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  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Moon Phase, October 2014, Northern Hemisphere), 2014 (detail)
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Moon Phase, October 2014, Northern Hemisphere), 2014 (detail)
  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Christopher), 2014
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Now), 2014
  • Sam Fallsinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Life and death, asiatic lilies), 2014 (diptych, detail)
  • Sam FallsUntitled (Life and death, asiatic lilies), 2014 (diptych, detail)

Sam Falls

14 February > 18 April 2015

 

“As the moon orbits the earth it tries to pull everything toward it, the only thing the earth can’t hold on to is water. People can hold on to everything but time. The ocean moves up and down, it cleanses the rocks and sand. Time heals our wounds but it ages our bodies. There’s a beauty and a sadness in the moon, in time. There’s eternal return in the cycle of the tide, it defies time while time defines us. This show merges natural elements and artistic processes to highlight our relationship to time, the intrinsic lightness and darkness of aging, the gravitational pull of life, and the shifting spectrum of melancholy.

The angle of light that illuminates the moon, or location of the moon to the earth, which obscures it, changes month to month depending on the axis of the earth. The moon artworks in the show illustrate an abridged cycle of the moon in October 2014. The phases of the moon were lit up with handmade beeswax candles, each candle a different color, photographed, printed on linen, and then leaned on the wall below the candles, which were re-lit and allowed to burn for their duration, dripping wax onto the print below. The candles were sticking out horizontally from the wall in the shape of the moon, so as they burnt down along their horizontal axis emitting the image of the moon, the wax dropped and landed higher up the vertical axis on the print below, the closer the flame came to the wall, the higher up on the print the wax landed. This vertical movement or wax going up the print describes time, like the tide moving up the beach, while the horizontal placement describes the geography of the moon and the waxing and waning light. The black prints illustrate the various cycles of the moon and the time it takes a candle to burn, while their respective counterparts in white, which were the bottom border of each print, illustrate the phases of the moon, an abstract timeline of a month.

Now is always the golden moment of time, unlike the past and future, which decay or unnerve. In my work I’ve always been concerned with how to translate time honestly and understand it more through art. One way of doing this was employing natural elements like the sun and rain to take the helm of the production. With less mediation on my behalf the viewer interacts immediately with time, such as with a piece of fabric left outside for a year with a tire on it to create an image of the tire by fading the fabric around it. The final image floats between an abstract circle and indexical image of a tire, and the productive process creates a rewarding artwork for myself and the viewer in the present, but it speaks to the past. The optimism of production also holds the melancholy of age.

The tide however moves in a relentless cycle, unlike the forward persistence of time. The same way I’ve always been interested in the duality in art between abstraction and indexicality, nihilism and optimism, I’ve also been interested in life, the personal and the universal. This idea is defined well by the linguistic “shifter”, a word like ‘this’ or ‘that’ which is filled with a different meaning dependent upon its referent every time, or proper pronouns like ‘I’ or ‘you’ which are filled with the person who holds them at the time. The heart of this issue is best said in Rosalind Krauss’ Notes on the Index Part 1 with a quote from Roman Jakobson “A shifter is ‘filled’ with signification’ only because it is ‘empty’”. ‘Now’ is a temporal shifter as I see it, it never refers to the same moment since time is fleeting, and the empty, non-existent future is “filled” when it becomes now. This simple idea holds great weight for me and the video illustrates this. Like polaroids of a flower, now blossoms and then dries up.

The helium pieces came about in trying to expand upon the idea of the shifter, not only how it functions temporally, but in the physical world beyond language. The glowing light is charged helium, and the floating balloons are helium filled. Helium here is acting in two very dramatic physical states but remains the same natural element. Most excitingly, the electricity lets us see the color of helium and the balloon gives it form, it is truly representational and quite abstract – I don’t know which one tips the scale and this back and forth gives the work its gravity. The forms of the glass are line tracings of the sides of my family and friends, myself, my dogs. The works show the microcosm of aging; buoyed up in the beginning, full of energy and life, dropping down to a perfect state with time, then eventually resting on the ground, deflated. What has been continues to burn and the balloons serve as a memory of what was.”

- Sam Falls, January 2015

Born in San Diego, USA, Falls currently resides in Los Angeles. He will open a solo exhibition at Franco Noero Gallery in Turin in March 2015. Recent institutional solo exhibitions include Ballroom Marfa, Texas (upcoming, 2015); Pomona College Museum of Art, California; Public Art Fund, New York (2014); LA><ART, Los Angeles (2013).

  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Daniel Steegmann Mangranè/ (- \, 2013 (Inês & Josè Pereira de Jesus. Courtesy the artist and Múrias Centeno, Porto-Lisboa)
  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giovanni Panebianco
  • Haris Epaminonda Untitled, 2014 (Courtesy Galleria Massimo Minini and the artist)
  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alexandre SinghDandy, 2013 (Raffaella e Stefano Sciarretta's Collection, Nomas Foundation, Rome)
  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giovanni Panebianco
  • Haris Epaminonda Untitled #11 t/b, 2014 (Courtesy Galleria Massimo Minini and the artist)
  • Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alexandre SinghBullen, 2013 (Courtesy Jacaranda Caracciolo Collection, Rome)
  • Amalia PicaA∩B∩C (line), 2013 (Courtesy Coll. Fundação de Serralves – Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal. Aquisition in 2013)
  • Amalia PicaA∩B∩C (line), 2013 (Courtesy Coll. Fundação de Serralves – Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, Portugal. Aquisition in 2013) photo Giovanni Panebianco
  • Pablo BronsteinYoung man spills cremated remains onto the floor I, 2012 (Courtesy the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin)
  • Fischli and WeissThe Way Things Go, 1987 (© Peter Fischli David Weiss Zürich | Courtesy SprüthMagers Berlin and London; Matthew Marks Gallery New York and Los Angeles; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich)
  • Haris EpaminondaUntitled #19 t/f, 2014 (Courtesy Galleria Massimo Minini and the artist)
  • Alexandre SinghStrumpet, 2013 (Courtesy Giuliani Collection, Rome)
  • Pedro BarateiroIs it by Mistake or Design?, 2015 (Courtesy of the artist)
  • Pedro BarateiroIs it by Mistake or Design?, 2015 (detail)
  • Lili Reynaud DewarWhy should our bodies end at the skin, 2012 (Courtesy Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna)

Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)

22 May > 17 July 2015

 

A project conceived and curated by CURA. Rome, Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, and #kunsthallelissabon, Lisbon

ACT I
Fondazione Giuliani, Rome

with Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Pedro Barateiro, Pablo Bronstein, Haris Epaminonda, Fischli/Weiss, Jacopo Miliani, Amalia Pica, Alexandre Singh, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

At the origin of modern thought there is a contrast between order and disorder, “contrasting impulses and tendencies, the modular combination of which produces in every epoch the work of art.” Taking Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy as a point of reference, the exhibition Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos), is a collaborative project between three international art spaces, CURA., Fondazione Giuliani and #kunsthallelissabon, which unfolds over a six-month period, in three consecutive legs.

Loosely constructed around the narrative codes of Greek Tragedy, Beauty Codes begins with a single voice, then shifts to a gradual process of layering and accumulation, which disrupts the original order with multiple viewpoints, fractured boundaries and subverted roles, finally transitioning to a subsequent subtraction with a new set of objects and traces of previous actions. The complete exhibition cycle is a trajectory from a state of order and harmony, to disorder and chaos, leading to the formation of a new order and quietude.

The project began at CURA.BASEMENT with the installation Why Should Our Bodies End At The Skin? (2012) by Lili Reynaud-Dewar, a work which serves as the link between the three acts of a play performed on three separate stages, and which will be present in a different form in the exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani. As in the classical tradition, the narrator is called upon to introduce the stage action before its actual beginning, to explain the events and consequent actions that cause a reversal of roles, the multiplication of forms and perspectives, disorder, and finally the (never truly orderly) rearrangement of the previous situation.

The work of Reynaud-Dewar, which consistently focuses on the relationship between body, language, literature and identity, is part of the mise en scène of the exhibition, the deus ex machina of ancient memory, the narrative voice that supports the complex unfolding of the entire performance.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s / (- \ (2013) heralds the beginning of Act 1 at Fondazione Giuliani. Upon crossing the threshold into the Foundation’s exhibition spaces, the viewer passes through four aluminium curtains, as if crossing the proscenium of a stage. This relational demarcation of space and movement confounds the distinction between stage and audience, actor and viewer, and creates anticipation for what is to come.

Upon crossing the proscenium, the viewer finds himself centre stage, observer and participant in a juxtaposition of different artistic practices and display. Works by Haris Epaminonda punctuate the exhibition space like notes of a spatial composition, both centering the setting of the scene of action, while dismantling conventional modes of exhibition display. This space of action is observed by the bronze busts of Bullen, Dandy and Strumpet (all 2013), themselves characters from Alexandre Singh’s The Humans, a 3-act play about introducing chaos into an otherwise orderly cosmos, itself modeled after the comedies of Athenian poet Aristophanes.

Yet rather than creating a singular narrative logic, Act I builds a disorderly juxtaposition of artworks in which different narratives link or intersect freely to generate a superimposition of storylines. Any straightforward trajectory is further dismantled by a stratification of interventions, a tumbling together of performances that reorganize the role of the actors and viewers. Works by Amalia Pica, Pedro Barateiro and Jacopo Miliani particularly reconfigure the space with performative sculptures. With Plans for the Construction of Paradise (2010-2013), Barateiro disrupts the division between author and spectator by both interacting with the public and activating the traditionally passive role of the viewer. An allusion to games, rituals and riddles, the work’s myriad possible abstract patterns indirectly dialogues with Amalia Pica’s ABC (line) (2013), both installation and performance that is activated by the continual reconfiguration of multi-shaped Perspex elements, and metaphor of the different meanings, function and interpretation of personal and collective communication. In the works of Jacopo Miliani, whose research is primarily based on an investigation of teatrality, sculptures become moving physical bodies. Through minimal actions, refined gestures and simple materials, the spaces of the Foundation become the stage where chaos both takes shape and leaves residual traces.

