Less than a week left to the opening of DAMA, the exposition of 10 galleries selected by Domenico De Chirico and set up in Palazzo Saluzzo di Paesana from November 3rd to 6th, 2016. We already published focuses on the “curated fair” thanks to the interviews to the creator Giorgio Galotti, the curator of the live program Lorenzo Balbi and Domenico De Chirico. Here to follow a brief introduction to the galleries proposals.
Antenna Space, Shanghai – Yu Honglei
Born 1984 in Inner Mongolia, currently live and works in Beijing. His moving image and sculptural practice takes inspiration from a unique visual vernacular of online image database and visual cultures of Chinese cities. These sources are used by the artist and applied with the artist’s sculptural touch. What he is interested in is the plasticity of thought forms and the sensible entities it corresponds to. Such plasticity allows Yu to execute the cognitive leap between the visual currencies as employed by his works and their titles, allowing for a hermeneutic and polysemic output, which informs his highly personal artistic discourse.
His recent solo exhibitions include: Swallow’s Century, Antenna Space, Shanghai, 2016; Sketch, Telescope, Beijing, 2015; Fat Mouse, Antenna Space, Shanghai, 2014; Everything Is Extremely Important: There Is Nothing That Will Not Come Back Again, Magician Space, Beijing, 2013.
For Yu Honglei, what pronounces the meaning of his sculptural object is its space for the free play of imagination, its plasticity of both the form and the content. The work Stand particularly refers to the visual vocabularies that opens towards gravity, time, and archeology.
CINNNAMON, Rotterdam – Isabelle Andriessen / Johanne Hestvold
Isabelle Andriessen (the Netherlands, 1986, lives and works in Amsterdam) contributes three sculptures that can be read as zombie-landscapes – living/dead toxic environments. These ‘performative’ sculptures produce heat, the melting of materials make them seem uncannily alive, they fall into the category of what Andriessen calls the miscellaneous undead.
Johanne Hestvold (Bergen, Norway, 1988, lives and works in Copenhagen and Malmö) contributes works from an untitled series of water-jet cut windshields. (The artist prefers not to explain her work, so we will not attempt on her behalf.)
DREI, Colonia – Cédric Eisenring
At DAMA we will show a solo presentation by Swiss and Zurich based artist Cédric Eisenring (b. 1983). For the special environment of the red room of Palazzo Saluzzo di Paesana the artist will develop a new series of works, such as the heliogravure paper works the artist became known for – for DAMA all combined with typical cardboard settings as more sculptural and installational and therefore in a strong relationship with the space on a formal level, but also content wise in works like ‘Sandstone Baby’s’ (2016) with motifs of children’s figures found in public spaces and buildings throughout Switzerland. So, the display in general will provide an intimate reception of the exhibition provided and the space hosting it. This will be even benefited by a small series of psychedelic lampshades produced for the spaces lighting.
Giorgio Galotti, Torino – Sarah Jane Hoffmann / Piotr Skiba
Sarah-Jane Hoffmann (1984, Germany) lives and works in Amsterdam, she creates sculptural installations and videos in which the human body and geometrical forms seem to interrogate each-others presence. To fit a Prothesis, is a series of objects realized for DAMA, made of curved copper tubes and real plants. The plants vary from eucalyptus populus to wooden branches and are integrated into the copper. This work intend to create a relations between artificial and reality, in which the tubes propose themselves as supplement bodies for the real-live plants, acting as their fabricated continuation and pretending to be part of them. This works takes a poetic two-way angle on the notion of dependancy and corporeality in times where an abundant number of accessories are becoming an integral part of human nature. The slender and fragile objects allude to present-day artefacts with technological, fashionable and practical qualities that are continuously growing on us and adapting to us as we adapt to them.
Piotr Skiba (1981, Poland) is an artist working, living and teaching in Wroclaw. His practice is focused on films, sculptures and installations. He often uses found objects that become part of the traditional sculptural practice. On the occasion of DAMA he presents (Untitled), 2016 – steel textile, copper, patina, variable dimensions – a new site specific work realized for the ‘Council room’ of Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, where he uses gold and copper fabrics to cover the old mirror and the council table in the same way it happens for the abandoned houses, where furniture are often preserved from dust and time passing with white sheets.
MAXIMILLIAN WILLIAM, Londra –
“Its great to see a fair of this kind in turin, especially with such a curated and intimate approach such as DAMA. I’m extremely excited to see the conversation created between Magda’s paintings and the tradition and history of the Palazzo.”
Magda Skupinska (Born 1991, Warsaw. Lives and works in London) works only with natural or degradable materials. Her sensitive approach to art-making engages with growing concerns about the impact of human activity on the environment, and with our increasing interrelation with science and the machine. There is an exciting and deliberate air of unpredictability connected to Skupinska’s practice, as the materials used on the canvas are often not determined until late in her process.
