Uranium Shower – Max Hooper Schneider at High Art

Following the solo exhibition of Max Hooper Schneider at High Art, Anna Solal writes about Natural Theatre of Violent Succession.

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Painted in black, the Parisian gallery High Art welcomes the works – mostly sculptures in movement – of L.A. based artist Max Hooper Schneider. His baroque, disastrous dioramas are presented through a slot machine, an aquarium and a mundane dishwasher – commodities that essentially serve the purpose of making our life more comfortable and entertaining. Hooper Schneider, who often uses living leeches, beluga mussels or freshwater snails in his works, highlights here the creation of tropical and swampy settings, illuminated by chaotic multicolor fluorescent lights in the spirit of Jason Rhoades.

The environment is destroyed but not dead: whereas rotten bits and parts are swarming, the vegetation is growing and diversifying. When sliding a coin inside the slot machine, one might have the chance to meet a big gesticulating cockroach, reading us the future through its crystal ball. The work Cold War Dishwasher (Uranium Glass), a washing machine with an interior as black as night, is occupied by a colony of minuscule fish, still alive, whirling around fluorescent tableware, which sheds light on them. The cylindrical form of champagne glasses and lemon squeezer reminds us of domes – of toxically radiated, dismantled architecture. This familiar object – a washing machine – ends up resembling more of a small, pathetic bunker plunged into obscurity.

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art


Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

In the masterpiece Existenz which resembles the series Z, the vision of the future paradoxically confronts a return towards the archaic and muddy past, where technological mutations lead to game boys which take the shape of cyst. In the work of Max Hooper Schneider, prehistoric and repulsive insects proliferate: woodlouse, beetles, amphibians of every sort, construct their viscous installations.

In the middle of the exhibition space, we can find a small android coming alive, with its altered, dusty and metallic body. In contrast to a work of DIS, it is not an image print of Wall-E made in Pixar and suspended in a whiteness dominated by the language found in publicities, but more like a residue resulting from an experimentation, something extracted from the sticky floor. This unproductive and forgotten machine, blinks its eyes painfully, feeling dazed of finding itself here: visibly desiring to survive, whereas further away, suspicious sky blue liquid is running in a washbasin.

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art


Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

The abstract drawings suspended from chains differ from each other, whereas the meticulous character of pastel patterns is repeated: even though those with less geometry alludes to the works of the Swiss artist-healer Emma Kunz who interests in telepathy. This interest to mix the artistic practice together with scientific one, was initiated by Art & Technology program set up by LACMA at the end of the sixties. With another work of Max Hooper Schneider, shown at the Californian fair Paramount Ranch, however not present in this exhibition, the visitors could approach a pink coffin, whose interior revealed a recreated marine environment composed of turtles, fish and crayfish. The floor of these installations is burned, inundated but fertile. Between the mutant installations of Alisa Baremboym and the pop spirit of Michele Abeles, the artist spreads the idea that in the world, which is no longer populated by humans, life goes on.

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art


Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

Courtesy of the artist and Hight Art

High Art

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Tenombra – Nico Vascellari at Marsèlleria

Courtesy the artist Photo: Carola Merello

Courtesy the artist – Photo: Carola Merello

Marsèlleria and Nico Vascellari joined forces one more time as the artist was invited to take over the exhibition space for a night with Tenombra which provided an intense preview into the groundwork of the artist’s new works and processes presented for the first time in Milan. Operating as an experimental space open to the public, the passage through the contra-distinct floors of Marsèlleria is an intense and evolutionary trip into the psyche of the artist.

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Courtesy the artist and Marsèlleria Photo: Carola Merello

Upon entrance, we are welcomed into the first part of the space through a metallic representation of transition between night and day with Earthrise. As the lucid play of lights go on, the audience is confronted with Imperlato di rugiada which has a funerary manifestation due to the nature of the work. Placed on the floor, the cremated raven is a contradistinctive perspective to the rules of nature – a concept which has always been prominent in Vascellari’s works.