In the video by Pablo Bronstein, Young man spills cremated remains onto the floor I (2012), exhibited to the public for the first time, a highly stylised mise-en-scène portrays a single male figure whose theatricality suspends him between the representation of a Classical Greek sculpture and of a Baroque courtier. Finally, Fischli/Weiss’s iconic film, Der Lauf der Dinge (1987), transforms everyday objects into agents of motion. A journey of action and consequence, precarious moments of balance and stability, transmutation and collapse, the connection between cause and effect leads the viewer to metaphysical questions about the world, about the way things go.

Prologue
CURA. Rome
from April 28 – May 31, 2015
with Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Act I
Fondazione Giuliani, Rome
from May 22 – July 17, 2015
with Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Pedro Barateiro, Pablo Bronstein, Haris Epaminonda, Fischli/Weiss, Jacopo Miliani, Amalia Pica, Alexandre Singh, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Act II
#kunsthallelissabon, Lisbon
Opening Monday, July 27
from July 28 – October 23, 2015
with Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Haris Epaminonda, Luca Francesconi, Jacopo Miliani, André Romão, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

 

With support by Bioera

  • Jay Heikes & Michael StickrodFrog Prints, 2008
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jay HeikesThe Family Tree, 2003
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jay Heikes, Todd Norsten, Conny PurtillUfficio, 2015
  • Gedi SibonyFountain Feet, 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jay HeikesDaily Rituals (Tuesday), 2015
  • Jay HeikesOur Frankenstein (bottom), 2015
  • Todd NorstenHow to Compromise, 2015
  • Todd NorstenHow to Compromise (detail), 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Justin SchleppL'altro è anche un fuggiasco, 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Justin SchleppUntitled (detail), 2008 – 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jay HeikesOrigins of Smut, 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jay HeikesOur Frankenstein (top), 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jessica Jackson HutchinsPainted with Starts, 2015
  • Jessica Jackson HutchinsPainted with Starts (detail), 2015
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • The Unknown ArtistEncore, 2014
  • Consequencesinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2015, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Conny PurtillThe Ground: Carl the Eagle, 2009

CONSEQUENCES

10 October > 12 December 2015

 

An exhibition organized by Jay Heikes with contributions from Felix Culpa, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Ari Marcopoulos, Josiah McElheny, Todd Norsten, Conny Purtill, Justin Schlepp, Gedi Sibony, Michael Stickrod, The Unknown Artist, and the ghost of Lee Lozano.

“Consequences is an attempt to keep a collaborative artistic pulse going. As awful as that sounds and after finally scrapping the term ‘collaboration’ because of it’s overuse and shortcomings, I’m hopeful that the exhibition will display the only space we have left; one that exists amongst a small group of friends that are enamored with each other and slightly suspicious of the outside world. I was reminded of the Lars Von Trier film, The Five Obstructions while working on the early versions of the show, searching for a novel way to change the process of making something we are all too familiar with. As we grow and fall in to the repetitive rituals that create any language, there’s a danger in it becoming predictable and manneristic, even to oneself. The Surrealists knew this and tried, through their parlour game of the same name (Consequences in French) to challenge this inevitable boredom. Through chance and a simple fold, multiple authors explored what I see more and more as the foundation of our everyday thoughts; a mixture of personal narratives, layered references and fused emotions.

In 2009, Conny Purtill explained to me his desire for a method of working that he described as inefficient. To my surprise, because of how efficient he is as a human being, his desire was to transform the process of making an artwork into a challenge by first creating a ‘ground’ for another artist to receive and work on top of. With a strange combination of influence, channeling both Carl Andre and Donald Rumsfeld, Purtill’s Grounds made their way to a number of artists who then accepted the understood contract. The results to date have been bizarre and trapped in a moment that can only be described as ‘pressurized’. To begin the transaction, a perfectly wrapped canvas arrives in the mail, once unwrapped the surface revealed rivals that of an all over material as satisfying as marble, created by painting and sanding multiple layers of gesso, India ink and graphite. The next question I’m sure every person who has ever received a Ground would have is, “Should I touch it?” Most do, and the resulting aggressions and marks have been shown together only twice previously, this exhibition being the third. In some ways, Consequences is the tree that is still growing from Conny’s seed and for that reason I asked him to put together a show within a show dedicated strictly to his Grounds. He immediately invited me, on me inviting him, and then acting as chief curator he invited himself, along with Todd Norsten, Felix Culpa, Josiah McElheny, and Ari Marcopoulos, to be involved.

The other organizing principle for the show came about after reading Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer’s book for Afterall on Lee Lozano’s ‘Dropout Piece’ and hearing Sarah talk about her research on Lozano’s hard to formalize works. I was struck by the fact that ‘Dropout Piece’ might not have been an artwork by Lee Lozano at all but a dare or proposition to a generation of artists that could regain control of their actions, or at least die trying. The looseness of the parameters were what drew me to the idea in the first place as I had been re-fashioning a set of elements and tools to change my work, and this was again a way to change the process and like Lozano, the tools and the process became everything worth obsessing over. I am a studio artist in every sense of the daily grind and in that daily grind movements become repetitive to the point of lunacy so including The Ghost of Lee Lozano is a tribute to an artist who’s memory affects the form of everything this show is about; an irreverent misunderstanding that at times could be based more in jest than anything else.

As every show has its own narrative, this one begins with someone being angry with me, which is maybe fitting for a show that calls itself Consequences. After organizing a series of shows from 2012-2014 under the name Trieste with a group of like-minded artists, I’m so thrilled that the evolution has been harder to control and the results more satisfying, provocative and problematic. In some cases, specifically with Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Justin Schlepp and Gedi Sibony, the lead up taught me that there is a point when a single artist can overtake collaborative intentions, owning the moment, resulting in a kind of sole authorship. This alone might be the most valuable thought to take away from an experience that involved a years’ worth of slapstick interactions, ranging from the purchase of an outhouse (a two-holer) and picnic table to the use of telepathy, frogs in Denmark, a box full of cardboard and wood, a stool with something to teach us and a realization that we are each other’s dysfunctional family tree. All of the artists have been game, agreeing to a series of conditions that are by no means ideal. Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Gedi Sibony, Todd Norsten, Michael Stickrod, the Unknown Artist, Conny Purtill, Justin Schlepp, Felix Culpa, Josiah McElheny, Ari Marcopoulos, and the ghost of Lee Lozano have unknowingly created a garden together, a very American one; drunken, dumb, colorful and of marginal taste.”

- Jay Heikes

  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 1968 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 1969 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 1969 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 1968 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 1968 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaPaper, 2015 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaCanone aureo 586, 2014 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)
  • Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paperinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Giorgio GriffaNumerazione, 1996 (Courtesy the artist and Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York)

Giorgio Griffa: Works on Paper

 

curated by Andrea Bellini

The compulsion to repeat may manifest a lack of hope, but it seems to me that to continue to make the same thing over and over in order to arrive at different results is more than an exercise, it is the unique freedom to discover.                                                                                                                                                                                          Aldo Rossi, A Scientific Autobiography

On February 4th 2016, Fondazione Giuliani will present the first exhibition of Giorgio Griffa dedicated entirely to works on paper, curated by Andrea Bellini. The curator intends to highlight the significance of this aspect of the Turin-based artist’s practice, presenting around fifty-five works whose chronological arch spans from the end of the 1960s until today. Beginning in 1967 and continuing through to his most recent works, Griffa’s artistic research – one of the most important figures of Italian abstract painting and the neo-avant-garde – is based on three fundamental coordinates: rhythm, sequence and sign. A working methodology that the artist also consistently practices with drawing. As the artist himself maintains in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist (published in the exhibition’s catalogue), each drawing does not represent a “plan for a painting”, even if in many cases it provides ideas for later paintings, but instead constitutes an independent aspect of his work, a sort of parallel activity to painting. His delicate drawings and watercolours, often in different formats, express the power of his large canvases. Like those, they represent the constant verification of his visual language and its narrative and lyrical possibilities, expanding his repertoire without wanting to be definitive or closed exercises.

 What is universal about Griffa’s works on paper, and his paintings, is the idea of the “memory” of the sign, the desire to want to individuate and practice a simple gesture that man has known and repeated for at least thirty thousand years, ever since the Palaeolithic period. Paper ceases to be a receptacle of the finished image, a definitive place, and instead becomes a physical fragment of a discontinuous, expanding space. His working methodology is simple but rigorous: the artist chooses each time the elementary components of his intervention, a sort of protocol of the making of the work. Depending on the size of the paper and the material (graphite, Indian ink, watercolour) he needs to choose the length of his signs, and thus their rhythm and direction. The next thing to do is to decide on the “place” where these signs should start. Very often the artist begins to trace the signs starting from the top left, as one does with writing, but the work could also begin from right to left, or from bottom to top. The drawing does not invade the surface according to an overall plan, but is rather destined to fill the space slowly, following a direction, rhythm and chosen frequency. The drawing up of the traits takes place in a state that the artist himself refers to as “passive concentration”: his hand and mind follow the chosen protocol in a state of meditative concentration, almost like in a Zen exercise. In the exhibition at the Foundation, one can follow the entire development of Griffa’s work, from the most minimal period from the end of the 1960s to the 1970s, through the more decorative and free period of the 1980s, until the last twenty years, when he has begun works with numbers (dedicated to the golden ratio) and more complex gestures.

The exhibition is in collaboration with the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto. Two books have been published for the occasion by Mousse Publishing, Giorgio Griffa: 1965 – 2015 and Giorgio Griffa:  Works on Paper.

  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Stamen Papersinstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2016, photo Giorgio Benni

Stamen Papers

26 May > 22 July 2016

 

Michael Dean adopts different modes of expression in his work, involving sculpture, writing, performance and photography, often developed and united within text-based installations. The cornerstone to his research is a visual analysis of language that stems from the tradition of the written word. Multiple material configurations are developed and can present themselves as physical objects dominated by an apparent lightness that demystifies the weight and raw nature of the materials used: particularly concrete and steel. The complex spatiality of Dean’s theoretical and material investigation determines an inextricable relationship with the experience of the exhibition in physical space.

The Stamen Papers draw on a botanical vocabulary (the stamen is the pollen producing part of a flower, composed of filament and anther) for both the significance and structure of the installation that Dean has developed specifically for the spaces of Fondazione Giuliani. For Stamen Papers, his work health (Working Title) produced originally for his solo exhibition at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds in 2012 is installed as an anthered filament for a stamen based delivery of previous exhibition based pages.

The Pollen, a new work published on occasion of Stamen Papers will be available in diminishing form.

As of May 12th of this year Michael Dean was shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2016.

Michael Dean (born Newcastle upon Tyne, 1977) lives and works in London. In the fall of 2016, his solo show will open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. A selection of recent institutional exhibitions include: Sic Glyphs, South London Gallery (2016); Qualities of Violence, de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam and Jumping Bones, Extra City Kunstal, Antwerp (2015); HA HA HA HA HA HA, Kunst Forum Ludwig, Aachen, The Upper Room, David Zwirner (with Fred Sandback), London (2014); Arnolfini, Bristol (2013); Cubitt, London (2012); Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2012). Group exhibitions include: Albert the Kid Is Ghosting, David Roberts Art Foundation, London and Sculptures Also Die, CCC Strozzina, Florence (2015); The Noing Uv It, Bergen Kunsthall, MIRRORCITY, The Hayward Gallery, London, Manners of Matter, Salzburg Kunstverein (2014); A History of Inspiration, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013).

  • N. DashInstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2017, photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, pigment, acrylic, gesso, string, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, pigment, acrylic, gesso, string, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, pigment, acrylic, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, pigment, acrylic, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, acrylic, pigment, gesso, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, acrylic, pigment, gesso, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, wooden stick, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, wooden stick, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, wooden stick, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, wooden stick, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, graphite, string, gesso, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, graphite, string, gesso, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, string, styrofoam, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, string, styrofoam,jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; silkscreen ink, adobe, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); silkscreen ink, adobe, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; silkscreen ink, adobe, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2017, photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; adobe, oil, pigment, acrylic, gesso, string, canvas, linen, styrofoam, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); adobe, oil, pigment, acrylic, gesso, string, canvas, linen, styrofoam, jute, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017; oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, painters tape, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashUntitled, 2017 (detail); oil, pigment, acrylic, linen, painters tape, wood support; photo Jean Vong; Courtesy the artist, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York, and Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
  • N. DashInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • N. DashVideo still, Installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2017, photo Giorgio Benni

N. Dash

9 May > 14 July 2017

 

“The language [Arabic] is wonderful for Wanderwort*

One morning in class, [he] taught the word for “mud brick.” In ancient hieroglyphs it was djebet, which became tobe in Coptic, and then the Arabs, adding a definite article, made it al-tuba, which was brought to Spain as adobar, and then to the American Southwest, where this heavy thing, having been lugged across four millennia and seven thousand miles, finally landed as “adobe.””

Peter Hessler’s Letter from Cairo in The New Yorker April 17, 2017

*Wanderwort
Etymology – borrowed from German Wanderwort, from Wander (“wandering) + Wort (“word”)
Noun – A loanword that has spread to many different languages

  • Mircea CantorHorizontal Aleppo, 2017; Aleppo soap, foam; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong block; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorDisrupted Air (Still life), 2017; Spatifillum, newspapers; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorHaiku Under Tension, 2017; trampoline, rubble; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Your Ruins Are My FlagInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorVertical Aleppo, 2017; Aleppo soap, bricks; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong blocks; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong block; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorGive More Sky To The Flags, 2016; corten steel, rubble; photo Giorgio Benni.
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong blocks; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong block; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorThe World Belongs to Those Who Set It On Fire, 2016; candle smoke on paper; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Your Ruins Are My FlagInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Your Ruins Are My FlagInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorDisrupted Air (Still life), 2017; plants, newspapers; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorFontana delle Mani, 2017; 7' video, wood, water; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Your Ruins Are My FlagInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Your Ruins Are My Flag Installation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mircea CantorTake The World Into The World, 2017; Aleppo soap, Ytong block; photo Giorgio Benni

Your Ruins Are My Flag

October 2017 > January 2018

 

In the artist’s imagination, poetic suggestions, tradition and spirituality coexist, generating evocative and metaphorical artworks that examine contemporary society with both a critical eye and optimistic viewpoint. Aware of the multiple meanings that words and objects can contain, Cantor playfully combines materials, media and languages ​​to produce pungent works where definitions and categories are constantly subverted. Suspended between profound formal and aesthetic research and their critical value, his works merge simple symbols and gestures to convey universal messages and propose parallel readings.

With this seemingly contradictory approach of cynicism and playfulness, the artist digs into the depths of contemporary history, revealing

its inner contradictions. His language manipulates the different contexts of meaning, questioning boundaries, roles, and canons, and projecting the spectator into a dimension where the obvious is never taken for granted but has the power to change our perception of reality.

In Your Ruins Are My Flag a large body of new works specifically created for the show will be presented for the first time. As the title suggests, the exhibition focuses on a reflection on the concept of loss, in its myriad of multiple meanings: from heritage to tradition, the fragility of political and social equilibrium, to loss as a negation of freedom, innocence and security.

The materials that make up the artworks intertwine themselves in a vital and ambivalent relationship: some are used by the artist for the first time in his career (such as soap and the thermal camera), while adding additional elements to their interpretation. In this way, soap, far from being a mere substance that shapes the work, also recalls the act of washing away and eventual erasure of the past, of history, and its legacy. The operation is enriched with further suggestions when we discover that the soap used was produced following the ancient tradition of the city of Aleppo, a protagonist in some the saddest chronicles of today. The fragility of modern times is the backdrop of an exhibition, which challenges ideologies, conflicts and new threats that move the reins of contemporary history, but in a sublimated, poetic fashion.

Mircea Cantor was born in 1977 in Oradea, Romania; as he likes to say: “he lives and works in the world”. His most recent international solo shows include: The invisible party of the infinite, Galerie de l’atelier Brancusi Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2017; SOLO SHOW – Part I and Part II, Fondation Francès, Senlis, France, 2016; 5775, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, 2015; Mircea Cantor: Collected Works, Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, Vancouver, 2014; Mircea Cantor: QED, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, 2013; Mircea Cantor, Marcel Duchamp Prize 2011, Center Pompidou, Paris, 2012; Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, MACRO, Rome, 2012.

With the kind support of Magazzino, Rome; and with a very special thanks to Faurar Art, Baia Mare, Romania and Laurealep.

  • MATERIA, PER ORAInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeEtwas Abwesendes, dessen Anwesenheit erwartet wurde, 2015; marble; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeCandle Column (Alicja/Gregor), 2017; bronze, paint; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeSUPPORT (Atleta), 2018; Carrara marble; photo Giorgio Benni
  • MATERIA, PER ORAInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeRadio (Alicja R-603), 2014; plastic 367.5 g, iron 325.7 g, brass 29.4 g, phenol resin 28.5 g, copper 26.5 g, aluminum 20.9 g, zinc 14.5 g, silicone 12.4 g, tin 10.8 g, magnet 9.5 g, ceramic 0.6 g, glass 0.2 g, 17 jars, vitrine; photo Giorgio Benni
  • MATERIA, PER ORAInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • MATERIA, PER ORAInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Aljcia Kwade_1518 leere Liter bis zum Anfang_, 2008/2018; 1337,28 kg empty Selters glass bottles with bottle tops, pulverized; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeAndere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand), 2009; wood, mirror, metal, brass, steel bar; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Alicja KwadeTotum pro parte (Ein Hocker ist ein Bild), 2017; found bar stool, mirror, glass; photo Giorgio Benni

MATERIA, PER ORA

May 10 > July 20, 2018

 

“I’m trying to see what reality is for me, and what it is for us all”.

Fondazione Giuliani is pleased to present artist Alicja Kwade’s first solo show in Rome. Kwade’s research begins with an acute study of reality and its internal structures, in order to arrive at parallel mental universes with a multiplicity of possible readings. Fascinated by the indeterminate boundaries between the visible and invisible, Kwade explores what is real and what is not, stimulating the gaze of the spectator in a game where space, time, science and philosophy create a labyrinth of perceptions.

