a wide spectrum of the artist’s production: paintings, drawings on paper, sculptures and video projections.

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery


Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

The exhibition creates a strong relationship with leisure activities of working-class Colombians: Murillo has collaborated with several, distant social groups: a combination that has ended up in a strong encounter between social hierarchies, thus questioning the prevailing social codes and limits when it comes to creating and appropriating art and artistic practices.

The artist was recently interviewed by Cesar Garcia on this topic: “My life itself has been about labour and physicality, and manipulating materials in a physical way. Those experiences definitely inform my relationship to [art].… Regardless of the idea of segregated societies, via economic status or social class, we are segregated individuals by default. I think a lot about this and how art fits into it…Any opportunity of artistic achievement comes with an opportunity to infiltrate a social class that is closely linked to art–art making, art appreciating, etc. I personally entered foreign territory with these opportunities. Since then I’ve wanted other individuals to be part of this experience…”(L’Officiel Art, March 2014.)

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery


Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

This theme of labor and physicality is closely inherent to Murillo’s working method: his work is fundamentally linked to the gallery space, where he produces his work. For him, it’s not so much about leaving traces, but rather letting the work to mature on their own, at the same time being influenced by the workspace. In We Don’t Work Sundays, the first floor of the exhibition space is a strange, yet powerful mixture of physical playground and artist’s atelier. Coarse, harsh materials, works that doesn’t seem completely finished – yet a coherent, harmonious ensemble. In his collages and installations Murillo often integrates recycled materials, such as labels from food cans, and his paintings are realized with rich layers, signed by scrapes and stains – creating thus a wholly physical experience of making art.

When going downstairs, we are enfolded by a completely different world: several simultaneous projections are casting videos of Columbian people with their carnival festivities and music. A strong contrast is created in the middle of the exhibition space, which is occupied by traditional, regional Salsa dresses. This juxtaposition creates a strong dialogue with the initial theme: where do we draw the line between object-making purely for artistic practices, and the ones produced for leisure activities? This is also where the question on achievement and penetrating another social class become actual. Of course, these questions already came up with art brut, where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere, thus retracing artistic work, which is created from pure and authentic creative impulses.

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery

Oscar Murillo was born in La Paila, Colombia in 1986 before moving to London with his family aged 10. He graduated from Westminster University, obtained an MFA from the Royal College of Art, and currently lives and works in London.

In 2012 he organized the event The Cleaner’s Late Summer Party with Comme des Garçons at the Serpentine Gallery to which he invited people from the art world and members of London’s Colombian community. The same year Murillo was invited by the Rubell Family Collection in Miami to create a series of paintings entitled Work. Murillo has taken part in various international group exhibitions, the most recent of which was the first International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, 2014.

We Don’t Work Sundays at Marian Goodman Gallery until July 18th.

Alessandro Di Pietro – La table basse

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz


Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

La table basse. A long, twisted wooden table divides the bright exhibition space, leading the spectator to take a tour into the notions of deformity, monstrosity and anomaly. These are the leading concepts of the latest solo exhibition of Alessandro Di Pietro (born in 1987 in Messina, Italy) at Francesco Pantaleone Gallery in Milan. La table basse, curated by Simone Frangi, gathers the artist’s latest work, spanning from 2012 until 2014, having the common denominator of monstrosity: an age-old obsession in our society, both in its literal and mythic sense. Its traditional definition, based on the Latin word monstrosus, denotes to something outrageously evil or wrong, to something that deviates from what is standard, normal or expected.

Di Pietro doesn’t, however, content on studying these notions as what they stand for with their traditional definitions, but rather, he’s looking for answers regarding the practices inherent to them: the so-called standardization process. If, in a traditional sense, anomalies are tried to take under control, Di Pietro interests in the contradictory process: instead of trying to control, he wants the anomalies to (re)appear in his work. The artist seeks to find new anomalies with the help of the so-called artistic waste, which is created accidentally along with the main project. This reflects the philosophy of how the uncontrollable becomes a transversal factor fulfilling the work of art.

