il trucco e le maschere at Byblos Art Gallery

18 Jan

Will be going to the opening for sure!!!:

Il Trucco e le Maschere


 Curated by Danilo Eccher  January 22 – March 27, 2010

Press release

 Byblos Art Gallery continues its path of research and exploration of the most innovative contemporary art languages, from January 22 to March 27, 2010, with the group exhibition “Il Trucco e le Maschere” (The Makeup and Masks), a dizzying journey into the realm of metamorphosis and the game that misleading distorts reality, escaping the traditional aesthetic through the works of five of the most interesting players in the international scene: Mat Collishaw, Angelo Filomeno, Yasumasa Morimura, Tony Oursler, Sissi.

Makeup, masks, ambiguity, disguise, misleading perception, distorted manipulation of reality are the expressive and formal ways that the exhibition, curated by Danilo Eccher, aims to explore through painting, sculpture, video installation and photography, along the boundary lines of a language which, also through exaggeration, suggests the invention, image processing and irony as a means of artifice and contemporary illusion.

Emerging in the nineties as one of the leading exponents of the Young British Art (YBA) movement, Mat Collishaw characterizes his most recent artistic production as less disruptive to a visual language that is related to an iconographic imagery of the past.

In the series of photographs presented here “Insecticide”, the artist takes up the theme of still life from the Baroque period, representing the undoing of the moth as a metaphor for the sense of precariousness in life.

Through the mythological symbol of lightness, elegance and splendor, but also of weakness, vanity and pride, the artist represents the insects captured in the moment of their death to allude to contemporary society and its fleeting and ephemeral values.

The embalmed bodies of butterflies, which recall the cabinets of curiosity en vogue in the 7th century, revealing the brutality of violent death through the details of the torn wings, broken antennae and crushed bodies. The biblical admonition of Vanitas is represented by a morbid and lush aesthetic that insinuates a disquieting memento mori in the viewer.

In his work, Collishaw demonstrates his interest in the ambiguities and disagreements of images that seduce and disturb at the same time, that arouse ambivalent feelings of enchantment and disenchantment, attraction and repulsion in the viewer, in a short circuit in continuous artistic metamorphosis.

The magnificent obsessions of Angelo Filomeno come to life through the manipulation of precious textiles on which the artist from Salento works, in his laboratory for creations of theatrical costumes in New York.

Thanks to the ancient tradition of embroidery that Filomeno uses with refined tailoring skills in an original and expressive language praised by international critics, the artist draws on a piece of shantung silk, hand woven especially for him to the frame by Indian artisans, a Baroque imaginary symbolism which scary skulls and monstrous creatures are the backdrops. Life and death, seduction and pain, alchemical transformations embroider the beautiful and terrifying visions of the artist forever.

 The different perceptions that the self can feel and the reality that surrounds it, and the human capacity to experience and alternative role, however, are the main topics of the reflections of Yasumasa Morimura, one of the most renowned contemporary Japanese artists, using photography as the art of forgery, ambiguity in a formal check of the traditional concepts of reality and fiction. Famous for his intended use of a mask, which represents a perfect overlay epitomizing the collective Western imagination, Morimura has come to producing a portrait that embodies the plural drift of post-modern society, the breaking of the identity and the consequent loss of the subject.

The exhibition displays a selection of photographs. In these images, taken in a strict black and white, the body of Morimura interprets the history of the twentieth century. In the figure of others, the artist reflects on himself, his identity but also on the issue of identification and desire for a model in which to recognize himself. In the poetry of disguise brings into play his own body and his with explicitly oriental features, Morimura seems to embody the sense of the ridiculous, proving how far an attempt at exasperated imitation may become exaggerated and unresolved.

 The recurrent theme in the perusal of the American artist Tony Oursler, one of the pioneers of so-called “media art”, is instead the individual and its interaction with space. Combining sculpture, multimedia projections and recordings of the human voice, Oursler studies interaction with the audience and the animation of psychological and philosophical concepts within an area almost dreamlike and terrifying, which accentuates the sense of unease and anxiety of the viewer, whose emotional participation is total and involving. His most recent production, documented in the exhibition, reveal an attention to progressive fragmentation of the body, so that the human presence breaks up until it is reduced to something particular like an eye or a mouth, which animate geometric shapes that are no longer recognizable as human features. Inspired by Pop Art, Oursler also explores the possibilities of creating video projections that reproduce wide, oversized everyday objects.

In the work Cigarettes Oursler plays with socially accepted dependence, representing a forest of burning cigarettes. In the installation the images are projected on tall white cylinders of different sizes, each cigarette brand is different and the viewer can see in detail the combustion process of tobacco with the ashes that are slow to accumulate. The effect of such a magical and surprising accuracy makes a contrast between the images represented and the surrounding space, free of smoke.

 Disguise is also at the heart of the experience with the Bolognese artist, Sissi, who poses herself as an object of contemplation and an intregral part of her works involve the body ending in modification. Organic matter is the main source of fascination for the artist, in creating works that invade space, creating a dreamlike universe, enveloping and deeply sensual, it feeds her imagination.

Famous for her work in which the use of yarn, processed in neo-craft modality as entangled emotions, they become materials for constructing protective enclosures in which the artist sometimes becomes wrapped and imprisoned, in her performances, Sissi leads a kind of parody of the system in fashion, deriving the need to enhance the decorative and ornamental value but just treats them in a deliberately exaggerated and excessive way, reaching a degree of Baroque emphasis, evident in a search for identity in paradoxical tones. One of the large installations selected for the exhibition, entitled “Al di là dello sguardo la corda lega” (Beyond the gaze ties the rope), inspired by the Shinto philosophy, which Sissy encountered for the first time in Japan, experienced while the artist resided there. This is a series of drawings in pen on oval canvases framed by braided cords, diverse in kind and color that are layered around them giving them the shape and the idea of a body.

Writes Danilo Eccher in the text of the catalog accompanying the exhibition:

 “The impatience for the limited urges us to imagine alternative worlds that anyone can access transforming the fiction of the entertainment experience, and as a result, reality. And the second life, but also the fictional film, the occasion on television. And the postmodern simulation, everything is possible provided it comes to interrupt the certainty of an already outlined present and the inescapable conclusion of physical corruption.”

January 22 – March 27 2010

Opening Friday, January 22 from 7pm – 11pm

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 2.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Closed Mondays and Holidays



Corso Cavour 25/27, 37121 Verona (I)Ph. +39 045 8030985

Fax +39 045 8011410

Press Office

Studio Pesci of Federico Palazzoli

Via San Vitale 27, 40125 Bologna (I)

Ph. +39 051 269267

Fax +39 051 2960748


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