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Courtesy the artist – Photo: Carola Merello

As the audience leads its way to get a more in-depth understanding of the source of the noise surrounding the exhibition, they are confronted with a room of darkness. In link with Vascellari’s artistic route in sync with musicality, the sound coming from foxes as they have intercourse becomes an integral part of Tenombra. Paradoxical with the nature of the space itself, the stairs lead to a rather ambiguous travel into the wilderness which is intense, violent and monotonous at the same time.

Courtesy the artist - Photo: Carola Merello

Courtesy the artist – Photo: Carola Merello

The top floor of the space holds in display three other works which carry a certain degree of romance underneath inside its radicalism. The tension created through the bronze funnel Giving birth to something dead which leads its way through the glass creates a strong synthesis of all that is involved: the artist, the viewer, the space and the “outside world”. Placed on the wall, When the light takes us is also a strong link with Vascellari’s connections with music as they create an atmosphere resembling the outskirts of the artist’s hometown – Vittorio Veneto – through the combination of “Burzum” t-shirts that were placed together the day before the exhibition.

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Courtesy the artist – Photo: Carola Merello

Tenombra works perfectly as a representation of the artist’s processes which are far away from static. With the utilization of diverse methodologies, perceptions and materials the artist guides us through a multi-layered environment that is in unconditional harmony with the physical characteristics of the space. There is movement, there is change and there is an intense narrative all around through which the visitors are invited into making their own associations. Not all surreal worlds last long but as long as they do only some succeed in becoming as real as this one.

Marsèlleria

Color my life with the chaos of trouble

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice

The inaugural exhibition of Clima gallery, Color my life with the chaos of trouble, takes place in an off-site space, in the area of Fonderia Artistica Battaglia. This show, organized by Francesco Lecci and Giovanna Manzotti, proposes a dialogue with the city’s historical place where, since 1913, artists like Giuseppe Penone and Arnaldo Pomodoro have molded their sculptures. The artists proposed for this exhibition, ongoing until the 20th of November, are Jason Gomez (American, born 1986), Matteo Nasini (Italian, born 1976) and Alberto Scodro (Italian, born 1984).

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice


Matteo Nasini, Sogno della giungla, 2015. Photo Elena Radice

Matteo Nasini, Sogno della giungla, 2015. Photo Elena Radice

An acrylic wool yarn rainbow by Matteo Nasini traverse the whole exhibition space, starting from and ending up in the windows. Two wooden planks – again wrapped with wool yarn – look like pieces fallen down from that rainbow, living now their own silent lives acquiring their proper colors. Glazed ceramic boards express the form of a creamy jungle, full of wild palms. A couple of painted ceramic drops stand on a wall close to each other, as lost feathers of a flying bird.

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice


 Jason Gomez, Secrets secret, 2014. Photo Elena Radice

Jason Gomez, Secrets secret, 2014. Photo Elena Radice

Jason Gomez presents a series of wet-transfers on plaster, stealing the original images from different seed boxes, like the basil plant’s one. Moreover, white and blue cyanotypes on cotton rag paper includes layers of flowers and different kind of paper’s sheets. A lonely sculpture made out of a mold in plaster derives from a previous one born from tying expanded polyurethane, making it look like cured meat.

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice

Installation view. Photo Elena Radice


Jason Gomez, Susanne, 2014. Photo Elena Radice

Jason Gomez, Susanne, 2014. Photo Elena Radice

Sand casts with glass and pigments are Alberto Scodro’s works, resembling flat or stratified slices extracted from most particular grounds, reflecting the colors of the season. Two small pieces stay anchored on a consumed chair’s seatback, appearing like lost rubbles dragged from the bottom of the sea. The artwork sticks on the exhibition space’s wall, as if thrown there like a boomerang. Again the same wrecks perception comes from a small, jars and light bulb molds, sculpture.