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz


Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

The exhibition gathers together prints, etchings on paper and steel, models of sculptures and maps, which represents the artist’s perceptive research and analytic comprehension of images and installations, developing thus a wholly pragmatic experience.

New Void – The Teazer, the artist’s latest production developed in 2013 at Dena Foundation in Paris, is based on the extracts selected from the film Enter the Void of Gaspar Noé. In this work, the images retrace the limits regarding digital (re)creation: this voyage represents a new possible interpretation of the film, being a performance already as itself, when the images were copied with a mobile scanner. This act creates two different kinds of subjectivities: on the hand, there is the hand and the scanner; on the other hand, there exists the relation between the movie and the movement. These steps together are reorganized in a completely new narration, thus creating a dialogue with the original system of narration, NEW VOID: The Movie. The artist’s use of a camera with a subjective point of view allows the audience to go through the physical experience of the body through various phases of perception following the trip of the main character of the original film, Oscar. Through Teazer, Di Pietro questions the idea of a traditional viewership, when creating a new documentation of the film, a new narration.

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz


Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

Courtesy of Alessandro Di Pietro and Francesco Pantaleone Palermo. Photo M. Beck Peccoz

This idea of “post-productions” is further developed through a book entitled Das Begleitbuch /The Guidebook KATALOG / CATALOG 4/3. During his sojourn in Kassel in 2012 at Documenta 13, the artist scanned, once again with the help of a mobile scanner, the works on display in the museum spaces, thus “stealing” the original pieces in their initial, well-defined context. This represents an activated strategy of profanation, a joke in the beginning, as the artist has defined it: once again, a side product, an artistic waste is developed in its own, independent work.

The final work around the table is Yuppi! And that’s enough!, produced in 2013 for the 16th edition of BJCEM (Biennale des jeunes créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée). It consists in a brassy plate, referring thus to the aesthetics of memorial plaques: it is carved with a narrative subject and a coat of arms. However, the rupture, the anomaly is created through the form of its narration: the text on the plate reveals to be an objective short story, which can be applied to a movie, to a theatre scene… This form of narration allows to re-organize the information, always ready for new interpretations and contexts, allowing thus to adjust them inside a new sign system and also define new context’s coordinates.

Francesco Pantaleone gallery

Painful Zombies Quickly Watch A Jinxed Graveyard

photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Behind this review there is a long story. I have been trying to see a gig of Lorenzo Senni since months, but for but astral adverse conditions, I never succeeded. Finding myself in Turin, I happened to note that Lorenzo would be performing at Cripta747, one of the most active cultural centers in the city, there was no time to waste. However, also this time I missed him, the gig was a few hours before the opening, at night, in the total darkness of the smelly basement of Cripta747, only for few close friends. Indeed in Turin there is always the risk that that kind of live, among the industrial warehouses of corso Novara, turns into an after party, which would mean, in a way, losing the essence of the concept of listening.

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Head of respected experimental label Presto!?, 
Lorenzo Senni produced one of the last couple of years most unique albums “Quantum Jelly”. His work explores the idea of the “buildup” found in euphoric dance music as a starting point to make a non-uplifting, 
more introspective piece that implicitly preserves its emotional tension and drama. The music often begins with one 
simple idea or musical pattern, forcing it into a sonic spiral of percussive, endlessly contagious, arpeggiated melodies. Lorenzo Senni, who coined the term “Pointillistic Trance” to define his approach, is described as 
a sadistic scientist that is ripping the spinal cord out of trance and dangling it in front of our eyes.

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Basically what I saw at the opening was a “day after” set up, ruins of an atmosphere created the night before. Two words are spoken simultaneously, in a double movement that brings about a shift in time. In Painful Zombies Quickly Watch A Jinxed Graveyard, the interactions between the practices of Richard Sides and Ian Law take place on a stage measured by the parameters of a code. Within the space of the exhibition, delimited by a screen of pleated bamboo, images evolve like tropical diseases. Inverting the idea of a reworking, that underlies Ian Law’s artistic process, the pieces function as residues of the future. Materials that accumulated in an empty flower shop in Sant’Ilario are transported in order to make room for the possibility of work. Underneath this slowed temporal surface, bathed in green light, performed narratives emerge in confrontation with the practice of Richard Sides.

