Martina Bassi – A curved band, is a bend bang !

Tomorrow we are presenting at T.A.M. Martina Bassi’s work in situ: “A curved band, is a bend bang !”, born in Imola, 1988, Martina lives and works in Milan and collaborated closely with us on this project. What follows is a critical text of her work by Dario Giovanni Alì.

Couresy of Martina Bassi  and The Art Markets

Couresy of Martina Bassi and The Art Markets

“Perception is the first step to aquire knowledge and the instrument we need to represent (and understand) the environment. The sight is the sense that we rely on the most to gather data of the reality surrounding us. Martina Bassi’s research is based on these premises, starting from the studies on human’s visual processing of the informations aquired, to their decoding and interpretation by the brain’s activity. Each work is created through an act of observation. Martina selects and records an image of the reality and uses it as the foundation for the process of its decryption and redefinition, choosing simple subjects such as floors, landscapes and human faces. The image is recreated operating manually until it looses its original status. By doing so, the photographic data becomes a formal representation of our visual processes.

Couresy of Martina Bassi  and The Art Markets

Couresy of Martina Bassi and The Art Markets

The artworks aesthetic holds on rigid geometric shapes: framed in trapeziums, ovals and triangles, the images underline the unstable and mutable nature that characterizes them. The use of a frame, or a base structure, reveals to be functional in balancing on visual terms a subject that continuosly slips away from any form of stability or permanent placement. Each work is the result of a game of opposed tensions and continuous imbalances. In Mosaicperspective (2014), the artist’s sign isn’t detectable from the image below. This kind of illusion is obtained through a considerable physical effort and hours of work. The thick layers of lines create a movement along the image, perceptible to the observer as a sort of vibration. Quite the opposite, the heavy base on which is placed imposes itself to the eye as a solid figure. Then again, observing the ramp from a precise point of view, the physical object is turned into a two dimensional image: we’re not in front of a mere reproduction of an objective reality, instead we’re facing a rational reconstruction of it from a specific human perspective.

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

In Serie di paesaggi (2014), the sign fulfills an opposite role: it defines and limits the view, outlining the objects. During those visual experiments, the eyes struggle to follow a precise direction, and whether to look at the image or its frame: the dual system of opposite perspectives bewilders the viewer. The heavy frame fixes and closes the movement produced by the blurry image. The eyesight is confused by this illusionary game of contrasting forces, only to be bounced back against a wall of hand traced lines. The act in itself of visually perceiving the reality is put into question, and so our ability to gather knowledge. Her artworks expose the changeability of the visual perception, but also bringing to light the variety of possibilities that the object alone could not allow. Perceiving the world therefore stands for a continuous reconstruction.

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

In Self-portrait with Alberto (2014), Martina’s research is open for the first time to a relational dimension. The object of the series isn’t focused on the world surrounding us anymore, it’s rather centered on the human counterpart. The results of this study is a visual summary of what two individuals perceive of one another. Through the sign, here the artist conjoints the interception points of lines from two faces that look at each other. In this manner, the perception of one individual is reduced and formally assimilated to the perception of the other. Martina Bassi’s works, progressively reducing and revealing, present the accuracy of ascientific model, each time put at test, verified or even denied, as it happens with the site- specific work A curved band, is a bend bang! (2015), created inside the bookshop The Art Markets, in Milano. Here the artist opens a new phase of her research. The linearity analysed in her previous works leaves space to a study of the curvature, formalized in a structure that represents a reproduction on a scale of 1:1 in a corner of the bookshop floor.

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Modelled in a curvilinear structure, the work directs the gaze back and forth, from one curve to another, as inviting it nor to rest or slow its movement. In this case, the artist has listened to the requirements of the space she was confronted with. The context, strongly defined – completely different from a white cube – has acted towards a very specific direction in her work, that of a radical loss of weight (physical, and consequently visual). Starting from a surface that imposes itself to our gaze, the artist has obtained an agile and dynamic shape, through a procedure of summary and subtraction that involves even the chromatic range. For every color tone, it has been computed an average, from which a common denominator has been extracted and included within the structure with the use of crayons. The rigorous combination of geometric shapes of the original object has been distorted by the curvy, handmade artist sign. As with Mosaicperspective, here the photographic image and the manual work are not discernible.