Alberto Scodro, Base, 2015. Photo Elena Radice

Alberto Scodro, Base, 2015. Photo Elena Radice


Alberto Scodro, Chair, 2015. Photo Elena Radice

Alberto Scodro, Chair, 2015. Photo Elena Radice

Clima gallery is owned and directed by Francesco Lecci, former gallery assistant at Fluxia gallery, who now lives between Milan and New York – where he co-runs a space, Room Service. The Milanese gallery’s main space is located in via Stradella 5.

Clima gallery Fonderia Battaglia Roomservice gallery

ALT – Cripta747

Private collection - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Private collection – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

In occasion of Artissima Fair, Cripta747 curated ALT, a four days show at Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, a group show including works by Ugo Alessio, Giulio Delvè, Jason Dodge, Daniel Faust, Gianni Ferrero Merlino, Birgit Megerle, Bruce Nauman, Kirsten Pieroth, Man Ray, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Lawrence Weiner, Italo Zuffi. Cripta747 members thought about the changes that have affected the city in the last twenty years, how they have been conceived as a vector of progress and improvement. The reclamation of abandoned areas, the transformation of neighborhoods, squares and of all the places we live in, change the relationship with the city and our perception of it. This new vision seems to be a fundamental legacy of the transformation process, a characteristic likely connected with architecture but definitely immaterial. They have imagined a landscape of moments in which the presence, absence of human being, the main protagonist of this change, is highlighted.

Private collection - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Private collection – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy of the artist - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy of the artist – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

The space between the works and the contents are organized to return an unresolved and smoky picture, a corollary of clues that are not yet able to make a proof. An ongoing investigation. Intimately torn between progress and preservation, we face a feeling of loss and inadequacy, sometimes even of anger, while the things around us change, and sometimes we happily welcome the news. In this impasse, and in this desire to deal with a doubt, we are thinking of physical and immaterial, reality and fiction, logic, poetry and so forth, pulled first on one side and then on the other. Ugo Alessio’s Torino is a naturalistic work, focal point of the main entrance; in the former bar of the Caserma stands an imaginary portrait of the city, made in 1950, an intense and evocative landscape drawn with pastels, and lately purchased by Cripta747 as part of their permanent collection. Italo Zuffi’s Gli Ignari (The Unsuspecting), 2013, consists of a double series of handmade friendly ceramic pods, lined up and hung on two walls of the Caserma, with two MP3 players and speakers, regularly whistling and apparently carefree, flaunting tranquility during the visitors’ passage.

Courtesy of Galleria Fonti - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy of Galleria Fonti – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy of the artist - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy of the artist – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Birgit Megerle’s Altglas and Female Pleasure, 2012, focus on the perception of the status of women in the history of painting. Influenced by traditional feminist thought, from recent speeches about gender representation, Megerle’s work subverts the stereotype of the objectified body through iconic reproduction techniques of the object. PatrickTuttofuoco’s work stems from the need to deal with the changes in the urban context, mutations in consumption, and the permeability of the art system. In this sense the mask Charles, 2009, and the Untitled neon, 2014, are a narrative dynamic created using symbols from everyday life, and filling them with different qualities and thus investigating the processes of cultural change today. Daniel Faust collects museum photographs since 1980, museum about the most popular and disparate themes, like in this case, the photos from Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum (Phoenix) 1992, Musee Valentin Hauy, (Paris) 1991 and Musei Vaticani (Roma) 1998. There is no morality in the vision installed in this former billiards room. Faust snaps in the museum, choosing a detail that a visitor may have noticed as incomprehensible, ridiculous, inadequate, inconsistent or excessive; or nice, but for “other” reasons.

Courtesy Galleria Norma Mangione - Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Courtesy Galleria Norma Mangione – Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

- Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

– Alt, curated by Cripta747, Circolo Sottufficiali dei Carabinieri Caserma Ettore De Sonnaz, Turin

Bruce Nauman’s Violent Incidents, 1986, continually puts on stage the theme of the rise of passion in all its forms. The tranquility of a casual dinner, but trivial, is suddenly interrupted by an escalation of violence. The hypnotic repetition of gestures unnecessarily cruel and destructive, that is both seductive and alienating, is transferring aggression in an eternal present. Nauman’s work originates from frustration and anger resulting from a reflection on the human condition, about the miscommunication between individuals and how people refuse to understand others. Room by room we also saw works by Giulio Delvè, Jason Dodge, Kirsten Pieroth, Man Ray and Gianni Ferrrero Merlino, then we finally arrived at the ballroom, that opens up on a terrace on the courtyard where a Lawrence Weiner’s piece is installed: Passed Over. Over passed, 1971. Weiner uses the word radically as  primary expressive medium, producing works in the form of short sentences that interact with a given space, whether it is an exhibition or a public space.

