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Galleria Enrico Astuni

Exhibitions. Museums, Galleries, Homes and other stories

Martin Borowski, David Shaw, Kamen Stoyanov, Roberto Ago, Jan Dibbets, Martin Creed, Darius Miksys, Jimmie Durham

Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna
from: 10 june 2011 to: 30 september 2011

Works: Roberto Ago, Martin Borowski, David Shaw, Kamen Stoyanov

Environmental interventions: Martin Creed, Jan Dibbets, Jimmie Durham, Darius Miksys

Opening Friday June 10th, 7 pm
June 10th - September 30th, 2011

On Friday 10 June, Galleria Astuni will be presenting the “Museums, Galleries, Homes and Other Stories” exhibition curated by Lorenzo Bruni, with “pictures” and “environmental interventions” specially created for the occasion by artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds.

Curated by Lorenzo Bruni, the “Museums, Galleries, Homes and Other Stories” project is a response to the challenge of bringing together two types of exhibition that are generally considered as interchangeable but not coexistent. The decision to bring together these two concepts – pictures that are independent from reality and an on-going process that interacts with the space itself – naturally leads to an exasperation of what should differentiate them. For this reason, while the first section consists of photographs, sculptures, and paintings, the second is characterised by “environmental interventions” that relate to and emerge from the gallery space to such a point that they merge into it. In the works of Martin Borowski, David Shaw, Kamen Stoyanov, and Roberto Ago we find ourselves facing “representations” of the real world, but extrapolated from it, in which spatial relations are epitomised and materialised within a specific perimeter. This is achieved using apparently classical media, which immediately allow us to label these pictures as “works of art”. With the “environmental interventions” of Martin Creed, Jan Dibbets, Darius Miksys, and Jimmie Durham, on the other hand, it is the dematerialisation of the works and the fact that they apparently have no precise medium that gives these “object-based presences” the status of works of art, as well as turning the entire gallery into the space of a work. This “technical” rather than “thematic” approach to understanding these works, which are obliged to be visible together in this exhibition, raises the issue of what the role of the places of art is today with regard to society, and what the public expect from them. On the other hand, if we look at works from a “conceptual” point of view, the query that seems to hover in the air is what the characteristics are that give everyday objects the status of works of art or “merely” that of objects of affection.

Running through the entire “short” twentieth century, which ended just ten years ago, this question is inevitably linked to our more ancestral doubts about “representation” and what to represent: in other words, what object? And for whom? Now, at a time when the circulation of images coincides with the circulation of information, the typical modernist contrast between “representation” and “presentation”, and between “creation” and “assembly” gives us new food for thought. As a result, the difference between the two types of exhibition – which conflict at the visual level – implodes on itself, for all these works are designed to stimulate our perceptions with regard to what we are observing at that moment. This is possible because while the artists present or represent an image of reality, they also provide the cultural mechanisms that allow us to recognise, analyse, and interpret it. The works in the “Museums, Galleries, Homes and Other Stories” exhibition also have in common their use of everyday objects, obliging us to wonder what it is that makes us refer to an object as “personal” or “impersonal”, or to be observed in an intimate or in an objective manner. What is so distinctive about these works, and about their attempt to have the space of life and that of art interact, is that they are on the borderline between the figurative and the abstract dimension, forming part of both through their action of recollection, while detracting nothing from the importance of the imagination.

The alienating or epiphanic dimension that inspires all the works on show gives new, refounding value to the issues raised by French structuralism in the 1960s concerning the problems of vision – in other words, if it is motivated by recognition of what we already know, or solely by the need to discover new things. This is quite clear just from reading the list of subjects of the works on show. We find the curtain, which slowly opens and closes, revealing the existence of the outside world, in Martin Creed’s Work No. 990, the desk on which the press releases can be seen in Tresen, the painting by Martin Borowski, and the circular windows through which we can make out the landscape photographed by Jan Dibbets during his trips, but which become authentic “presences” in the place where they are shown, since they are transfigured and made elliptical by the excessively narrow angle of the shot. Then we find photographs in Kamen Stoyanov’s Cultura on the Bonnet, in which a country house stands out behind the car with the bonnet painted by a local artist-craftsman, the logs of wood cut and stacked like in the cold lands conjured up and transformed in David Shaw’s sculptures, the picture of the ideal home in rezus end, made by Darius Miksys with one of the first construction applications in Second Life, and the two-tone images by Roberto Ago with their perfect modernist influence, against which we see texts asking us to imagine episodes between the absurd and the possible, linked to the places of contemporary art. Lastly, there is the shock and impact of the sequence of glass being shattered against a wall, which recalls a quarrel or an act of revolt and that, in Jimmie Durham’s work, becomes a surreal experience brought about by the immaterial way in which we perceive it, since it enters the exhibition space in the form of an audio recording.

What stories do these objects have to tell? What stories might these works suggest? The “Museums, Galleries, Homes and Other Stories” project originally arose as a reflection on, or criticism of, “exhibition displays”, leading on to an important reflection on the concept of belonging and of “home”, and on the point of view from which we need to rethink and interact with the world. As a certainty from which an individual can understand his or her physical and mental relationship with the world, this metaphor of the home, which is suggested but not shown in the works, was fairly recurrent in the twentieth century. Possibly because it was only in that century, with the advent of the industrialised world, that a clean break was made between public and private space, and this systematically prepared the way for a new dimension of nomadism. What belongs to us? What idea of culture do we belong to? These are the latent questions that characterise our “liquid modernity” and the present “immaterial world of live communications”. A world that these works – which are at once abstract and figurative, impersonal and intimate – attempt to analyse and examine in depth.

Even though they are from very different generations and geographical areas, the artists involved in the “Museums, Galleries, Homes and Other Stories” project curated by Lorenzo Bruni are internationally acknowledged for their contribution to today’s cultural debate. The principal events they have taken part in recently include the following exhibitions: Roberto Ago (Rome, 1972; lives and works in Milan), 3rd Premio Maretti – Museo Pecci, Prato, 2011; “Senza titolo #1 – Landscapes (confini in disordine)”, Magazzino, Rome, 2010. Martin Borowski (Germany, 1970; lives and works in Berlin), “Patience spielt man allein”, Galerie Volker Diehl, Berlin; “Zukunft seit 1560, Jubiläumsausstellung zum 450-jährigen Bestehen der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden”, Dresden. Martin Creed (Wakefield, England, 1968; lives and works in London), “ILLUMInazioni”, 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice, 2011; “Mothers”, Hauser & Wirth, London, 2011. Jan Dibbets (Weert, Germany, 1941; lives and works in Amsterdam), “Horizons”, Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris – MAM/ARC, Paris, 2010; “I Believe in Miracles – 10th Anniversary of The Lambert Collection” – Collection Lambert, Avignon, 2010. Jimmie Durham (Arkansas (USA), 1940; lives and works in Rome), “Rocks Encouraged”, Portikus, Frankfurt/Main, 2010; Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina – MADRE, Naples, 2008. Darius Miksys (Kaunas, Lithuania, 1969. Lives and works in Vilnius), 54th International Art Exhibition, representative of the Lithuanian national pavilion, Venice, 2011; Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain, 2010. David Shaw (Rochester, New York, 1965; Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York), “Kompass. Zeichnungen aus dem Museum of Modern Art, NY”, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2011; “Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity”, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY, 2004. Kamen Stoyanov (Rousse, Bulgaria, 1977; lives and works in Vienna), Biennale of Sydney, 2010; Manifesta 7, Trentino, Italy, 2008.

Bologna 40126
Via Iacopo Barozzi, 3
tel. +39 051 4211132
fax +39 051 4211242

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