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Courtesy of Martina Bassi

Although in this case, the function carried out by the frame – disappeared from the structure – is executed instead by the bookshop space, configured as a border land between artwork and the outer reality. The visitor is projected in an immersive place that is not out of the artwork, and not entirely inside of it, in a hypotetical doorway regulated by two opposite forces: from one side the solid stability of a physical space, on the other the lightness of a shape that is perceived almost as fluid because of its instability. The doorway is a limit zone that connects and distances the two places at the same time, it can depict an entrance as well as a gateway, depending on the placement established by the subject. Through her work, the artist has managed to create a new and potential place beginning with a real and already existing one. In addition to her usual overlap of signs and prints, this time she’s added an overlap of spaces – the real and the potential one – with no more traceable boundaries. The perception of the detail of a place has launched a process of its complete recoding and reconstitution”.

Dario Giovanni Alì

Advertisements

Busted on the hot spots – Cali Thornhill DeWitt

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Multidisciplinary artist, Cali DeWitt runs the independent record label Teenage Teardrops, together with his wife Jenna Thornhill DeWitt they also have the photography blog Witch Hat. I learned about DeWitt’s works last year, in occasion of a series of photos he worked on, for an interview I wrote for REVS magazine. Born in Canada, 1973, Cali Thornhill DeWitt lives and works in Los Angeles. We both collaborated closely with Danish label Posh Isolation on various endeavors: he has directed numerous music videos, recently the one for Danish band Iceage. Several books on his work have been published, the most recent one, Grave Yard came out in late 2014 on And Press. Plus, he has recently had exhibitions at Big Love, Tokyo, Human Resources, Los Angeles and Muddguts in New York.

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

The duality of the piece is typical for Cali Dewitt’s practice juxtaposing imagery culled from the internet and other archival sources with word plays lifted from news headlines, spam mail, advertising slogans, street lingo, mundane phrases and a myriad of other influences. Diverting messages such as: GLORY HOLE combined with a photo of a bullet hole, RAPID DECLINE in combination with an image of a beautiful bouquet of lilies, NATIONAL ANTHEM combined with a sequence of images from the Rodney King beating, BUILD MORE JAILS juxtaposed against an eerily beautiful image of the Hollywood Hills burning and SMELL THE ROSES in combination with a flock of B52 planes dropping their payload of death. The exhibition explains immediately the concept of “A subversive and heartfelt result, with a strong signature aesthetic equally punk, internet banner and realtor” mentioned in the press release.

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Busted On The Hot Spots is Cali DeWitt’s first exhibition with V1 Gallery. Strong imagery that we have grown accustomed to is re-contextualized among the meatpacking walls of Copenhagen. The broken American dream in Europe. An exhibition defined as “immersing”, reflecting a complex and fragmented world, that instead of fostering first world apathy or nihilism, induces defiance and hope in the visitors. In the same tradition as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, John Giorno and the late great Mike Kelly, Cali DeWitt’s works offer reflection, social critique and engagement. Strategies from advertising and breaking news that we know and are almost immune to, are turned so that each message and work stand out with lasting urgency.

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

Courtesy of Cali Thornhill Dewitt and V1 Gallery

V1 Gallery

Teenage Teardrops

We are Starving for Language and Neologisms

Alice Ronchi, I giardini di Henry, 2012 - Courtesy of the artist and Francesca Minini

Alice Ronchi, I giardini di Henry, 2012 – Courtesy of the artist and Francesca Minini

– Hi?
– Halo!
– Halo!!
– Pronto!
– Pronto?
– Satoshi??
– ‘you there?!