Cripta747

FRANTI, FUORI! – Diego Marcon at Careof

Diego Marcon, Untitled (Head falling 05), 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Diego Marcon, Untitled (Head falling 05), 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

When visiting Diego Marcon’s FRANTI, FUORI!, disquieting shades and shapes can already be discerned on the doorstep. When adjusting my gaze in the darkness, I get a feeling that this exhibition is neither in need of visitors, nor of their approving look. The world of cinema has borrowed its guise for the exhibition, where I can first distinguish a set of film projectors, standing aloof in the darkness, proposing an eternal loop. I realize there is no guided path provided in this exhibition, no anticipatory narrative present: the elements in the space are standing on their own, developing eventually into sculptural proposals.

Diego Marcon, FRANTI, FUORI!, exhibition view 2015. Photo: Edoardo Pasero. Courtesy the artist.

Diego Marcon, FRANTI, FUORI!, exhibition view 2015. Photo: Edoardo Pasero. Courtesy the artist.

Diego Marcon, FRANTI, FUORI!, exhibition view 2015. Photo: Alessandro Nassiri. Courtesy of the artist.

Diego Marcon, FRANTI, FUORI!, exhibition view 2015. Photo: Alessandro Nassiri. Courtesy of the artist.

Upon entering the space I can find a gnome statue, whose posture is something reminiscent of a crucifixion: surrender or a failure are inevitably the first things coming to my mind. Yet, this outdoor garden gnome, in its extra-large format, is not stealing the spotlight: it is placed in the darkness, as if in the background of the ongoing show. This obscure figure provides some key elements of this uncanny universe: having access to nooks and hidden motives, it becomes the manifestation of the unconsciousness, but also, of mistakes of nature – something apart.

Diego Marcon, Untitled (Head falling 01), 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Diego Marcon, Untitled (Head falling 01), 2015. Courtesy the artist.

Four films on loop, animations on ink and scratches on film, are projected on the surrounding walls. In Untitled– Head falling 01; 02; 04; 05 (2015) abstract, yet organic figures in movement appear: these animated portraits find themselves on the verge of falling asleep and subsequently, of waking up – over and over again. Loud noise fulfilling the space belongs to the fifth film, Untitled (All pigs must die): an extract from Winnie-the-Pooh film, suggesting once again a scene of falling asleep and waking up. The moment is lingering somewhere in between consciousness and unconsciousness: when awake, are we only able to reach fragments of real(ity)?

View of the installation, Careof, Milano, IT. Photo: Alessandro Nassiri. Courtesy the artist.

View of the installation, Careof, Milano, IT. Photo: Alessandro Nassiri. Courtesy the artist

View of the installation, Careof, Milano, IT. Photo: Edoardo Pasero. Courtesy of the artist.

View of the installation, Careof, Milano, IT – Photo: Edoardo Pasero. Courtesy of the artist

FRANTI, FUORI! results from a period of residency at Careof. When 7000 videos are at hand, the possibility for exhaustion seems plausible: images become worn and fatigue appears. The focus is turned towards the ontological idea of the archive: here, the artist doesn’t reveal their secrets, but rather, by embracing the mysterious and uncanny dimension of archives and using them as a backdrop, his work gives form to a new hidden element. The exhibition embodies a figure, or rather a feeling, which is detached, out of place, out of time.