For her latest body of work, Skupinska is investigating the properties of new materials from the spice markets of Marrakesh, and also from the perfumeries of Grasse. These materials will then be degraded and turned into powder. The definitive part of Skupinska’s practice is the process and shape her artwork embodies after transformation. She is keenly interested in how her work interacts with its surrounding environment, but Skupinska is also concerned with how it engages the senses and minds of the viewer.
NEOCHROME, Torino – Stephanie Hier
“DAMA è una bellissima iniziativa in quanto si propone di creare una sinergia del tutto nuova tra il segmento più emergente e sperimentale dell’arte contemporanea e la storicità del Barocco settecentesco piemontese. Siamo lieti di partecipare alla prima edizione di DAMA con una personale site-specific di Stephanie Hier. Ci auguriamo inoltre che la qualità del progetto possa essere riconosciuta e premiata dai tanti visitatori che a novembre ci faranno visita.”
Margherita Artoni & Marco Marrone (NEOCHROME)
Stephanie Hier (Born in 1992 in Toronto, Canada. Lives and works in Queens, New York and Toronto, Canada)
A Google image search of paint cans, clip art, cartoon hands and How to Juggle; Ruisdael skies, Loonie Toons, Bierstadt’s cliffs and sumptuous grapes; Rococo hands, nautical sweaters, Nudie suits and paint brushes. The crux of Stephanie Hier’s practise explores the effects of the collapsing imagery resulting from the flow of history. To conglomerate disparate images into a single canvas establishes an embodied meditation on the meaning of these symbols in our world at large. As such, her work offers a considered and informed rhetoric concerning paintings’ place in our time. This speaks directly to artists and creators by focussing on pertinent materials and tools used in the making of art, while also pointing a finger (both literally and figuratively) to all 21st century image consumers.
Within the solo project with NEOCHROME at the Master Apartment of Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, the space itself becomes yet another node in the network of the symbols employed on Hier’s canvases. The references in the paintings fall in line with Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana as footnotes in the history of visual culture. As these differing symbols mingle together they create the tension and harmony which complete’s Hier’s ultimate vision.
NEUMEISTER BAR-AM, Berlino – Priscilla Tea
Priscilla Tea, 1983, Milan, Italy has always worked from the same formal constraint, that of the landscape painting. Inspired in the early noughties by the work of her peer, the artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis’s work, especially that in the online virtual world ‘Second Life’, Tea set out to explore what a contemporary vista was. Since then her paintings have drawn on the ideology of the expansive, endless online space. Huge paintings, up to 10 meters long, explore subtle digital gestures, combining fragments of architecture and horizon lines. Painted with the best oil colours in fine brush strokes these works concretise the uninhabitable landscape of the online.
For the inauguration of DAMA Priscilla Tea will exhibit several new large oil landscape paintings.
Tea’s paintings escape the spatial limitations of their origins on a screen, working only in large format from 2-3meters in width. Ambiguous expanses of sky or structure are depicted with computerised traits; of format, gradation and fixed-width colour blocking and rendered in thin layers of oil, painted by Tea onto large canvases.
Her paintings seem to be a meditative reflection upon our engagement with images via a screen, rather than a representation of it. Their scale and interplay between depth and flatness also form an impact on perception of space they’re exhibited in, consequently resisting documentation and reinsertion to the virtual.
Investigating a lineage of future focused yet critical architects, from Superstudio, through Keller Easterling to Tea’s peer Andreas Angelidakis, gives other clues to unpicking her relation to spacial awareness, infrastructure and utopianism.
TOBIAS NAEHRING, Lipsia – Sophie Reinhold / Jan Bünnig
The sculptor Jan Bünnig (born 1972, Berlin) deals in an incisive and ironic manner with both the creative process of an artist as well as the traditional connotations and actual characteristics of the materials he uses for his artworks. Often, his sculptures are site-specific works whose material condition changes during the duration of the exhibition and thereby evoke associations of growth, mortality and uncontrollability. Most times, the artist uses original materials such as wood, clay, stone and sand and creates forms that stand contrary to their actual material features. With the works the artists present in the exhibition, he stages a past that turns out to be just a claim of himself: the so-called prehistoric objects entitled “Toilet Brush”, “Early Broom” and “Szepter“ appear like archeological finds of Stone Age commodities, but their potential function turns out to be useless and thereby ironically refer to the achievements of the modern age.
Sophie Reinhold (born 1981, Berlin) – Mineral material including graphite, bitumen and marble dust are central to Sophie Reinhold’s painting practice. They are combined with binding agents and water, and the resulting mass is applied to the canvas. In a repetitive, mechanical sanding process, it is continuously leveled and condensed until a smooth, glasslike surface results. The varying substances reflect the origin materials’ divergent qualities and spatial origins, by the way in which their color appears on the surface of the canvas. In a series of new works the process of layering is made visible: segments of layers are masked off before a new layer is applied. A few of these bear marks of color.
