In september, the start of the new season was celebrated in the wide space of Ventura XV, Lambrate, Milan, with Keep It Real, a self-produced project, managed in every aspect by the artists: Alis/Filliol, Luca De Leva, Andrea De Stefani, Helena Hladilová, Invernomuto, Diego Marcon, Giovanni Oberti, Gianandrea Poletta, Namsal Siedlecki, along with Vittorio Rappa (fundraising and logistics) and Daniel Sansavini (graph). The idea for the exhibition was born a couple of months ago, without long premeditation: Andrea De Stefani and Namsal Siedleck both had the desire to deal in a practical manner and on a common space with other artists, so they moved their ass to realize this intention. They spread the proposal to their peers and what had started as a private chat, turned into a chorus of nine artists. Keep it Real is a slogan born in the suburbs of American cities and spread since the 80s through the voices of oldschool mc’s and rappers. It is a reminder that, in an hyperbolic mood, invites to authenticity, to keep our feet on the ground, and to live in a pragmatic way.
Now that the exhibition’s doors are closed, it’s time for reviews, and Keep it Real seems to be like a message read and understood by all the artists involved in this collective project, even in the most ironic nuances. Each of them dealt with the experience of everyday life in a similar way, as active interpreter and keen observer of sensible reality. Each artist was constantly immersed in facts, landscapes, circumstances, forms, specific behaviors of the everyday, without filter: for instance, people who prefer to dive belly and then resurface the head. As a result, the works in the exhibition were multiform projections of an analysis which took place on a common ground. The aggregation of personality preceded the choice of the works: there wasn’t any previously established critical path through specific productions, the show has been built up step by step, on free and individual proposals. In order to reduce costs, the collective tried to involve friends and various stakeholders in an exchange of contributions. In a nutshell, a small cooperative making the project work.
Diego Marcon, presented: “The Nap” and “The Phone Call”, 2014, two triptychs made of vinyl stickers applied on windows, thus creating two big screens activated by natural light, in concomitance with his new publication, a collection of 38 self-contained episodes, entitled: “A Script for Dick”, and published by CuraBooks. Gianandrea Poletta, usually working with iconic products, in “Moonwalk Pro”, 2014, managed to have a sponsorship by Nike, in order to present his rotating Nike Air Huarache, which will be visible again at the upcoming edition of Artissima contemporary art fair. Namsal Siedlecki, for his work: “Gomba Kalap”, 2014, met one of the last old craftsmen producing mushroom leather in Transylvania, a material similar to suede, obtained by the processing of a particular fungus. Siedlecki learned the procedure of making a hunting hat, and the craftman greeted him with enthusiasm in his small house in a forest where they spent three days together, time needed to go through the manufacturing stages. The formula of arrangements with companies and artisans in the production of the works, definitely seems to be a valid and repeatable experiment.