Careof Diego Marcon

Lisa Dalfino at Fanta Spazio

installation view - Courtesy of Fanta

Installation view – Courtesy of the artist and Fanta Spazio, Milan. Photo: Roberto Marossi

The inauguration of Fanta Spazio in the beginning of October marked another really interesting spot on the map of Milan, a new space refreshing and contributing to the city’s younger art scene. Situated in the northeast side of the city, the space occupies a typical, although usually uncanny location underneath one of the arches of the elevated railway that spreads into the city as branches of a tree.

A grand metal door gives access to a single room underneath a very tall ceiling; the surface is almost doubled by a mezzanine, which plays along with the idea of a studio flat, but makes it also interesting for the visitor to move in the space and adopt different perspectives to look at the works.

Installation View - Courtesy of Fanta Spazio

Installation View – Courtesy of the artist and Fanta Spazio, Milan. Photo: Roberto Marossi

Senza - Courtesy of Fanta Spazio

Senza titolo, 2015 – Lisa Dalfino, Courtesy of the artis and Fanta Spazio, Milan. Photo: Roberto Marossi

The debut exhibition of Fanta Spazio is the first solo show of Lisa Dalfino. The work “Progetto per una fontana” occupies the central spot with its intense blue color and grainy consistency, revealing itself as an abstraction from distance of the shape of the Pacific Ocean, where a little statue of a girl is riding a whale into this vast surface. Only a step away from this “pond” of crystallized minerals, some strange sculptures stand alone in their whiteness over the grayness of the floor. Only when carefully looked at they are revealed as little snowmen, and only if you are told, you realize that the methodical work consists of molding these figures from actual snow-made snowmen, thus saving their shapes and destiny from melting into the ground.

Bobby con Esperanza, 2012-2015 - Lisa Dalfino. Courtesy of Fanta

Bobby con Esperanza, 2012-2015 – Lisa Dalfino. Courtesy of the artist and Fanta Spazio. Photo: Roberto Marossi

Senza titolo, 2015 - Lisa Dalfino. Courtesy of Fanta

Senza titolo, 2015 – Lisa Dalfino. Courtesy of the artist and Fanta Spazio. Photo: Roberto Marossi

Maybe, the works on the ground level of the exhibition are unified in the idea of a fixed form of the fluidity of water. In fact, “-15” is supposedly the temperature at the time when Lisa Dalfino caught a frozen lake and drew a frottage directly on the surface.

Accessing the second level of the space through a steep staircase, the whole arched wall is absorbed by a large XIX century painting that was restored by the artist. It opens a window into a darkened, frightening and romantic landscape. In its premises, there is a statue of a girl riding a disproportionally big dog into a corner.

Finally, a couple of ceramic statues, secluded and solitary, are dancing on a molten rock.

Going on about the mythical and fictional nature of these works is an excellent exercise, which can be triggered also by what the founders of Fanta Spazio Alessio Baldissera, Gloria De Risi and Alberto Zenere have written for the exhibition:

Once out of the small and deep hole, the wind slammed her face so hard that she had to cling onto the soft fur of her faithful companion, which she had by now come to know by heart.

Inevitably, she thought of all they had faced to arrive there.

Her mind went back to that afternoon when her father returned from a long trip with a small porcelain figurine; how in the darkness of her room, she could not get to sleep because she was distracted by strange and barely audible sighs. To the moment in which, when approaching the stone table on which the statuette had been placed, the sounds became more and more distinct until he started to cry, telling her his story: the story of a great love, abruptly interrupted by a sudden separation.

She recalled the moment in which they decided to help the prince, leaving to find his sweet beloved.

They remembered those rough and cold snowmen, silent guardians of a snowy forest, which when they asked for help, indicated them the safest way to cross the fragile frozen lake.

Suddenly, a female voice interrupted her memories.
Behind her, the sound of the prince’s quick steps, getting away in the direction of the voice. Laughter and sighs of joy soon filled the surrounding environment.
The two lovers had finally reunited.

The cold seemed to vanish, and she felt warmed by that act of love.

For a moment the darkness gave way to a warm glow, and in front of her an enchanted landscape opened.

Lisa Dalfino at Fanta Spazio through November 14.