La più geniale tra le maschere (The Most Brilliant Amongst the Masks), in Visions Part of Cinque Mostre
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New work produced for Group Exhibition. Cinque Mostre 2017 is an annual exhibition of work by current Rome Prize Fellows. Composed of collaborative projects guest-curated by Ilaria Gianni under the collective title VISION(S), Cinque Mostre features work by Fellows in several disciplines and invited artists installed in various sites throughout the McKim, Mead & White Building. Taking its cue from the multifaceted term “vision” and emphasizing its physical-perceptive, political, supernatural, and mystical aspects, VISION(S) : explores the strategies that artists and scholars employ to re-configure our view of the world. This exhibition brings together different approaches and “ways of seeing,” drawing inspiration from the present, facts from the past, and projections of the future. Employing various strategies, including translation, history, performance, poetry, fiction, and mysticism, the works challenge notions of culture, origin, and belonging. VISION(S) also features a project entitled La più geniale tra le maschere (The Most Brilliant Amongst the Masks), an exhibition curated by artist Gabriele De Santis, and Ilaria Gianni. Artists and authors from different fields – Gundam Air, Cornelia Baltes, Elisabetta Benassi, Roberto Coda Zabetta, Tomaso De Luca (in collaboration with Vincenzo Giannetti), Gabriele De Santis, Sean Edwards, Anna Franceschini, Zazie Gnecchi Ruscone, Grossi Maglioni, Isabell Heimerdinger, Lauren Keeley, Emiliano Maggi, Jonathan Monk, Luigi Ontani, Pino Pasquali, Gianni Politi, Francis Upritchard, Alessandro Vizzini, Bedwyr Williams – investigate the ‘Harlequin,’ one of the main characters of the Italian commedia dell’arte, a complex and symbolic figure who embodies a visionary metaphor. His social attributes, conceived five centuries ago, are still recognizable today. The Harlequin’s multifaceted qualities: the wily and covetous comic servant (zanni); the faithful, patient, credulous, and amorous valet; the amoral yet good hearted spirit; even the hellish, obscure demon of the night, hence the origin of his name (Hölle König – King of the Underworld – then Helleking, and finally Harlequin); become an excuse to convey variegated interpretations of the idea of the ‘mask’, translated through disparate formal and performative approaches. The visitor enters a backstage, a masquerade that reveals the truth within comedy, the drama of mankind, the dark-side and vulnerability of the façade of an apparently stable social system. VISION(S) : offers an encounter between personal investigations of the creative process and the often compromised external gaze of the viewer. The show unfolds along a non-linear thread constantly challenging viewers’ desire to understand through seeing, in which works of art confound styles and genres. Each contribution acts as a unique apparition, in which the spectator is not just a bystander, but an operative participant in a new dimension, acting as observer and producer of visions. The resulting experiences are reminders of what John Berger describes in Ways of Seeing (1972) as “the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled,” unleashing a new process of searching for meaning, one that is imbued with imagination and awareness. Realism and its ordinary, pragmatic view of the world are overtaken by fantasy and prophecy, intuition and illusion. Authors and spectators are complicit in the fabrication of worlds through a different interpretation and construction of what appears to be real. Participants are: Gundam Air, Gregory Bailey, Cornelia Baltes, Elisabetta Benassi, Jonathan Berger, Kristi Cheramie, Caroline Cheung, Roberto Coda Zabetta, E.V. Day, Tomaso De Luca (in collaboration with Vincenzo Giannetti), Gabriele De Santis, Kyle deCamp, Stanislao Di Giugno, Sean Edwards, Hussein Fancy (collaboration with Accettella-Teatro Mongiovino), Aaron Forrest, Anna Franceschini, Piero Golia, Leon Grek, Grossi Maglioni, Isabell Heimerdinger, Robert Hutchison, Lauren Keeley, Jack Livings, Emiliano Maggi, Christoph Meinrenken, Annalisa Metta, Nicole Miller, MODU - Phu Hoang e Rachely Rotem, Jonathan Monk, Matthew Null, Luigi Ontani, Pino Pasquali, Nicola Pecoraro, Gianni Politi, Michael Queenland, David Reinfurt, Enrico Riley, Danielle Simon (in collaboration with Zazie Gnecchi Ruscone e G.A.N Made in Italy), Francis Upritchard, Alessandro Vizzini, Yasmin Vobis, Bedwyr Williams, Joseph Williams
Exhibited in Group show La più geniale tra le maschere (The Most Brilliant Amongst the Masks), part of CINQUE MOSTRE 2017 - VISION(S) American Academy in Rome. 14 February–4 April 2017
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