Through sculpture, installation, video and photography, Kwade manipulates and transforms everyday objects, creating different forms, imbuing them with different meanings and value, thus revealing the many and sometimes obscured substrates of the visible. Because, as the artist explains, matter exists in a space of eleven dimensions, seven of which are inaccessible and unknown to us but that coexist in parallel to those we already know. Forms and materials that inhabit our experiential universe undergo metamorphoses and distortions to demonstrate how anything can assume a different form and be subject to changes in its physical nature, structure and substance. Each of Kwade’s works conceals a meticulous scientific research expressed in a language constructed with synthetic and essential forms, where the sign that invites us to think and reinterpret continuously what the eye and our unconscious observe. In addition to exploring our perception of reality, time and space, her works also question society and its conventions, and both the natural and artificial patterns that condition our way of thinking.

The exhibition in Fondazione Giuliani, MATERIA, PER ORA,is an even more in-depth study of material, matter and materiality. Kwade investigates the philosophical concept of deconstruction/construction, focusing on the process of transformation of matter in contact with different dimensions present in nature. Convinced that matter is nothing other than an infinite series of combinations of itself in space and time, her works play with repetition, decomposition, variation of scale and destruction/reconstruction, connoting them as sculptural meditations on the nature of objects. Dematerialisation generates a de-signification, a moment in which new elaborations and readings can occur, a possibility to represent space and time that we cannot yet perceive.

Alicja Kwade was born in 1979 in Kotowice, Poland; she lives and works in Berlin. Her most recent international solo shows include: AMBO, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany (2018); LinienLand, Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2018); ReReason, YUZ Museum, Shanghai (2017-2018); Phase, König Galerie, Berlin (2017); In Aporie, kamel mennour, Paris (2017); Medium Median, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Alicja Kwade, De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam (2016); Against the Run, Public Art Fund, New York (2015-2016). In 2015 she was awarded Kunsthalle Mannheim’s prestigious Hector-Prize, and in 2017 her work WeltenLinie (One in a Time) was included in the Pavilion of Time and Infinity of the 57th Venice Biennial.

A very special thanks to the Polish Institute of Rome.

  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo Roberto Apa
  • TAN LINESInstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani (Rome), 2018; courtesy: the artist; Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Gió Marconi, Milan and STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo; photo by Roberto Apa

Tan Lines

OCTOBER > DECEMBER 2018

 

Fondazione Giuliani is pleased to present Tan Lines, a solo exhibition by Norwegian artist Fredrik Værslev. Værslev’s practice is a reflection on the act of painting as the result of a creative process dominated by the tension between careful planning and randomness. Interested in upending definitions, convictions and the limits of the pictorial medium, the genesis of his paintings is largely the result of a perpetual encounter/clash between control and chance. After having conceived an artwork with absolute rigour, Værslev often alters it through the intervention of fortuitous circumstances (exposing it to the weather, leaving it in nature or public places), or asking friends to freely modify and complete it, pushing the idea of appropriation to an extreme. Thanks to these processes, reality is physically deposited on the surface of the canvas, becoming part of an abstract composition where colour and pattern interact with a language of numbers and symbols. In Værslev’s paintings, abstraction and figuration coexist, traditional materials alternate with the industrial, painting and graphic design merge, as well as the planned gestures of the artist with the accidental ones of fate.

Tan Lines presents two new bodies of work: the monumental Sail Paintings and Garden Paintings. In the Sail Paintings series, the artist combines fragments of canvases from both older and recent paintings on a monochromatic background, creating a composition that recalls the sails of a boat. The works present themselves as a complex hybrid where the cut-out canvases, combined and meticulously stitched together, merge with painted symbols that recall both the maritime environment and numerology, gestures and traces belonging to the artist’s own private sphere (such as the number 79, his year of birth). Trying to circumnavigate any classification of his work, Værslev subjects it to a process of continuous destruction and reconstruction to create visual and contextual fragmentation, leaving room for new meanings.

The Garden Paintings instead oscillate between painting and installation, presented as they are as wooden slabs that recall garden benches, but which are installed on the wall at eye level. Besides reflecting the artist’s profound interest in urban and suburban architecture, these works are the result of a slow, ten-layer painting process with a specially designed boat varnish. This element creates an intriguing dialogue between the Sail and Garden series, conceived to coexist as a metaphorical and, at the same time, real landscape in which to immerse oneself freely.

Tan Lines at Fondazione Giuliani is the third and final leg of an exhibition tour conceived in collaboration with Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland (November 2017 – January 2018) and Bonner Kunstverein in Germany (February – April 2018).

On the occasion of Videocittà (October 23-27), a film and audio-visual festival that foresees many different events taking place in Rome, Fondazione Giuliani will screen Gordon Matta-Clark’s film, Splitting (1974). The film was selected specifically by Fredrik Værslev.

Fredrik Værslev was born in 1979 in Norway; he lives and works in Drammen and Vestfossen. His most recent international solo shows include: Fredrik Værslev as I Imagine Him, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway (2018); Tan Lines, Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany (2018); Tan Lines, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2017); La Constance du jardinier, Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark (2016); All Around Amateur, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2016); All Around Amateur, Le Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2016); Inner beauty, Museo Marino Marini, Florence (2015); Querelle of Brest, CAC – Passerelle, Brest, France (2015); La Constance du jardinier, CNEAI, Chatou, France (2015).

With kind support from Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA).

  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliBeppe Grillo, Zucchero, Gianluca Vialli, Enzo Biagi, Vittorio Gassman, Giulio Andreotti, Corrado. The seven lives of Telegatto, ©Mondadori Portfolio
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliJoan Collins, Silvio Berlusconi. The scintilating days of Dynasty, ©Getty Images
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliMoana Pozzi, Giuliano Ferrara. The settee turns red, ©OLYCOM
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliGianni De Michelis, Isabella Rossellini. The cleverness and charm of sideways looks
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Party PoliticsInstallation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, April 2019. Photo: Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliSophia Loren, Giancarlo Pajetta. Pale kiss, glowing ecstasy, ©ANSA
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliAmintore Fanfani, Michelangelo Antonioni. Disguised suspicion, reasonable vigilance
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliIlona Staller, Porn's third eye, ©Contrasto
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliSandra Milo. Political horticulture horizons
  • Francesco VezzoliSandro Pertini, Sandra Milo. The ripe fruits of pop socialism, ©Angelo Palma/ A3/ Contrasto
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa
  • Francesco VezzoliMarella Agnelli, Maria Pia Fanfani, Nancy Reagan. Triduum of wives on the lagoon, ©Archivio Graziano Arici
  • PARTY POLITICSInstallation view; photo Roberto Apa

Party Politics

APRIL > JULY 2019

 

PARTY POLITICS

The entertainment of politics, the politics of entertainment

a new project by Francesco Vezzoli

with a special contribution by Filippo Ceccarelli

from 16 April to 19 July, 2019

Through the exploration of power, and of the power structures of contemporary media culture, Francesco Vezzoli tackles an ongoing preoccupation with the fundamental ambiguity of truth, the seductive power of language, and the instability of the human persona. Using a range of media, from film and performance, to photography and needlepoint, Vezzoli creates artworks rich in references and quotations, which challenge the distinctions between “high art” and popular culture.

Francesco Vezzoli first achieved fame with his video productions of pop icons and celebrities, while his more recent practice reflects on the iconography of Italy’s past. With Party Politics, Vezzoli continues his investigation of collective narratives, this time analyzing the relationships between politics, entertainment, and visual art. Drawing from a selection of archival photographs taken by photo-reporters primarily in the 1980s, the exhibition explores the slow decline of political commitment in Italy as it shifts away from 1960s radicalism and collectivity, towards an era marked by hedonism and socialite culture.

A selection of medium to large format photographs capture the media events, political engagements, and social festivities of well-known politicians and personalities, in a presentation that calls to mind both the courtly portraits of Hans Holbein the Younger and the modern moral subjects of William Hogarth. With a critical, yet never blasphemous eye, Vezzoli transforms the photographs, rich in symbolism, allusion and paradox, into epic portraits of an era. The moments immortalized thus become both the testimonies of a past era and an omen for the future.

We are also very pleased to have the participation of noted writer and political journalist Filippo Ceccarelli, whose new book, Invano. Il potere in Italia da De Gasperi a questi qua (In vain. Power in Italy from De Gasperi to these ones), was published by Feltrinelli in 2018. Each artwork in the exhibition will be accompanied by a text written by Ceccarelli, who very graciously accepted the invitation to collaborate in the project.

Francesco Vezzoli was born in 1971 in Brescia, Italy; he currently lives and works in Milan. He has held solo exhibitions in innumerable institutions, including Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2017); Museion, Bolzano (2016); Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (2016); Performa 15, New York (2015); MoMA PS1, New York (2014); MOCA, Los Angeles (2014); MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2013); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2010); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2009); The Power Plant, Toronto (2007); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2007); Tate Modern, London (2006); Le Consortium, Dijon (2006); Fondazione Cini, Venice (2005); Serralves Museum, Porto (2005); The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2002); Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli (2002); GAM, Galleria Comunale d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2000). In 2007 he co-represented Italy at the 52nd Venice Biennale, together with Giuseppe Penone.