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

Photo: Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano

The time-space of this triple encounter begins to strain at the seams, containing both the event of a hospitable crisis and that of hallucinatory contemplation. Painful Zombies Quickly Watch A Jinxed Graveyard is a pangram (Greek: παν γράμμα, pan gramma, “every letter”) or holoalphabetic sentence for a given alphabet, a sentence using every letter of the alphabet at least once. The viewer stands in a religious silence, listening to Lorenzo Senni’s recorded performance, looking at the dead flowers, contemplating the neon lights of the basement, the raw materials of the pieces against the walls, and the fragile flame on the ground in Ian Law’s work There was a body, I was there, was a body. (2014). The industrial space becoming metaphor of a new cult. Painful Zombies Quickly Watch A Jinxed Graveyard is curated by Almanac.

Cripta747 

 

 

Airbnb Pavilion – How is Airbnb changing architecture and the city?


airbnb

The Airbnb pavilion is an independent project taking place during the opening of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. It uses Airbnb as a paradigm to explore contemporary forms of domesticity.

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

In five years, Airbnb has re-purposed an unprecedented amount of architecture around the world. Everyone who has access to a house can now sell that access easily and safely. What used to be the fortress of the family and the individual is now a marketable asset in the economy, which leads to wonder whether the online marketplace for short-term lodging hasn’t changed the home for good.

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Today, Airbnb is a major actor of the much hoped-for ‘sharing economy’ but also remains an archetypal neo-liberal endeavour inviting all to be entrepreneurs of their own selves, financialising life at its core. Evolving on this ambiguous line, the Airbnb Pavilion critically engages with the corporations owning the means of our identity, providing the infrastructure for our everyday lives and redefining the private realm and private property.

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

The Pavilion is about the house, the home and today’s life as it is revealed by Airbnb. Taking place in Venetian apartments rented through Airbnb, the exhibition will feature a series of architecture projects and artworks focusing on the domestic. These works were selected in an attempt to tackle the status of housing in the post-Airbnb city and to examine how design responds to new conditions of lifestyle and inhabitation.

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

The Airbnb pavilion approaches the commodification of domesticity and its impact on the household, the transformations occurring in the city once its constitutive element has become a piece of hardware, and finally the responsibilities both corporations and governments have within this process. The Airbnb Pavilion is curated by architects Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela and Octave Perrault.

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Courtesy of Airbnb Pavillon

Airbnb Pavilion 

 

Somos Libres II – Works from the Mario Testino collection

Pinacotecaagnelli

I recently visited the exhibition “Somos Libres II”, at Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, a selection of works from the personal collection of Mario Testino, curated by Neville Wakefield. It is always fascinating to discover private collections and “Somos Libres II” features works including artists such as: Adriana Varejão, Andy Warhol, Tauba Auerbach, Richard Avedon, Ugo Rondinone and Cindy Sherman.

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

While the images that Mario Testino creates with the camera are known to the world, the art that he collects has remained largely private. “Somos Libres II” was presented for the first time in 2013 at MATE, Mario Testino’s cultural institution in Lima, Peru, exploring his interest in the works of established artists such as Richard Prince and Paul McCarthy alongside works by lesser-known and emerging artists from his native Peru.

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Within the space of the Pinacoteca, Testino’s own images are presented like the pages of a three-dimensional magazine. Vintage and classic photographs from Testino’s collection hang against the backdrop of his own photography. Here the currency of photography and its continual flux of likeness is surrounded and enclosed by work in the traditional mediums, that are at once more static in their trading of meaning.

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

Courtesy of Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli

The most impressive room is probably the final one: hung salon style, the paintings from the Mario Testino collection suggest a different form of contiguity. What they reveal is his personal taste in contemporary art, guided by art dealers like Sadie Coles. The cabinet is the essence of a collection at the interstices of Testino’s world, a place where excess, freedom and liberation from external constraints merge.

 Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli