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.
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.
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.