Satoshi Nakamoto: believed to be in possession of roughly one MILLION bitcoins.
and Not only

if just Miners would keep the block chain consistent

New Yorker’s Joshua Davis claimed to have narrowed down its identity
to a number of possible individuals:
The Finnish economic sociologist Vili Lehdonvirta
The Irish student Michael Clear,
And a graduate student in cryptography at Trinity College Dublin

Clear strongly denied he was Nakamoto, as did Lehdonvirta

Alice Ronchi, We are all astronauts, 2013 (on-going) - Courtesy of the artist

Alice Ronchi, We are all astronauts, 2013 (on-going) – Courtesy of the artist


– Satoshi??
– Pronto!
– Prontoooo!!

Pressure is squared, and in Switzerland breakfast typically includes
bread butter marmalade honey cheese plus milk, cold or hot chocolate
tea or coffee

Depending on what people had for lunch, dinner can be a full main
course or just some bread cheese dried meat or any other light meal:
Beer is not included
a peer-to-peer system in which users can transact directly with no
need of intermediary.
It can be considered a language, a cryptocoded passage to Nature from
the geopolitical boarders of Space!

Alice Ronchi, We are all astronauts, 2013 - Courtesy of the artist

Alice Ronchi, We are all astronauts, 2013 – Courtesy of the artist


-Mr Nakamoto!
– ‘you there?!

The rounded shape of baskets: Coins, pieces of hard material used
primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender – standardized in
weight and produced in large quantities to facilitate trade

DIAMETERS! That’s what Mr Nakamoto invented! the measures of galaxies,
the circumference of white SOFT goat cheese!

and a wide range of flavours textures and forms manipulated by
Academics and Students
to entertain the audience! PICKERS

transpositions teleportations penetrations restorations levitations
mental magic!
Mr N has the tendence to re-shape analog signals in theoretical
delights by Palming Sleeving Lapping: -WE-ARE-

Alice Ronchi, Colazione sull'erba, 2014 - Courtesy of the artist and Francesca Minini

Alice Ronchi, Colazione sull’erba, 2014 – Courtesy of the artist and Francesca Minini


The French Drop

T-F-D units applied as measures in neo-futuristic architectures =
Dymaxion cars ALL around! highways streets suburbs thoughts and
domestic activities!

prototypes of rounded structures, innovative features revolving
dresser drawers into foreward thinking, words and shapes designed to
be delivered in cylindrical packages:
SAETTE sucked by circular concrete footing and pronounced as ZAETTEN


-WE-ARE-STARVING-FOR-LANGUAGE-AND-NEOLOGISMS

AWKWARD

Alice Ronchi, Turchino, 2014 - Courtesy of the artist

Alice Ronchi, Turchino, 2014 – Courtesy of the artist


Dialects are in control of our 12 dimensions: collegano gli estremi
delle nostre particelle verbali in scatole tipografiche immense! come
a dire: EYEBROWS!! there is a lot of mystery surrounding geometry, not
only: THERE IS A lot of mystery surrounding

“pure genius”: different time zones: the Caribbean and South America
are possibilities as well

But the most well-known speculations are standing: primary colours and
identities, the Mr N
mustache and the T-F-D global shaping. The perfect pois on the fur of
a dalmatian dog and the stripes of a zebra, wallnuts and nuts – the
metal ones not the “it nuts!” so-on and so-on –
Nature is not as geometrical as we are used to suppose, it’s more like
a 3d-scanned
banana-skin casted in gold, or the rectangular contour of blue-coated
forests re-shaped on shining yellow DO**ar bills.


– Satoshi??
– Pronto!
– Prontoooo!!!!

Dinner is ready!!