Credits:

Introductory text
Michele Masneri

Image research
Livia Corbò / Photo Op

Exhibition design
Filippo Bisagni

The exhibition was realized with the support of
Galleria Franco Noero
FLOS

With thanks:
Luca Corbetta
Edoardo Maggi
Dario Marangoni (FLOS)
Massimo Pellicciari (FoToRENT)
Giulia Romano (Galleria Franco Noero)

A very special thanks to:
Mirella Petteni Haggiag
Chiara Rusconi
Stefano Tonchi

  • Ibrahim MahamaCapital Corpses I, 2014 – 2019; sewing machines with electric motors and wood; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaCapital Corpses I, 2014 – 2019; sewing machines with electric motors and wood; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaCapital Corpses I, 2014 – 2019, sewing machines with electric motors and wood; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaCapital Corpses I, 2014 – 2019, detail; sewing machines with electric motors and wood; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaCapital Corpses I, 2014 – 2019, detail; sewing machines with electric motors and wood; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaSeidu Bawu Daboya, 2019; C-print, 70 x 50 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaSamaria Fumbi, 2019; C-print, 70 x 50 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaZena Obuasi, 2019; C-Print, 70 x 50 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaMaria Alasan Soh, 2019; C-Print, 100 x 150 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaGold Coast, 1945 – 2019; C-Print, 100 x 150 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaGold Coast, 1945 – 2019, detail; C-Print, 100 x 150 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaMaps of the Gold Coast, 1898 – 2019; archival maps from Pre-Indipendet Ghana; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaPrestea S.E., 1951 – 2019; archival map, 53 x 59 cm; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaSewing Man's Dead Dreams, 2019; sewing machine installed on primary school desk; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSSewing Man’s Dead Dreams, 2019; installation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Ibrahim MahamaParliament of Ghosts, 2014 – 2019; 2-channel film, 7:30 min; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • LIVING GRAINSInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni

Living Grains

October > December 2019

 

LIVING GRAINS
Ibrahim Mahama

Opening Friday, 25 October 2019
from 6:00 to 9:00pm

from 26 October to 21 December, 2019

Fondazione Giuliani is very pleased to present Living Grains, the first exhibition in Rome of Ghana-based artist, Ibrahim Mahama. The exhibition includes a range of newly commissioned artworks, including a large-scale installation, photographs, drawings and virtual reality film.

Embedded within the specific cultural and socio-political history of Ghana, the work of Ibrahim Mahama addresses issues of globalisation, labour, the exchange of materials and community building, ultimately bringing to the fore a more universal social condition. Mahama is perhaps most well known for his wrapping of architectural structures with jute sacks. Originally made in Southeast Asia and imported to Ghana to transport cocoa beans, these sacks eventually become multi-functional objects reused both by local goods sellers, and for various needs in the home. Both material and commodity trajectory – with its textured skin that retains the imprint of its own history – exemplify the crux of Mahama’s practice: the investigation of the memories and decay of history, cultural fragments, the discarding and future transformation of objects gathered from the urban environment. Through his examination of the history of these objects, Mahama underlies how their evolution over time denotes the developments and changes in contemporary society.

For the exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani, Mahama worked over a long period of time with a network of “collaborators”, or collecting communities, to gather nearly two hundred disused sewing machines, which he has now transformed into the large-scale installation, Capital Corpses 1 (2014-2019). These machines, so intrinsically associated with the fashion and textile industry, embody a political context in which the industry, and any discussion thereof, completely ignores any taking stock of the decay of objects. The installation also explores sound, an important yet often overlooked component to objects, and acts as a kind of linkage, or echo, of the two films in the exhibition.The two-channel film, Parliament of Ghosts (2014-2019), shows workers in Accra’s Agbogbloshie market, the largest waste site in the world, repetitively remodelling the tin, wood and steel objects left behind by progress. The voiceover to this grim labour comes from 1950s Ghanaian parliamentary debates in which the urgency of unleashing the skills and potential of the nation’s youth is emphasised with an irony that sounds pointedly possible as well as tragic. The virtual reality film, Promises of hanging living men have no dead weight (2014-2019), creates a further echo, as it transports the viewer into the inner workings and machinations of decaying buildings, abandoned silos, and other architectural scenes.

Maps of the Gold Coast (1898-2019) consist of a grouping of defunct maps from the 1920s to 50s. Produced during Ghana’s colonial past, the maps present traces of surveys executed while the English built the country’s railway system (now mostly defunct) to transport goods and minerals, upon which Mahama has drawn minimal interventions. These are accompanied by a series of photographs that depict the inner forearms of women who have travelled from villages close to where Mahama grew up in Northern Ghana to find work as labourers in the capital city of Accra. The women tattoo their arms with their names and the contact details of their next of kin, in case they should be killed or injured in the innumerable road accidents or on building sites. This crisis, Mahama believes, is an opening to starting a new conversation regarding the condition of the body in the 21st century and beyond.

Ibrahim Mahama was born in 1987 in Tamale, Ghana; he lives and works in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. A selection of his most recent international solo shows include: Parliament of Ghosts, The Whitworth, University of Manchester, UK (2019); Labour of Many, Norval Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa (2019); A Friend, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Porta Venezia, Milan (2019); A straight line through the Carcass of History, 1918-1945, daadgalerie, Berlin (2018); In Dependence, Apalazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2018); On Monumental Silences, Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp (2018); In the White Cube: Fragments, White Cube, London (2017); Fracture, Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016). He has participated in numerous prestigious group exhibitions, including No Time for Caution 1966, La Biennale de l’Art africain contemporain: DAK’ART, Dakar, Senegal (2018); Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens (2017); All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale (2015). This year he co-represented Ghana in Ghana’s first national pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

In March 2019, Mahama founded an artist-run exhibition space, research site and artists’ residency, The Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA), in Tamale, Ghana. As an extension of his artistic practice, the intention of the artist is to invest in one’s community while forwarding the development and expansion of the contemporary art scene in Ghana.

  • Maybe it can be differentinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsHigh (Brown), 2017, aqua resin, pigment, wool; Courtesy Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019, 9 aluminium pieces, 4 drawings; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019 (detail), 9 aluminium pieces, 4 drawing; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019 (detail), 9 aluminium pieces, 4 drawing; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019 (dettaglio), 9 pezzi di alluminio, 4 disegni; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019 (dettaglio), 9 pezzi di alluminio, 4 disegni; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 2, 2019 (detail), 9 aluminium pieces, 4 drawing; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 1, 2019, 10 aluminium pieces; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsRoom 1, 2019 (detail), 10 aluminium pieces; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Maybe it can be differentinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther Kläsgreen/black, 2017, wool; Courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsHorizonte (rot), 2017, single channel video; Courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsHorizonte (rot), still, 2020, single channel video; Courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Maybe it can be differentInstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsNY/SKY, 2018, oil stick on paper; Courtesy the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsNY/THERE, 2018, oil stick on paper; Courtesy the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsNY/FLY, 2018, oli stick on paper; Courtesy the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Esther KläsFurther, 2018, aluminium; Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia; photo Giorgio Benni

Maybe it can be different

14 February > 18 April 2020

 

Opening Thursday, 13 February 2020
from 6pm to 9pm

Fondazione Giuliani is very pleased to present Maybe it can be different, the first exhibition in Rome of German-born, Barcelona-based artist, Esther Kläs. The exhibition includes a variety of works, including sculptures, ceramics, oil stick drawings, wool tapestry and video, which both embody the artist’s engagement with material experimentation, and highlight her interest in gesture and motion.

While grounded in the contemporary, Kläs is indebted to minimalism, albeit nuanced with a hands-on craftsmanship and Arte Povera sensibility. She often returns to similar forms in her work: rounded shapes, curves, hands, volumes folding in on themselves, but they are always mutable, different in their repetition. Working with pliable materials, any possibility of a pristine, smooth surface is eschewed for the rough-hewn and undulating, tactile and textured. The making of the work is embedded in the work itself, often appearing in its final manifestation with visible thumbprints of the artist as she worked the surface. And though her often spare constellation of objects may be utterly reduced in appearance, each object appears almost as some kind of energy-charged tool, leftover from an obscure and sacred ritual.

The interrelationship of form, space, and movement is essential to reading further into the artist’s work, as is its engagement with the physicality of the viewer. The exhibition display is arranged as an assembly of precisely staged relations in which the works communicate and resonate with each other. Abstaining from any sense of theatricality, the more abstract space acts a critical element of the works, as well as a compass to the viewer’s movements. The viewer herself is an essential component of the exhibition, as the works both ask to be scrutinized from different viewpoints and solicit a sense of movement, gesture and rhythm.

Esther Kläs was born in 1981 in Mainz, Germany; she currently lives and works in Barcelona. A selection of her institutional solo shows include Start, CCA-Center for Contemporary Art Tel Aviv (2019); ola/wave, Proyecto AMIL, Lima (2017); Our Reality, Fondazione Brodbeck, Catania (2015); Ferma (5), deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA (2015); Whatness (with Johannes Wald), Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (2015); Girare Con Te, Marino Marini Museum, Florence (2014); Esther Kläs: Better Energy, MoMA PS1, New York (2012); You and the Dance with the Tortoise, Parkhaus, Düsseldorf (2009). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including L’homme qui marche Verkörperung des Sperrigen, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (2019); Delirious, Lustwarande, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2019); Proof of life, Weserburg Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, Germany (2017); Lean, Embajada, Puerto Rico (2016); Che il vero possa confutare il falso, Palazzo Pubblico, Santa Maria della Scala, Accademia dei Fisiocritici, Siena (2016); PART 2, Warhus Ritershaus, Cologne (2014); Manners of Matter, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg (2014); Prague Biennale 6 – Flow, Czech Republic (2013); Champs Elysées, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013)Champs Elysées, curated by Julie Boukobza, Simon Castets and Nicola Trezzi, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Configurations, Metro Tech Center Commons, Public Art Fund, Brooklyn, NY (2012).