This can be described as follows: Even symbolic forms are unrecognizable at first glance, the gaze of the viewer us directed along the contours and over the image ́s surface, eventually gliding upwards and away, similar to the way a satellite registers the contours of a landscape. For Reinhold color here functions as a form of recognition, that first and foremost serves as proof of her personal, physical presence. Not unlike grafitti on the wall claiming “I was here”, Reinhold posits that the application of color in the moment of creation acts as a confirmation of her existence at a geographic site.
WSCHÓD, Varsavia – Mateusz Chòrobski / Daniel Koniusz
Mateusz Choróbski received a bachelor’s degree in photography from the University of Arts in Poznań (2011) and a master’s degree in media arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2013). He achieved further expertise in multimedia during the period between 2011 and 2013 thanks to the inter-university cooperation between his home institute and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
In his artistic undertakings, Mateusz Choróbski tests various ranges and scales of artistic expression: from short films to complex arrangements in gallery spaces, or contextual activities in public spaces. A significant aspect of his work is awareness of the relationship: picture viewer space, which is evident in the themes explored by him and influences the specific nature of his creativity.
“When I’m thinking about a work, I try to create structures with many layers of meaning, which require concentrating for a longer while. Recently, I’ve been turning towards raw materials in an attempt to situate them within a specific concept by tapping into their properties and meanings – to reach the essence through a reduction and exploration of the material. I’m not interested in simple answers; there are already too many such formal solutions around. I prefer to stop and catch my breath in my encounters with works or architecture”
Daniel Koniusz (born 1985) – audiovisual artist that lives and works in Poznań. He is currently working at the Univeristy of Arts in Poznań where he is the head of the Audiosfera department. He had several exhibitons in polish cultural institutions – BWA Jelenia Góra, Galeria Miejska Arsenał, Museum of the Contemporary Art in Wrocław, CSW Kronika.
Artist’s works produce many realities. Double-speaking means to use facts in such a way as to make information produce a probable image in the end. Especially today when future is available and unfolds due to state of the art technologies. For this reason, information becomes a composition of voices, a mutation of statements, a sequence of news and depictions of circumstances. You can say that information as such is less crucial than a kind of interaction between its medium and a situation in which it is received. Koniusz works with a configuration of objects, videos and interventions that emphasise the diffusive character of knowledge and language based on it. Moreover, the language, because of excess of information, leads to deformations of meanings and has all the fuller creativeness potential.
YAUTEPEC, Città del Messico – Calixto Ramírez
Calixto Ramírez (b. 1980 Reynosa, Mexico). At DAMA, Yautepec will be presenting three video works by Calixto Ramírez: 3245625961 (2016), A ciegas (2015), and Sueño del Barón Rampante (2013).
In 3245625961 (2016), Ramírez documents a performance in which he repeatedly shouts his cellular phone number along the path leading to the Hermitage of San Giovanni all’Orfento. Through the action, Ramírez juxtaposes the idea of hermitage with contemporary life that — in a world connected by communication technologies — appears to have lost the possibility for isolation.
Sueño del Barón Rampante (2013) takes the character of Cosimo, the rebel child of Italo Calvino’s novel, as a symbol of struggle against and freedom from the homogenization of everyday life. The landscape is used as a backdrop for the performance of a quotidian action: undressing. The action itself refers to a moment in the past like childhood or even a more primitive age. It’s an impossible time in the sense that one can’t return to it, however its record is stamped upon each one of us.
Finally, A ciegas (2015) documents Ramírez blindly crawling like a crab toward a stationary camera as he draws a literal line in the sand with his own body, the composition of which is fully revealed once he moves off screen. In this work, the sand of the beach becomes a freshly painted canvas and Ramírez’s head the palette knife, working its way ever so slowly and intuitively across the surface.
Ramírez’s uncommonly transient upbringing — having moved between towns and cities eighteen times and homes twenty-seven times — drives a core instinct in his utilitarian video-making practice, in which physical artifacts of the works are never conserved and any materials introduced by the artist are sourced on- or near-site, or can be readily carried by the artist himself.
Ramírez uses video as a support for several distinct lines of work. Typically shot in fixed-frame and in single takes, he devises deceptively simple gestures or repetitive acts of physical labor within carefully chosen environments in order to transform those environments into the finishing materials necessary for his fully realized compositions.
In translating and absorbing the visual languages of various artistic disciplines into a single medium defined by movement, sound, and intangibility, Ramírez is able to move lightly and nomadically, seeking out desired conditions or simply awaiting the works to reveal themselves. In this way, each piece becomes itself a marker left along the trail of a longer journey, one unrestrained by the burden of physicality.