 

Bruno Pélassy

When starting my visit to Bruno Pélassy’s exhibition at Crédac, my expectations were quite straightforward: a retrospective homage to the late artist, together with a documentation of the decade surrounding Pélassy – this was the sketch in my head. However, the curatorial practice realised by Claire Le Restif with the use of space turned the ensemble into something much more: under the seeming superficiality, the exhibition’s final seduction finds itself embedded in multiple surfaces, thus revealing an ambivalent study of encoded cultural and historic references.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Bruno Pélassy didn’t receive a formal artist training: instead he finished his degree in clothing and jewellery design. This stands out often in his works, with a recurrent use of haute couture and jewellery: the series entitled “Créatures” (2000-2001), features organisms trapped in aquariums, adorned with strips of silk and lace. These elements go far beyond their accessory status with a careful study of shapes and movements: a restful optical movement, yet never-ending in a confined space. Pélassy’s style is often quoted first and foremost as baroque and romantic: what I found impressive is the artist’s pertinent observation of the surrounding world, be it mythology, popular culture, religions and cults. These elements were central to Pélassy, and come full circle in the exhibition, where the artist’s work composes an ambivalent poetics of life and death.

For Pélassy, the study of mythology served as a starting point to reflect the surrounding world as a value system: from an excerpt of Hesiod’s Theogony to a sculpture imitating Medusa’s head, the artist explored widely the origins of the universe, mirrored against his deeply personal experience. “Le Temple” (1994-1995) is a great example of this: a piece of wooden sculpture adorned with artisanal details, accompanied by a poem entitled “Nocete Ipsum”, which is a derivation of ancient Greece meaning “Know yourself“. The poem itself mixes expressions in French, English and Latin together with material and erotic evocations and prophetic adages. The temple, shaped in a form of an altar, echoes the troubling cultural background of the artist himself, wresting with chaos and multiple identities, the ones given and created.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

The exhibition offers an instinctive transition from the personal space of the artist to the broader framework: it outlines a testimony of an episode of history, the one of a fractured decade. Deeply affected not only by a political, social and economic crisis, the artist also drew widely inspiration from popular culture and its cultural codifications. The video entitled “Sans titre, Sang titre, Cent titres” (1995) forms the central piece in the second room. It offers an ongoing projection of a VHS tape, consisting of extracts of recorded documentaries, films and publicities. The support of the record turns simultaneously into a channel of diffusion: the work represents at once its own device of destruction and recreation. In many ways, the exhibition ends up mirroring the artist as a fractured subject and object, while the ensemble turns to a study of a construction of artist identities.

Through his work Pélassy provided also seeds of a social protest: his production reveals to be very grounded in the social reality of his time. His works play an organic role in the critical play, the one constructed at Crédac’s space. The artistic figure of Pélassy reveals to be peculiar for his time: at once, his works are in the very heart of socially engaged action, that one could define as relational aesthetics. However, Pélassy’s choice lies on imaginary and utopian realities instead of opting for realistic direction. This is also explicit through a careful combination of different media employed by the artist: installations, videos, sketches, the use of manufactured and utilitarian objects together with the work on exquisite material… These highly diverse materials and works are put into a perfect composition in the space, which develops the exhibition into a mnemonic itinerary.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

Photo: © André Morin / le Crédac. Courtesy: Air de Paris, Paris.

It is interesting that this exhibition devoted to Pélassy’s work and life finds itself at Crédac, a center of contemporary art – Pélassys’s exhibition being the first retrospective one at the center. This choice reveals to be a powerful one, when the work of Pélassy succeeds in imposing its presence at Crédac’s industrial site: the entity is not only a documentation of the work of Pélassy, but manages to be in a constant reconstruction, a (re)making of the artist. Even though the works on display gather together ten years of artistic production, the approach towards his work refuses to be a historic one: instead, it leaves the artist’s body of work open-ended and attached to our time.

The Crédac, with the able assistance of Marie Canet, Air de Paris and Pélassy’s family, presents a monographic show devoted to the French artist Bruno Pélassy, running through 22 March, 2015. The artist was born in Vientiane, Laos, in 1966, he died in Nice, in 2002. His work is represented by Air de Paris, Paris. Realized with the support of the artist’s family, the project brings together several art venues, Crédac, Passerelle Centre d’art contemporain in Brest (7 February – 2 May 2015), the Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon in Sète (autumn 2015) and Mamco (Musée d’art moderne et contemporain) in Geneva (February 2016), for a series of exhibitions devoted to Bruno Pélassy and his work.

Bruno Pélassy

Le Crédac

Air de Paris