  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Caroline AchaintreCruizer, 2019, hand tufted wool; Courtesy Arcade London & Brussels; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Caroline AchaintreHerbert, 2018, hand tufted wool; Courtesy Galerie Art : Concept; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Caroline AchaintreLouis Q., 2020, hand tufted wool; Courtesy Arcade London & Brussels, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Caroline AchaintreBiaUltra, 2017, hand tufted wool; Courtesy Galerie Art : Concept, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni
  • Permanenteinstallation view; photo Giorgio Benni

Permanente

June > October 2020

 

Fondazione Giuliani is very pleased to present Permanente, the first solo show in Rome by French artist, Caroline Achaintre. The exhibition is comprised of a broad selection of recent works, which include hand-tufted wall hangings, ceramics, drawings and wicker sculptures. Achaintre has also produced a new wall hanging specifically for the show in the Foundation. Created while the artist was in lockdown in London, Louis Q. finds inspiration in the historic beaked mask of plague doctors, originating in the 17th Century; however, in this instance, the connotation loses its typically macabre characteristics and adopts a carnival-like irony.

Achaintre’s practice is rooted in an interest in German Expressionisim and Primitivism, out of which some of the main themes in her production develop. Her mask-like creations are deeply linked to Western ethnographic collections, the notion of duality, and accompany us in a carnival parade of the absurd. The beauty of her work lies in the distortion, in the uncanny, in the co-existence of darkness and light as complementary parts of a single being. Her ink and watercolour drawings are both figurative and abstract, and explore her interest in the psychological analyses of Rorschach tests, sci-fi and horror films, and the aestethetics of heavy metal music.

If the wall hangings hypnotise us with their playfullness, the viscous quality of the ceramics elegantly seduces us with more or less explict references to the controversial world of the fetish. The ceramics’ lustrous surfaces contrast with the decidedly warmer and more familiar tufted pieces, creating a tension that encourages the viewer to converse with a cast of animated and multifaceted characters. The textile works, in particular, incorporate multiple characters that coexist within the coloured weaves of the threads, evoking shamanic and animistic aspects that pervade Achaintre’s artistic production. The way in which the artist’s works are filled with humour, coming to life before our eyes, is also accentuated by the Dadist approach used by the artist when titling the works, often arising from the same flow of free associations from which the sculptures come to life.

Permanente is a co-production of Fondazione Giuliani, Belvedere 21, Vienna, MO.CO Montpellier Contemporain and CAPC, Bordeaux. The exhibition at Fondazione Giuliani is realised also thanks to the kind support of Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati.

Caroline Achaintre was born in 1969 in Toulouse, France; she lives and works in London. A selection of recent solo exhibitions include: Permanent Wave, MO.CO Montpellier Contemporain (2019-2020), Dauerwelle/Permanent Wave, Belvedere 21, Vienna (2019), Fantômas, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK (2018), Duo Infernal, Art: Concept, Paris (2018), Dissolver, Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund (2018), Scanner, Arcade Gallery, London (2018), Caroline Achaintre, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2017), Boo, c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, Bruxelles (2016), Caroline Achaintre, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2016), Caroline Achaintre, Art Now, Tate Britain, London (2015). In 2016 she was artist in residence at the Fondation Albert-Gleizes in Sablons, France; in 2015 in Toyko, invited by Arts Initiative Tokyo; and in 2014 at the Camden Arts Centre in London.

  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Koenraad DedobbeleerSimply a Logical Consequence, 2011
  • Bart LodewijksRoma Drawing, 2014
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Oksana PasaikoShort Sad Text (based on the borders of 14 countries), 2004-2005
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Marc NagtzaamOpening Image, 2014
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Mark MandersComposition with fake dictionary, 2014
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Sara van der Heide The Light in the Paper, 2014
  • Batia SuterSketch for Parallel Encyclopedia #2, 2014
  • Roma Publications 1998 – 2014installation view at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2014, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Geert GoirisDarkcloud, 2012

Roma Publications 1998 – 2014

11 october > 13 december 2014

 

With contributions by Gwenneth Boelens, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Marlene Dumas, Geert Goiris, Kees Goudzwaard, Sara van der Heide, Arnoud Holleman, Rob Johannesma, Jan Kempenaers, Irene Kopelman, Bart Lodewijks, Mark Manders, Marc Nagtzaam, Oksana Pasaiko, Petra Stavast, Batia Suter, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Wouter van Riessen, and many others.

Roma Publications 1998 – 2014 is an exhibition that includes over 230 books and editions published by Roger Willems and Mark Manders in collaboration with a large number of artists, writers and designers. A publication is typically the end point of a project or exhibition; this exhibition, however, takes the printed format as its point of departure. Books, newspapers, posters and other printed matter are combined with artworks and installations relating to the publisher’s identity inside an exhibition dimension. The informal way of bringing art and publications together in a carefully composed exhibition gives clear insight into the working process of Roma Publications, which is based on a collaborative relationship to the artists. Another interesting element of this hybrid approach is that it questions the sometimes thin line between an original and a reproduction, and thus between the exclusiveness of an artwork and the democratic nature of a publication.

The exhibition aims to present the form of the book as an extended media that can involve the exhibition space. Some of the invited artists will contribute to the fading of the distinction between paper and space, image and material, original and reproduction (the print run of Roma Publications’ issues varies between 2 and 150.000 copies). Many of these practitioners use the book and printed matter as a central medium in their work, underlining not only the important role of publications to diffuse artistic production, but also in the rethinking of the book medium as an artistic practice.

The independent art publisher Roma Publications, founded in 1998 by artist Mark Manders and graphic designer Roger Willems, works in collaboration with artists, designers, writers and institutions. For the exhibition at the Fondazione Giuliani – the first occasion in which Roma Publications will be presented in Rome – the entire in-progress list of over 230 titles will be on display, in addition to a specially created reading room in which visitors can peruse each of the publications. Several new commissions and site-specific artworks will also be included in the exhibition, together with pre-existing works, all by artists who have actively collaborated with and participated in the activities of Roma Publications. With the exception of just two artists, all of these artists will be exhibiting in Rome for the first time, some for the first time in Italy.

On Saturday 11th October from 11:00am to 1:00pm, the Foundation will host a lecture by Louis Lüthi, a musical performance by Wouter van Riessen, a reading by Nickel van Duijvenboden and an informal conversation with the curators and some of the artists in the exhibition.

Curated by Lorenzo Benedetti and Roger Willems.

With support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Rome, the Flemish Government and Bioera

  • The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Melancholy and Ecologyinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Peter BuggenhoutGorgo #29, 2013 (Courtesy Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris)
  • Jochen LempertThe Skins of Alca impennis, 1993 – 2014 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Melancholy and Ecologyinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Jochen LempertUntitled, 2005 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • Peter BuggenhoutGorgo #33, 2013 (Courtesy Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris)
  • Jochen LempertUntitled (from: Symmetry and the Architecture of the Body), 1997 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • Jochen LempertUntitled (from: Symmetry and the Architecture of the Body), 1997 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • Jean-Marie PerdrixCheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013 (Courtesy Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City)
  • Jean-Marie PerdrixCheval, bronze à la chair perdue 3, 2013 (Courtesy Desiré Saint Phalle, Mexico City)
  • Jochen LempertMartha, 2005 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Melancholy and Ecologyinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Marlie MulPuddle (Twig), 2014 (Courtesy Fluxia, Milan)
  • Jochen LempertFire, 2008 (Courtesy ProjecteSD, Barcelona)
  • Marlie MulPuddle (Faint Blue), 2014 (Courtesy Fluxia, Milan)

The Registry of Promise: The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology

9 May > 18 July 2014

 

‘The Registry of Promise’ is a series of exhibitions that reflect on our increasingly fraught relationship with what the future may or may not hold in store for us. These exhibitions engage and play upon the various readings of promise as something that simultaneously anticipates a future, its fulfillment or lack thereof, as well as a kind of inevitability, both positive or negative. Such polyvalence assumes a particular poignance in the current historical moment. Given that the technological and scientific notions of progress inaugurated by the enlightenment no longer have the same purchase they once did, we have long since abandoned the linear vision of the future the enlightenment once betokened. Meanwhile, what is coming to substitute our former conception would hardly seem to be a substitute at all: the looming specter of global ecological catastrophe. From the anthropocentric promise of modernity, it would seem, we have turned to a negative faith in the post-human. And yet the future is not necessarily a closed book. Far from fatalistic, ‘The Registry of Promise’ takes into consideration these varying modes of the future while trying to conceive of others. In doing so, it seeks to valorize the potential polyvalence and mutability at the heart of the word promise.

Taking place over the course of approximately one year, ‘The Registry of Promise’ consists of four autonomous, inter-related exhibitions, which can be read as individual chapters in a book. It is inaugurated by ‘The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology’ at the Fondazione Giuliani, which will be followed by ‘The Promise of Multiple Temporalities’ at Parc Saint Léger Centre d’art contemporain, then ‘The Promise of Moving Things’ at Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, and will conclude with ‘The Promise of Literature, Soothsaying and Speaking in Tongues’ at SBKM/De Vleeshal.
Part one, ‘The Promise of Melancholy and Ecology’, addresses our increasingly forlorn and conflicted relationship with nature. Like so many Freudian melancholics, we are, it seems, unable to properly mourn the loss of something we can only imperfectly and incompletely grasp – nature, or our conception of it – because we can no longer separate it from our own egos. Thus this exhibition explores our perception of nature as something remote, largely of the domain of the unrecoverable past, and which can only be represented through extinction, as in the photos of Jochen Lempert of the Alca Impennis, or the Great Auk, which went extinct in the middle of the 19th century. Over the course of the past twenty years, Lempert has photographed 35 of the 78 extent examples, which can be found in natural history museums all over the world. The harrowing bronze and carbon sculptures of truncated animals by the French artist Jean-Marie Perdrix, which are made with the lost wax technique, speak to a similarly bygone intimacy with nature, but one whose infernal indexicality cannot but directly evoke Pompeii. The Belgian artist Peter Buggenhout’s tenebrous detrital assemblages tend toward a revised conception of the so-called natural by investing industrial materials with a quasi-organic quality. Finally, Dutch artist Marie Mul’s dark resin puddles, occasionally inflected with cigarette butts and plastic bags, assume a disturbing cogency in this context, as if they were the only plausible fluids available to our increasingly desolate conception of nature. And yet for all its apparent gloom, the work in this exhibition nevertheless collectively gestures toward the possibility that our perception of what it seeks to preserve, as opposed to mourn, might be less flexible than nature itself.

