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Wonder World. Expecting a restless future

 
Wonder World. Expecting a restless future

event site and dates

EKATERINA Cultural Foundation
26 september 2009 — 25 october 2009

Opening: September 25, 5 pm

Supported by EKATERINA Cultural Foundation

Curator: Stefano Pezzato

Artists:

  • Botto&Bruno (Italy)
  • Michael Fliri (Italy / lives in Austria)
  • Anastasia Khoroshilova (Russia / lives in Germany)
  • Joan Leandre (Spain)
  • Brian McKee (USA)
  • Thomas Wrede (Germany)
  • Danwen Xing (China)

Courtesy:
all the artists

  • Alfonso Artiaco, Naples
  • Galerie f5.6, Munich
  • Galerie Mike Karstens, Muenster
  • Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan
  • Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • MKgalerie, Berlin-Rotterdam
  • Project Gentili, Prato-Berlin

Special thanks to:

  • Art Sound-Vision
  • Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • Alexander Reznikov Collection, Moscow-Vienna
  • Istituto Italiano di Cultura


WONDER WORLD. EXPECTING A RESTLESS FUTURE

Project by Stefano Pezzato

In these times of economic instability and existential uncertainty, of ever increasing tempo, of virtual spaces and ephemeral relationships, is it still possible to imagine a better world?

The pursuit of happiness, as sole raison d’être, appears to be confined within the perpetual extension of the present in which everything happens and is frittered away to exorcize the fear of the future. The sacredness of this life and faith in eternity have been replaced by contingency and instantanetity, by motives of mere expediency and gratification, by endlessly repeated incitements to consume and compulsory satisfaction of one’s appetites.

In such a context what is wonderful and astonishing stands out, because only what seems to be quite exceptional, even incredible, is really worth being taken into consideration.

The realities, imagined, dreamed, revealed and proposed in the works of the invited artists, represent a way to get out from everyday life and to face the uncertanties of tomorrow: a world of games, pretences, fantastic constructions, visual illusions, hyperbolic flights, passing from human dimension to urban scale and to space vision.

Enjoy your trip!

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TO PLAY

Anastasia Khoroshilova, Untitled (Game), 2006
The children with their eyes gazing at a nothingness to be filled with meanings, as portrayed by Anastasia Khoroshilova, balanced on structures which represent the dimension of play on which their state of childhood literally rests, may perhaps be the emblem of the hope and also the unrest of our times.

Anastasia Khoroshilova, Exercises, 2008
The young wrestlers shown by the Russian photographer in their plastic hand-to-hand combats tend rather to show off their fine bodies fixed in an appearance of mock actions taken to the tragic limits of physical suppression and death. The theatrical fiction recorded by Khoroshilova in this case leads us to suppose the concrete possibility that those mock combats will one day be enacted for real.

Michael Fliri, Getting too old to die young, 2008
The actions represented by Michael Fliri in a sequence of three short videos are pervaded by the hope of trying to do it in any case. The absurdity and banality of the mise-en-scène give the impression of turning every attempt into an ironic jest. Paradoxically these tend to accentuate the symbolic force of each single “trial” to which the protagonist (the artist) subjects himself, so that they become heroic attempts at rebellion against bitter yet inevitable failure, and also the force of the outcome inferred by the title of the work.
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TO BUILD

Danwen Xing, Urban Fiction, 2004-2006
The occurrences conceived, reproduced and set in by Danwen Xing, within “models” simulating the development of the new metropolises in China, show us real or at least probable events presented in the abstract dimension, as essential as it is imaginary, of the new urban contexts. The arbitrary and disturbing nature of these actions, which emerge like apparitions in the general void, emphasizes the significant contrast between the unpredictability and fortuitousness of life as lived and the desire to predetermine or corroborate it in sterile, artificial environments. On the other hand, in the pervading illusory nature of these scenes, all possible distinctions between reality and fiction are eliminated.

Botto & Bruno, A concrete town, 2006
The urban scene presented by Botto & Bruno, largely immersed in the swirling mists of an asphalted town square in the rain, has nothing fundamentally unreal about it. The combination of an apocalyptic vision and an enchanted atmosphere, as evoked by the use of black and white and the slow motion of the images, is aimed rather at emphasizing the wish to interpret the filmed events in a surprising and ambiguous manner. The appearance in the finale of cycling children viewed against the light asserts the primacy of the fantastic over actuality, of the unexpected over banality.

Brian McKee, Structural Memory, 2007
Brian McKee’s stratified pictures, taken in various Lebanese cities after the war of 2006, trigger a double reaction of both astonishment and bewilderment, due to the dynamic effect of multiplication and superimposition of the buildings one upon the other. The shots of the ruins caused by the conflict turn into metaphors of mnemonic construction, and of the various levels of perception on which we draw to interpret reality and project it beyond the present, starting from what has actually happened in order to imagine what might have been and might still be.
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TO FLY

Thomas Wrede, Real Landscapes, 2005-2008
The photographic explorations of Thomas Wrede, made by mounting parts of small-scale models on desert sceneries or sandy wastes, tend to put the accent on the perception of the images themselves, and thereby on the “reality” which they transmit. By ingeniously repudiating the supposed objectivity of photography, and demonstrating instead its extraordinary power of manipulation and illusion, Wrede presents us with metaphysical environments within which are evident, as isolated as they are artificial, traces of human life suffused with a feeling of seraphic detachment from the rest of the world.

Joan Leandre, In the Name of Kernel!: Song of the Iron Bird, 2006-2008
Joan Leandre’s acrobatic excursion into the heart of the operative system, manipulating software to simulate flight, brings to the video weird stories, produces visual interferences, brings about pyrotechnic effects and absurd events such as a ship falling out of the sky. The final result, if we may so call it, is a sublime, all-embracing vision that tends to reveal us the infinite possibilities of the machine, and to show us the existence of the impossible.

English translation: Patrick Creagh












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