io. at Harlem Studio Fellowship by Montrasio Arte
DOOJIN AHN, VALERIO RICCI, LARISSA VOLTZ
Curated by: Raffaele Bedarida and Teresa Meucci
Doojin Ahn exhibits Just Caves, an installation consisting of a ring (circum. 239 inches) suspended at the center of a room. The exterior of the circle is covered with a painted frieze, depicting an uninterrupted series of caves. An archetype of wilderness, the cave is turned into an elementary narrative unit for a pre-human (or post-human) mythology. The deserted landscape is painted as visionary comics, but there is no narrative development in it. Deprived of the visual omnipotence given by a two-dimensional painting, the viewer uselessly walks around looking for an event to take place in the reverted panorama. Ahn is the first artist to participate in the HSF-Mongin Exchange Program, a collaboration between HSF and Mongin Art Space in Seoul.
Valerio Ricci's Storage is an installation composed of 204 hand-made bricks, shaped, painted, and cooked by the artist during his three-month stay at HSF. They cover most of the floor's surface in a room, leaving only a perimetric passageway free. Ordered in an extensive grid, their yellow-glazed ceramic shines as a carpet of gold bullions. Throughout the show, HSF visitors are invited to take home the bricks. Each brick is initialed, dated and numbered on the bottom; each guest can have a brick by filling out a form with his/her contacts and the number of the brick. The artist will therefore be able to send out certificates of authenticity; the owners will become part of a virtual community that would potentially re-unite the pieces. The progressive dismantling of Storage will be documented by a video. The work reverts historical minimalist and participation art practices, and reflects on the paradigmatic artisanal-alchemic nature of art making: it creates a paradoxical short-circuit between the value of things and that of experience, investments of time and real estate. Where will you put a glazed brick (it's free!) in your mini New York apt.?
Larissa Voltz works on language, expressions, their resonances with different architectural spaces and human environments, and the potentials of their multi-layered meanings. At io., she exhibits two paintings, Je te dérange 1 and Je te dérange 2. Their large size (85.4 x 129.5 inches), designed to fill the wall surface of the exhibition space, gives these works on paper a mural-like power to dialogue with HSF non-neutral architecture. 'Am I disturbing you?', the text repeats several times in French from the two sides of the room: positive and negative mirror each other involving the viewer in the middle. In Je te dérange 2, the letters are painted with oil-based Blockprinting colors on black paper; facing it, the same words are traced in negative, where the masking film is cut. Voltz's artisanal technique was traditionally used to paint texts for advertising and shop signs: cut by hand out of a masking film, the letters were then stenciled on a wall or board. In a room, the words are monumental and aggressive, and the industrial-like letters reveal their textured colors and beautiful vibrations. French is chosen for the multiple implications of the word derange, which also implies displacement and disorder. 'Dis-order' obviously includes 'order' further emphasizing the positive-negative visualization of the text.
(Raffaele Bedarida, New York, October 2009)
Harlem Studio Fellowship is a privately funded, non-profit Residency Program for international artists founded in 2007 by Ruggero Montrasio and curated by Raffaele Bedarida.
Harlem Studio Fellowship is designed to encourage the creative, intellectual and personal growth of emerging visual artists. We invite two or three young artists every three months, providing them with housing and studio in a townhouse in the district of Harlem. Every residency ends with a group exhibition, displaying works and projects accomplished by each artist during his/her stay in New York In addition to this, a complete show of the artists in residence will be held at the end of the first 3 years, displaying a selection from the works produced at HSF.