The Workbench is reopening the exhibition Italian and British artists meet Milan presenting old and new works by Pennacchio Argentato, Enrico Boccioletti, Stefano Calligaro, James Clarkson, Ditte Gantriis, Nicholas Hatfull, Jacopo Miliani, Gianandrea Poletta, Gianni Politi and Dallas Seitz and curated by Pietro Di Lecce. An exhibition about global imagination simply questioning whether or not there are still distinguishing features identifying us with a single country. Is globalisation homogenising the customs of a community, erasing unique habits, rituals and lifestyles? We asked some of the Italian artists involved in the exhibition to throw light above this subject.
The dream of a European identity totally wasted is projected at the entrance through the video Angelo Azzurro, 2014, by Enrico Boccioletti. A poisoned “angelo azzurro”, cult Italian cocktail recipe, serving as suicidal gesture of a generation grown up raving in a voluntary autism. Each scenario is dedicated to a different suicidal individual, who comes to embody a statement of bold refusal to such fictional and made-up legacy of European supremacy. A work produced for #0000FF, non commercial online gallery, for which Boccioletti was originally invited to create a scenario in the post euro-fiasco state of mind. The video is projected next to Eurodanse/Euroblue 2013, a collage made of a scan of Matisse’s figures from La Danse, and of the twelve stars composing the European flag.
In front of it and opposite stands Self-Safari, 2015, Gianandrea Poletta’s reflection about the individual on two UV printed honeycomb panels, portraying aliens’ heads on different leaves’ backgrounds perceptible with light variations. The aliens are the representation of the “self” and at the same time of the “other than self”. Between contemporary symbols, classic patterns and a complex system of interpretation on several levels, Poletta’s new works are lately taking a very idealistic component addressed to reality abstraction, with the confluence of multiple philosophical questions, towards a 2k15 Piero della Francesca. In this sense, the work speaks as a sort of inner exploration, the interior space of one’s perceptions and emotions.
The flashy green work by Stefano Calligaro, a framed digital print of four ties on archival paper, is part of the series F**k S***s, 2015, and was previously presented at The Art Markets on a reggae dj set by Federico Chiari. Described by the artist as ermetic, a little bit surreal and 30% metaphysical F**k S***s continues on the flux of Calligaro’s discussion about the less exposed economic aspects which revolve our system. Writing and spending hours surfing between links of wikileaks, wikipedia, google and %%% trying to find hooks and connections between subjects such as language, food, ecology, subliminal messages, macaronismo, and stock market, Stefano Calligaro give us his socio-economical unidentified message, returning the original question to the curator of the exhibition.
Jacopo Miliani presents, in the right hall, three sculptures and a canvas. Works related to his series Ropes, 2015, objects that represent movement and try to stop it at the same time. A rope does not have a shape itself, if it’s not stretched, manipulated or dropped on the ground. His sculptures rise from the “prerogative” methodology of the artist’s manipulation: Miliani takes the rope, he immerse it into wax, and before it gets colder he impose to it an unnatural position. The canvas is instead made by tying a string on it, spraying it with a chrome paint and then removing the rope. Inevitably measured against the exhibition space, a former 1950s jewelry factory in Milan, Miliani’s work provide us a considerable example of contemporary Italian craftsmanship.