‘The Registry of Promise’ is a co-production of Fondazione Giuliani, Parc Saint Léger Centre d’art contemporain, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, and SBKM/De Vleeshal.

www.fondazionegiuliani.org | www.parcsaintleger.fr | www.credac.fr | www.vleeshal.nl

The project is part of PIANO, Prepared Platform for Contemporary Art, France–Italy 2014-2015, initiated by d.c.a / French association for the development of centres d’art, in partnership with the Institut français in Italy, the French Embassy in Italy and the Institut français, with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati.

www.pianoproject.org

  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni PiacentinoMA F.F., 1965
  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni Piacentino 1965 - 2000installation view, detail, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Gianni PiacentinoBLACK TRIANGLE VEHICLE WITH GRAY FENDER, 1969-1972
  • Gianni PiacentinoDARK AMARANTH FRAME VEHICLE WITH BLUE-GRAY TRIANGLE TANK, 1971-72

Gianni Piacentino 1965 – 2000

8 February > 5 April 2014

 

Curated by Andrea Bellini, the exhibition follows the major survey show held in the summer of 2013 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (CAC). It represents a unique opportunity to discover the work of this extraordinary artist, one of the protagonists – only then in his early twenties – of the Arte Povera movement and, above all, author of a fundamentally autonomous and entirely Italian version of American Minimalism.

A unique personality and difficult to pigeonhole into a single group, Piacentino decided to abandon the Arte Povera group in 1968 – at the age of twenty-three – in order to dedicate himself to the creation of a vast range of curious two- and three-wheeled vehicles. These vehicles are idealised means of transportation with no practical purpose, characterised by aerodynamic shapes and elegant colours and decoration. Even the metals he uses have a pictorial and decorative quality: one need only look at the way gold, silver, copper, chrome and nickel come together in little details. In their formal variations, the vehicles borrow from aesthetics that range from the first racing cars of the twentieth century to the most modern, from the fuselages of early airplanes to kick scooters, from the fuel tanks of the motorbikes of the 1920s and 1930s to those of today. In form and structure, they tend to maintain the minimal character of the sculptures he had been making in the previous four years. Like his first minimalist objects, they also seem to appear as trajectories of colour through space, enriching themselves with curves, lines and ornamental elements that bring to mind the elegance of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Beginning in the 1970s, Piacentino’s mechanical cosmogony started to bear a trademark: appearing on all his vehicles was the obsessive and omnipresent repetition of the abbreviation GP, the artist’s initials.

In this exhibition, Fondazione Giuliani presents the entire history of the artist, from the early “minimalist” sculptures to his extraordinary “vehicles” of the 1970s and ‘80s, to a selection of more recent works. A catalogue, produced in collaboration with the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, also accompanies the show. It is the first comprehensive monograph devoted to the artist and includes new essays written for the publication by Laura Cherubini, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Christophe Khim, Dan Cameron, an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist and a timeline of illustrations realised by Marianna Vecellio.

The work of Gianni Piacentino has been presented in innumerable public institutions, including the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; MoMA PS1, New York; Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund; Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, National Galerie; Berlin; Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels. In 1977 the artist participated in Documenta 6, Kassel, and in 1993 in the XLV Venice Biennale.

With support from Bioera.

  • Benoît Maire'Lies on the Beach', detail, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire'Lies on the Beach', detail, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Lies on the Beach', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Lies on the Beach', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Mairei.e. n°6, 2012
  • Benoît MairePhotographie de 3 armes du soir, 2013
  • Benoît MaireUntitled, 2013
  • Benoît MaireSocrates, 2013
  • Benoît MaireInstrument to measure, 2012
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'The Cave', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît MaireStalactites, 2012
  • Benoît MaireLe monde donné à midi, 2013
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'The Cave', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'The Cave', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire'The Cave', photo Benoît Maire
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)installation view 'Instruments with the Sun', photo Giorgio Benni
  • Benoît Maire'Lies on the Beach', detail, photo Giorgio Benni

spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach)

4 October > 14 December 2013

 

Using a wide range of media, including sculpture, photography, text, film and performance, Maire aims to construct an aesthetic system in which words and concepts emerge through visual and sculptural devices. His work, based upon philosophical, artistic and literary references, questions the affective value of a theory. While adhering to a rigorous conceptual approach, the artist is also engaged in an investigation of the more formal qualities of an artwork.

Part of Maire’s ongoing inquiry, spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach) is an investigation into the act of seeing and the process of measuring. A new body of works will be presented for the first time, together with recent pieces that have been adapted to the spaces of the Foundation. Divided into three parts, the exhibition proposes the taste of a narrative: the first part, “Lies on the Beach”, contains sculptural elements that can be moved throughout the space during the course of the show; the second part, “Instruments with the Sun”, presents handcrafted tools and videos of their manipulation, while the third and final part is conceived as a cave-like environment. The works are presented in contrasting – and sometimes confounding – ways of lighting (the Sun versus the Cave), yet their linear hanging on the walls suggests the linear narrative of a text.

A recurring component of the show is a series of works that allegorizes measurement and which embodies the relationship that human beings maintain to their surrounding environment. Through the measurement of objects and representations, the basic idea of philosophy as a mere science emerges. What the artist represents, then, is not philosophy itself, but a relation that is one condition of its possibility.

Born in Pessac, France in 1978, Benoît Maire resides in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Hollybush Gardens, London (upcoming); Weapon, David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Ohne Warum, Croy Nielsen, Berlin; Le fruit est défendu, Cortex Athletico, Paris (2013); History of Geometry, Halle Für Kunst, Luneburg and Walden Affairs, Den Haag; The Object of Criticism, De Vleeshal, Middleburg; Bientôt le métal entre nous se changera en or, Kunsthalle, Mulhouse (2011); L’espace nu, Frac Aquitaine, Bordeaux (2010). Selected group exhibitions include Les archipels réinventés 2, Ricard Foundation Prize, Marseille; L’amour atomique, Palais des Arts et du Festival, Dinard; Des gestes de la pensée, La Verrière, Bruxelles (2013); To the Moon via the Beach, Maja Hoffmann, LUMA Foundation, Arles; Le mont Juji n’existe pas, Frac Ile-de-France, le plateau, Paris (2012); Collections contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tableaux, Le Magasin, Grenoble; Desert Solitaire, CAC Vilnius (2011); Dynasty, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010).

spiaggia di menzogne (Lying Beach) is organized by Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, in collaboration with DRAF, London, and supported by the Académie de France à Rome – Villa Medici and Bioera.

  • Seb PataneImperial (Enter Chorus and Actors), 2011-13
  • Seb PataneLast Dance of the Nodding Folk, 2007-13
  • Seb PataneLast Dance of the Nodding Folk, 2007-13
  • Seb PataneLast Dance of the Nodding Folk, 2007-13
  • Seb PataneWillow's Song, Homage, 2013
  • Seb PataneWillow's Song, Homage, 2013
  • Seb Patane, The Foreigners Stand Stillinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Seb PataneMovement (featuring Rose Kallal), 2013
  • Seb Patane, The Foreigners Stand Stillinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Seb PataneBring Me the Head of the Preacher Man, 2013
  • Seb Patane, The Foreigners Stand Stillinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Seb PataneMonsieur Carnot (Ruby), 2013
  • Seb Patane, The Foreigners Stand Stillinstallation view, photo Giorgio Benni
  • Seb PataneA Series of Graceful Juggling Tricks (The Foreigners Stand Still), 2013, performance
  • Seb PataneLive in Pankow III, 2013

The Foreigners Stand Still

20 April > 19 July 2013

 

The exhibition is based on an idea of unconventional performance and aims to convey a sense of organized chaos, playing on a balance between visual rhythms and subtly incongruent sounds. Photographs, video and sound pieces are like components of a theatre set, composed in order to suggest an environment suspended between reality and fiction where sounds and images operate at the subconscious level. Patane creates alternative spaces of action and fruition, reflecting on abstraction rather than representation to deconstruct, reassemble and trigger new productions of meaning.

Formally austere, the installations only appear to contain a clearly defined message, while creating flexible and dynamic environments in which reminiscences of architectural structures are combined with symbols of violence and collective rebellion. Photographs and prints of marked historical and political connotations are selected through an instinctive, subjective approach. What attracts the artist is not so much the content of these testimonials of the past – collective gatherings, rituals and propaganda messages – but rather their aesthetic function, at one time a tool to convey a precise message, today cues for new visualizations. In the work Imperial (Enter Chorus and Actors), for example, the image of the arrival of George V’s coffin at King’s Cross Station in London is read by Patane as “accidental choreography”: a photograph that in its origins depicts a State ceremony, but in the present suggests to the artist a sort of dance. The artist gives his own point of view, but the potential of the image continues to be called into play to develop from spectator to spectator. The sound element acts as a rhythmic particle of the visual structure, which increases the internal contrast while simultaneously constructing a type of mantra.

