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17 Nov 2010

'I'm On Your Side' at Kunstverein (Milano)

I'm On Your Side
Kunstverein (Milano)


18 november 2010 | h19
One night opening event of Kunstverein (Milano) from 7pm onwards Special project by Heman Chong (Singapore/NY) Performance by Cesare Pietroiusti (Rome) Membership cards designed by Zirkumflex; and Culinary trajectory with intervention by artist CCH


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I'm On Your Side is the opening event of the activities of Kunstverein (Milano), a new non-profit contemporary arts initiative in Milan, Italy.

During the event Kunstverein will be presented to the public with a threefold project by Heman Chong (Singapore/NY) and a performance by Cesare Pietroiusti (Rome); together with a preview of the programme for 2010-11, Kunstverein also presents especially designed membership cards.

The title of the entire event is taken from a new project realised for Kunstverein (Milano) by Singapore artist Heman Chong. After his recent participation in Manifesta8, the artist, based in New York, will now be present in Milan for his first solo-project in Italy.

I'm on your side
is a written notice and pronunciation realised in public space that may be interpreted in relation to a sociopolitical context, to social relations, yet might also be read as a signalisation of the failure of a certain type of social contract. 'I'm on your side' is an assertion intended to create consensus, however at the same moment it is expressed, it triggers a sense of distrust towards the person claiming it. The statement, as it is presented by the artist, functions as a device for (self-) reflection on the continuous search for consensus in contemporary society. Applied specifically to the cultural sector, it reflects on the politics of consensus followed also by major museums and institutions of contemporary art, large-scale international events and art spaces, on their quest to involve an ever-larger audience. In this way Kunstverein (Milano) intends to trigger a discord, proposing diverse forms of practicing art and continuously reflecting on what it means to create new spaces dedicated to artistic practice in the city of Milan.

A suggestion to this reflection is found in Chong's second intervention, A Short Story about Geometry, which takes an immediate distance from spectacular events or unambiguous mass communication emphasizing instead a more intimate and concentrated exchange. Chong proposes a private memory class, available to those who register via A short Story About Geometry involves a task in which a participant, with the help of a teacher, is required to become the vessel of a 499-word short story via the hard-core task of memorizing the story, word for word. It is agreed that the short story shall never be published or adapted into any visual or perceptible form. The way to access the story is uniquely via this given task: it's given for free, but at the cost of perseverance and attention. As such this oral transmission transforms into a real and proper locus of encounter, which in turn becomes the product and producer of a social space. Kunstverein (Milano) indeed takes this space, physical and mental, as a starting point.

The Forer Effect
is the third intervention by Chong evoking the effect of subjective validation. Part of a generation for whom the internet became a cultural entity, Chong navigated the free content of Wikepedia's encyclopedia project starting from 'Kamikaze', via 'suicide', 'Judy Garland', 'the Wizzard of Oz', 'fortune telling' to arrive at 'The Forer Effect'. It describes the observation that each individual when confronted with a personality profile they believe refers to them, tends to identify with it, rating it highly accurate, even when in fact the profile remains vague and general enough to apply to many. Chong presents the Forer profile description in a sculptural form.

For the opening event the artist Cesare Pietroiusti, starting from the 'relational' in combination with a reflection on the object in itself, its value and its availability, develops a project/performance to support the activities of Kunstverein (Milano).

Membership cards 2010-11, especially designed by design studio cum project space Zirkumflex (Berlin), will be presented and available during the event and online.

Kunstverein (Milano) is an experimental curatorial platform for exhibitions, research and production of contemporary visual art.

Kunstverein (Milano) is part of a network of sister organisations with Kunstvereins in Amsterdam and New York, and is founded and co-directed by Katia Anguelova, Alessandra Poggianti and Andrea Wiarda.

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