Until January 31 MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma hosts the second edition of ART Situacions, curated by María de Corral, Ilaria Gianni, Lorena Martínez de Corral and Vicente Todolí. ART Situacions, directed by Pilar Forcada with the collaboration of Zètema Progetto Cultura, in every edition analyze the art scene of a given country and puts it in relation with the Spanish one, offering a deep research on artistic poetics and languages.

In this edition, artworks by Italian artists Ludovica Carbotta, Gabriele de Santis, Anna Franceschini, Diego Marcon and Alek O. are presented along with pieces by Spanish artists Miren Doiz, José Guerrero, Rubén Guerrero, Teresa Solar Abboud and Anna Talens. The show, previously hosted at Villa Croce museum in Genova, from February 19 until May 8 will be on view at Matadero in Madrid.

For this second part we asked to Alek O., Anna Talens and Ludovica Carbotta to introduce us to their pieces in the show, highlighting from which necessities and life experiences they came about and how their research dialogues and have a relationship with the time we’re living in.

Alek O., Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Jacopo Tommasini

Alek O., Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Alek O.:

“After a rainy day, collect as many broken umbrellas as you can. Better when windy. Visit crowded roads and commercial streets, paying attention to handles showing from the the trash cans. Separate the canvases from the metal structures, wash them and finally divide each one in 8 triangles. For Art Situacions I’m presenting a new piece, by combining found umbrellas I look for an image that challenges the limits of the material. The resulting three dimensional image is an invitation to dive beyond the polyester surface.

When I was a child, the easiest way of owning anything was directly picking it up from the streets. Avoiding intermediaries, and with no need of negotiating, this kind of autocracy was a first attempt of freedom. I would favour colorful cigarette packs, gold lines, and light blu backgrounds.

Two strongboxs meet in the desert. What do they tell each other? Such a happy combination! I would like to imagine my work as the combination of today’s ordinary with beauty”.

Anna Talens, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Jacopo Tommasini

Anna Talens, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Anna Talens:

“I work with site specific projects in diferent enviroments and I also build objects. For the exhibition in Macro we selected a group of 4 objects. My objects are about „encounter/meeting”. I find objects in different environments and once they are in the studio I transformed them into works of art. Sometimes the intervention is minimal, sometimes I need to work with the object for long periods of time and sometimes is about put two objects, that were previously separate, in dialogue to build a new meaning. „Ara“ is made with feathers from different birds from the same specie. I ordered them by size to give life to a dead bird. I have woven with copper a strip to put all of them together. This piece is the first one of a serie called: „Rebuilding birds“, such an impossible as wonderful action. I found in an antiquarian shop some botanical illustrations from the nineteenth century, they are hand- colored. It was very sad to see them without the original book, so I decided to built a new book for them. „Hortus conclusus“ is a Leporello that folds in zig zag and that it is display opened on the floor like a closed wall, where you can see inside the plants, like a cloister. It is a closed garden, that paradise where we dream to live in. A place to grow our species and dedicate the time to contemplate, like the monks in the Midle Ages or like the painted garden fresco of Villa di Livia. „Yo“ is another book that talks about the encounter with yourself, with the time of your own life. It has 100 pages, one for each year, separated by silk sheets every 20 years. At the top, there is a mirror in which you can see yourself and recognize your life transformed into a book that you are writing or reading, consuming year by year. The book is black, in memory of the books that were burned in Die Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek in Weimar. When I visited the library I was very impressed to see how the restorers care of the burned books. In „Fern und firn“ I’ve done the minimal intervention and it is a product of chance, a fact that I adore. I was working in the studio with gold leaf on paper and I drew a silhouette that casually fits perfectly with the silhouette of Mount Gran Zebrù, one of the highest peaks in the Ortler Alps in Italy, which appears in the middle of this book on mountaineering. This paper serves as a separator and further emphasizes the value of the height of the mountains that we all try to climb.

It is a fact that we all collect objects, to use them, to remember something or someone, to contemplate, etc. I want to communicate through objects. The objects are containers of memory and are capable, when they are transformed and arranged in a sacred way, to evoke stories to the viewer. It is about generating an archeology of feelings and share the nostalgia of an ideal world ever lived. For me art is not only the objects or installations I produce, I transform, or I manufactured, is the way I see, analyze, and feel the life and the world. It is a way to say: I am alive, I’m here, I found this, I felt this and it is amazing and I want you to see it! Life is a precious gift, and this is one of the main reasons why I use beauty as a way to comunicate pain.