For The Foreigners Stand Still Patane has created new versions of Live in Pankow, A Series of Graceful Juggling Tricks and Monsieur Carnot, all of which are specially arranged into new configurations to underscore a core belief of the artist: that truths are never fixed and always changing. New productions include the sound piece Che La Festa Cominci – inspired by the book of the same name by Niccolò Ammaniti and created in collaboration with Giancarlo Trimarchi – and the video Movement (featuring Rose Kallal), which includes the participation of the artist and musician Rose Kallal and contains key concepts of the exhibition. Characterized by sound interferences that oscillate between a sense of play and menace, the video presents fragments of different experiences associated with a sojourn of the artist in New York in 2011 that resurface both directly and indirectly. Related to a performance held at the ICA in London, one section of the video connects, through the unsettling feeling of threat instigated by the very stillness of a group of men ready for action, to the phenomenon of peaceful protests, like that of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Patane unites his focus on the dynamics of protest with a reflection on the concept of tradition, and on the difficulty of entering into a relationship with the understanding of the history and politics of a particular country. This work is tied a story that recalls in a surreal way an experience of the artist and which he has used as the title of the exhibition.

Seb Patane (b. 1970, Catania, Sicily) lives and works in London. Recent solo shows include Year of the Corn, International Art Objects, Los Angeles (2011); 400 Sonnets in Reverse, Together, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France (2011); Entrano il Coro e gli Attori, Galleria Fonti, Naples (2011); Seb Patane, Maureen Paley, London (2009); So this song kills fascists, Art Now, Tate Britain, London (2007); Live in Pankow, REC, Berlin (2007). Selected group exhibitions include La storia che non ho vissuto (testimone indiretto), Castello di Rivoli, Italy (2012); Utopia Gesamtkunstwerk, 21er Haus, Vienna (2012); Performative Attitudes, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2010); Voyages from Italy, Magasin – Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble (2010); The Object of the Attack, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2009).

Oscar Tuazon

Two-part Chair, ink on paper, 2012

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Scott Burton by Oscar Tuazon

Installation view, photo Giorgio Benni.

Oscar Tuazon/Elias Hansen

Untitled (Kodiak Staircase), 2008

Oscar Tuazon

Formerly, when how to get my living honestly..., 2012

Peter Fend

Uber die Grenze: May Not Be Seen or Read or Done, 2012 (detail)

Beau Dick

Shaman, 2009

Oscar Tuazon

Two Possible Chairs IV, 2012

Oscar Tuazon/Elias Hansen

Untitled (Kodiak Lamp), 2008

Scott Burton

21 April > 20 July 2012

 

by Oscar Tuazon

with Scott Burton, Beau Dick, Peter Fend, Jackie Ferrara, Martino Gamper, Bruce Goff, Elias Hansen, Bea Schlingelhoff, Oscar Tuazon

“The base, or pedestal, is a specialized form of table.”
– Scott Burton

I called the show “Scott Burton” because I had to put a name on how I feel. Probably it would have made more sense to take the title from Bea Schlingelhoff, and call it “Fuck The Participant”, a pun that would have described more accurately the dual nature of Burton’s work, subtly perverse, antagonistic, sexy. There’s a great self-portrait of Burton, posing in Afro wig and white face, wearing overalls and an enormous dildo, that could very well be subtitled Fuck the Participant.

I guess I tried to become Scott Burton. I don’t know how other people do it, but that’s how I do it. Which was strange. A demon came into my head. Suddenly I was alone inside that demon’s house. I tried to build pedestals, I tried to build tables. I thought very literally about becoming another person, I was wearing a Beau Dick mask. Dick makes masks in the Kwakiutl ceremonial tradition, objects designed to serve a function—but an idea of function expanded to include hallucinatory states and dreams. Call it psychic utility, I don’t know what to call it but I know what it does. I’m sure that Dick tries on the masks while he makes them, the way Martino Gamper tests the feel of a chair, by occupying it, testing it out with his body. Which is something you can’t say about painting. Bea said “painting as a medium might be inherently suspect,” and I tend to agree with her.

The renderings of Bruce Goff, the original outlaw architect, are closer to science fiction illustration than to traditional architecture. You can imagine Goff, in silk pajamas, building crystal fractal staircases in his mind, unearthing the orb, gilding the entire portal, inside and out. Elias and I tried that too, it was bad. Jackie Ferrara has taken a more systematic approach, rigorous and lean, a self-replicating program. Ferrara, one of the few artists to have ventured into the dangerous zone between sculpture and furniture prior to Burton, is known primarily for three-dimensional works. The extensive selection of drawings and photographs included in the exhibition, though they span the period from 1981-2007, display a remarkable consistency. Unpretentious and plain, the drawings have a rare didactic clarity—reading them is an almost physical experience.

Scott Burton was invited to do the seating for the MIT art gallery while the building was still being designed and he spent a lot of time going over the plans with the architect, I.M. Pei, finally fixating on a particular feature of the building. Burton’s proposal, of a stone bench in the lobby of the space, incorporated the hand railing of the building’s mezzanine as the backrest for the bench, quietly disappearing into the architecture of the building. Or, looked at another way, Burton’s proposal perverts the proscribed function of the space, opening a zone of confusion at the center of the building. I think that’s called topping from the bottom. Of course this radical gesture was actually illegal, contravening the building code for handrail height and use. The proposal was deemed too dangerous to build, and Burton moved on, developing the initial idea into an elegant and restrained bench, following the curve of the handrail from a distance, disappearing again.

Burton’s work is characterized by invisibility—perversely banal, inconspicuous, ugly, painful on the genitals, masochistic—and a kind of brutal self-recognition, painful realism. Brancusi came up with a name, ‘pragmatic sculpture’ that Burton liked to use, but Burton was a lot harder on himself than Brancusi ever was. Whereas Burton was a true nihilist, Peter Fend remains, for some unknown reason, an incurable optimist, the only person I can think of who still believes, fervently, in the revolutionary potential of an artwork to transform the world. What they share, apart from a masochistic love of failure, is a visionary and inspiring ideal of art as invisible, ubiquitous, elemental. Alive in the world. And, like Ferrara’s drawings, resolutely partial, incomplete—instructions awaiting action.

The thing about a chair is that when you’re using it you aren’t looking at it. Can a sculpture of a chair can also be a chair, can a thing can have a dual identity, be doubled, transsexualized, why can’t a thing can be two things?

  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer veertien, home, 4k video, 54'00'', Poland, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012 Courtesy Monitor Gallery, Rome; Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; Luhring Augustine, New York; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome.
  • Guido van der WerveNummer vertieen, home, 2013 installation view photo Giorgio Benni
  • Guido van der WerveNummer vertieen, home, 2013 installation view photo Giorgio Benni
  • Guido van der WerveNummer dertien, emotional poverty, Effugio C, You’re always only half a day away, 2010-11 installation view photo Giorgio Benni
  • Guido van der WerveEverything is going to be alright, 2007

Nummer Veertien, Home

5 February > 23 March 2013

 

Since 2003, when Guido van der Werve made his first film, the Dutch artist has based his works on offbeat, intense performative actions, which play on a continual shift from the real to the fantastic. Music, resistance and nature reoccur as symbolic components in his metaphysical visions, in which the artist often assumes the multiple roles of protagonist, composer and marathon runner. Solitary challenges of overcoming one’s own personal limits, marked by fears and emotional obstacles, are chronicled in a matter-of-fact way, capable however, of revealing a profoundly ironic and romantic spirit.

Nummer veertien, home (2012) is his most recent and first feature-length film. Presented for the first time in Italy, it will be on view at the Fondazione Giuliani from 5th February through 23rd March 2013. Concurrently with the screening of the film, it will also be possible to see the video You’re always only half a day away, which constitutes one of the components of the work Nummer dertien, emotional poverty from 2010-2011.

For twenty days and a distance of over 1700 km, Guido van der Werve embarked on an extreme pilgrimage from Poland to France, swimming, cycling and running from Warsaw to the tomb of Frédéric Chopin in Paris. The Polish composer’s dying wish, who was to be buried in the Parisian cemetery of Père Lachaise, was that his heart be returned to Poland to the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, where the film Nummer veertien, home begins. A requiem composed by van der Werve accompanies three intersecting narratives: his own nostalgic journey at the pace of a triathlon, a surreal return to his native Holland, and a documentary on Alexander the Great who, like Chopin, died far from home. A key element of the film and characteristic of van der Werve’s practice, is the calibrated use of subtle deadpan humour that loosens the gloomy and melancholic atmosphere of his works and make his arduous performances almost surreal. The search for a balance between contradicting states of mind and emotions acts as metaphor of an intimate interior conflict that through the various films is extrapolated, played down, made more sustainable.

In Nummer dertien, emotional poverty, the myth of ‘no return’, emotional stasis and a latent sense of failure become triggers of three extreme endurance tests which are documented through a series of slides, photographs, text and the video You’re always only half a day away. In the video van der Werve runs without stopping around the perimeter of his house in Finland, ironically challenging both himself and the attention of the spectator for twelve consecutive hours.

Coproduced by the Fondazione Giuliani, Nummer veertien, home was presented for the first time in Europe at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and is currently on view at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam from 25th January to 28th April 2013.

Guido van der Werve (b. 1977, Papendrecht, Holland) lives in Hassi, Finland and Berlin. Recent solo shows include Secession, Vienna (upcoming 2013); Nummer veertien, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York (2012); Emotional Poverty, Galerie Juliette Jongma, Amsterdam (2011); Blackbox, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC (2009); Everything is going to be alright, Hayward Gallery, London (2008); on parity of days, Kunsthalle Basel (2008).