QUEER/SCHRÄG at CACT_Switzerland
© Marco Villani, Lexotan Poem (2008), video installation,
Following on the recent inauguration of THE SUSPENDED POETIC OF MIRKO ARETINI in its Chiasso location, the CACT Centre of Contemporary Art in Canton Ticino is now opening the thematic exhibition QUEER/SCHRÄG in Bellinzona.
The dominant topic in the exhibition space is the research conducted by certain artists in order forcefully to overcome reality and its affirmation, creating an imagery that allows us to grasp what lies behind it, even while it flourishes: i.e. just what we are in the framework of a post-modern, monotheist society.
QUEER/SCHRÄG redefines and reiterates how art is a necessary and valid antidote to life and to reality, so that the concept of imperfection and the apology of defect can enable us to achieve an evolutionary interpretation of life itself and of social congress, affirming each artist's individual specificities. I have several times had occasion to write about the imprisonment of the body in the broad sense and about the triumph of power as a manner of shutting doors against man's visionary and continuous wanderings. This joint exhibition aims merely to touch on these topics, which will be taken to further depths in forthcoming personals.
Body and identity, metamorphosis and sexuality, but also the social identity of art are the guidelines to QUEER/SCHRÄG.
PIER GIORGIO DE PINTO (1968), with his video work CLEAR SKIES & DARK SKIES (2007-2008) – inspired by the eponymous musical track and lyrics on the album CHEMISM by Massimo & Pierce – uses a flashback to review the tormented existence and sudden death of Jhonn Balance, co-founder and driving force behind the experimental musical group Coil. A video narrative that adopts an avant-garde slant where it tackles such themes as (homo)sexuality, spirituality, life and death and other universal aspects of human existence, it is a tribute to a strong, emblematic personality, free, ingenious and self-destructive, whose life De Pinto puts back together in a handful of rigorously sequential, yet intense, images.
RAGING BALLS (2008) is the work shown by OREET ASHERY, with which the author pays a tribute to the artist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992), who died of AIDS after making a reputation in the eighties for a long diatribe about how the problems related to the pathology were being managed by the American government, whose institutional responsibility went well beyond exclusively medical aspects. The Israeli artist re-elaborates the dialectic approach applied by Wojnarowicz, comparing the themes he adopted at the time against a more ample and contemporary model of history. Racial, sexual, political and religious senses of belonging, the human being's legality, the concept of margin and of emargination and a strong attempt to force the institutional majority onto the margins of humanity are the themes developed by Ashery.
The human body's imagery and fleeting ambition are the focus of the photographic works expressed by STEFANO SCHEDA (1957) with the title of IL RITRATTO RITRATTATO. IL CORPO DEL RITRATTO/IL RITRATTO DEL CORPO (THE PORTRAYED PORTRAIT. BODY OF THE PORTRAIT/PORTRAIT OF THE BODY) (2000). A series of photographic prints of nude female and male bodies, printed on sheets of ordinary paper, are piled up and rolled up at random, like so many off-cuts of skin, at different heights and fixed with clips. This enables the artist from Bologna to recreate new corporal and sexual identities; beauty or seduction, grotesque, polymorphous shapes, androgynous and sensual. The reference to photographic film as skin – or as the body in general – as a container and a fleeting locus of the identity, constitutes one of Scheda's themes and dominant obsessions.
The presence of two young artists at the CACT is fundamental: they are Daniela Droz and Marco Villani, although the latter was already introduced by us in the publication THE BODY OF EVIDENCE. IMPRISONMENT.
DANIELA DROZ (1982) is showing three large-format photographs about the topic of voluntary mut(il)ations of the body and about metamorphoses in the concepts of code of identity, entitled PAIN MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL (ecal 2008), while MARCO VILLANI (1973) is showing for the first time his video installation entitled LEXOTAN POEM (2008), a poetic photographic-film commentary about his experience as a young and sometimes obscure man, interspersing takes from Super 8 films he shot when he was a boy into his analysis as an adult.
The humorous observations of FIORENZA BASSETTI can be summarised with a mise à nu of the figure of the curator, which she has tackled with irony and also a certain touch of sarcasm.