I feel countertrend, building my own universe that is being created through each of my objects and installations. Each of my work gives me the opportunity to make real something I imagined and know more about this imaginary world, based in the real life. I am working with the tangible, located in a world in which the virtual is already accepted as real. But I guess we still need to touch to prove the existence of certain kind of things. I offer the possibility to stop at the observation of things, rescuing objects of the tangible world to make real what we had imagined. Aware of the existential suffer, I advocate a blissful effort to share with the others, to comunicate without words”.

Ludovica Carbotta, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Ludovica Carbotta, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Ludovica Carbotta:

“In the last years I am exploring what I call fictional site specificity, a form of site-oriented practice that considers imaginary places or embodies real places with fictional contexts, recovering the role of imagination as a value to construct our knowledge. The installation shown at Macro Apart, we are together is part of this research and it focuses on moments of individual isolation, in conditions of communal living and working. This project is a follow up of A motorway is a very strong wind, (realized at Careof in Milan, 2014) in which I translated a collection of descriptions into a physical environment. The words collected came from contributions of several artists, critics, and researchers, to which I asked to provide their own personal descriptions of what they perceive as an ideal place for a community. For Apart, we are together I have decided to design dedicated objects that can be easily adopted in real situations to experience moment of isolation. This fundamental compulsion emerged several times in the previous descriptions collected as a fundamental need in conditions of communal living and working. Specifically I thought about three different conditions and situations: a working environment, a family group and traveling. Apart, we are together is an installation made by three displays with a series of objects, drawings and photographs.

The objects on which I worked for Apart we are together are the prototypes of tools useful to isolation, silence, change of space perspective and reversal of temporal conventions in a group life condition. In some cases they have functional characteristics very simple, in other cases, their functions are entirely imaginary. The starting point for the design comes from some topics from the texts collected previously, as well as from my own experiences related to travel and certain family dynamics. From some time I am thinking about the possibility of starting a long term project departing from the idea to enter wholly imaginary objects into the real-life. Or interfere in the daily reality with abstract elements. If I started by considering fictional narration, interpreting its words to build a real space composed by sculptures, drawings, photographs and objects that can be adopted in real-life situations, what interests me now is to decipher and interpret this material again, translating into a text one more time. In fact, I’m working on a third chapter of the project. What I would do now, since these are not cataloged objects, is to relate them to other areas not directly linked to the art …. First of all I would like to test these artifacts to a family, employees of an office and a traveler to gather evaluation feedback on their usefulness; later I wish these objects encounter various specialists as an archaeologist, a psychologist, a planner, so that they analyze them using their vocabulary and language specific.

In the specific work Apart we are together, the relationship between individual and group (small or large) leads to reason on the meaning of isolation in our contemporary society. Normally the word isolation is used with a negative connotation, and reflects an unfavourable condition. The isolation to which the objects invite for, even if goes through tricky or imaginary operation systems, reflects, in my opinion, a common need and a common will without any negative meanings. The complexity is inherent in the objects, it’s almost like we have to rely on something that has a specific shape, its own vocabulary, its specific function, which are stranger to us to justify our need for isolation. For example, in order to isolate in a conversation face to face, within the family context, we need the Muffle Phone: these appliances are indispensable to establish a real conversation for very large and noisy families, in fact, are able to eliminate all background noises and to amplify the voice of the two interlocutors. During a trip to the Sky Glasses for Dreamy Travelers allow us to continuously watch the sky and the Urlatoio gives us a break in a stressful working environment. If I can speak more generally of my work, however, in the last years my interest is to investigate spaces and places of living with a narrative approach focused on the role of the imagination. Much of contemporary thought recognizes the imagination as a critical tool and cognitive and generative of new visions and possibilities of the real”.

Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Jacopo Tommasini

Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Ludovica Carbotta, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Jacopo Tommasini

Ludovica Carbotta, Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia

Alek O., Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Jacopo Tommasini

Alek O., Art Situacions, View of the installation, MACRO, Roma, IT, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Fabio Cimaglia