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05 Jun 2010

Pier Giorgio De Pinto at CACT Switzerland

Pier Giorgio De Pinto, To bring dark things into the light (as Oedipus says), 2005
(courtesy CACT Switzerland)

CACT Switzerland


5 June - 11 July 2010 Fri-Sat-Sun, 2.00-6.00 p.m.
or by appointment

Mario Casanova
+41 91 825 40 85

Centro d'Arte Contemporanea Ticino
Via Tamaro 3
6500 Bellinzona

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CORPUS is the first personal exhibition to be presented by the artist Pier Giorgio De Pinto (Italy-Switzerland, 1968) in Switzerland, in the venue of the CACT Centre of Contemporary Art in Canton Ticino, opening on 5 June.

After already featuring in QUEER/SCHRÄG (2009) and INTIMACY AND DESECRATION (2009-2010), which is soon to be the subject of a forthcoming publication, De Pinto – as the exhibition's evocative title suggests – forges a cross-section, a 'body' of his production; just as for him the 'body' itself is a thematic element, one with which he has been working for years.

5 rooms, 5 installation works.
KYRIE ELEISON (2001-2005) is the introduction to the exhibition, bringing together parts of a project that the artist has been developing since 2001, drawing his inspiration from the anatomical waxes held by the La Specola museum in Florence, and later from the essay (appropriately enough entitled Corpus) by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (1940). In my essay The Body of Evidence. Imprisonment, I mentioned Lionello Puppi's beautiful piece 'Lo splendore dei Supplizi', in which he discussed the fundaments of the scenic concept of the death of the spirit, through the torture and mortification of the body, of the flesh, that contains it. The commercialisation of the body… to the extent of its very putrefaction… is unquestionably a burning issue for man, who leaves a trace of his meanderings of place and reason. It's an eternal dilemma that man never manages to solve until his death, as he attempts to reiterate his sentimental essence, his individuality and his ability to be heterogeneous, causing them to prevail.

SACER (2005) one of De Pinto's fundamental works, is represented here by a series of five large-format shots on canvas mounted on a frame. DIONYSUS' DARKROOM – that's the subtitle chosen for the works on show – reinterprets the mythological figure of Dionysus, a sacrilegious character and agent of upheaval. […] 'The artist veritably questions the cultural parameters of a vigorously democratic, culturally monotheistic society that is at greater pains to subject the expression of sexuality and sentiment to filters of moral dubiousness within a prevalently Judeo-Christian and (self-) guilt-ridden culture. The historical reappraisal of a personality, of an epic, pagan symbol of a character like this one appears to be both fundamental and necessary for the generation that is exhausted by the mirage of a society of 'progress' and of affluence. Dionysus and Bacchus, the two sides of one and the same coin, take man back to his more or less conscious carnal pulsations, dragging him into the loss of rationalism and of the emotive and emotional journey of experience. If Dionysus represents the chaotic, instinctive, provocative hero, he also seduces/induces man to remove one after another of the veils that conceal the soul's sometimes obscure truths, so as to venture on an epic, unknown journey into the chaos of the irrational and of passions.' […] (Mario Casanova, from 'Intimacy and Desecration', CACT Edizioni)

With regard to this theme, the forthcoming event will present the world première of several new installations: IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE (2009), a video installation (a video and 6 photographs), which I have already mentioned before, a work that features the Anglo-Italian artist Franko B in the guise of actor, with a soundtrack by the British band The InvisAbles. Something of an anomaly in De Pinto's output, because of the disarming technical simplicity used in shooting, this piece tackles the themes of sentiment and love in contemporary society and develops them without any pretences.

SICILIAN YELL FOR AYAAN HIRSI ALI (2009) is a video expressed in the form of an installation that uses (and is built on) a soundtrack by the Italian composer Giovanni Dal Monte (Italy, 1967), who also acts in it, together with Cinzia Ravaglia and Davide Schiano. A tribute to the positively controversial female character of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the work gets to grips with the issues of a woman who espouses the Moslem religion in her own cultural context, as well as in the process of integration in Europe, the land where she has chosen to live.

Closing the visit to the exhibition is the last room, containing the previously unpublished video FREE FROM THE MEN OF GOD (2010). Once again inspired by a piece of music composed by Giovanni Dal Monte, De Pinto conceives of the men of God as those who practise or subscribe to different religions, in the sense of institutions of power supported by dogmas and often drained of all spirituality and humanism; the artist treats these as details that can be traced back to man and his quest for his soul to survive his physical death.

Mario Casanova, 2010 [translation Pete Kercher]