Very few words have the representative power and the semantic density of the word immigrant.
The artistic project The Immigrants, created by Federico Luger, takes this word as a point of departure, it starts exactly in this universe of sense that in a few letters delimitates a territory—as a frontier—and at the same time, it suggests a world-other, like a dream.
The title “The Immigrants” contains in a few words the invitation to a journey, to imagine a future, the promise of an imagined or imaginary land, the occasion to leave behind the socio-political borders and, may be, the invitation to wear a different mental habitus.
As every journey, also The Immigrants is a project-in-progress, moved by determination and cleverness to search and build an alternative to already saturated spaces; or simply, the invitation to project a future yet to be designed, without moving from one’s own environment, in a play of abandonment and reconquest, of trust and dream.
In this experiment, a group show brings together artists belonging to different generations and nationalities at the Giudecca Island, a historic and popular neighbourhood in Venice, creating a sort of terminal, an exchange station in which diverse experiences and visions intertwine, exactly as it happened in harbours over the centuries.
The intention of this experiment is, in fact, to re-read the concepts of border, frontier and belonging. It is not by chance that The Immigrants has as privileged frame the Giudecca Island and as hosting space a former distillery, next to Mariano Fortuny’s historical workshop. Skimmed by the lagoon, the Giudecca Island represents an exceptional observatory to have a kaleidoscopic gaze on the reality of the journey, detached, analytic and dreamy at the same time.
Alighiero Boetti (Turin 1940-Rome 1994)
12 forme a partire dal 10 giugno 1967 is the first work which Boetti dedicates to geopolitics, driven by the continuous news on war outbreaks reported by the newspapers: from the Battle of the Sinai burst on 1967 between Egypt and Israel, to the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971. “I have taken this or that cover from the newspaper “La Stampa” that reproduced this map, but I erased all the rest –except from the date—and I engraved it on a copper plate. I had understood that each time that a certain form appears on a newspaper cover […] something important had occurred.” On top, the date of publication was indicated. Deprived of any literal or illustrative character, the shapes of the territories are transformed into pure “forms”, born not from the artist’s imagination, but from the artillery attacks, air raids and diplomatic negotiations.
Igor Eškinja (Rijeka 1975)
His oeuvre goes beyond the mere political implications of the dematerialization of the artistic object, conducting the viewer to the limit between “objective reality” and illusion.
This exhibition features two paradigmatic works from his production: Somewhere in East Europe (2010) goes against the cliché according to which eastern Europe’s culture and artistic expressions are sad and depressive. In this sense, Igor Eškinja uses every day reality and the history of art to include with irony diverse cultivated citations. Whilst the work belonging to the series The Day After (2011) is a re-interpretation of the sea realized with dust found in the place of the installation where the photo was taken. In particular, Eškinja’s works, born from complex and ephemeral site-specific installations, transmit the strength and vitality of art, which survives time and resists the mutability of the human, social and political contexts.
Franklin Evans (Reno 1967)
In this exhibition, Evans moves forward and expands his research on the topic of time and its repetition, already present in his previous shows. The installation, composed by paintings and architectonical modulations realized with coloured tapes, includes for the first time also photography.
Time, memory and the visual material blend in one piece, making evident the constant and non-linear feedback among them. In Evans’ elaboration, the image-curtain becomes a structure, an architectonical experience that guides the viewer through a virtual environment.
Jacob Hashimoto (Greeley Colorado 1973)
uses ethereal materials to create artworks which, formed by different layers, compose an ensemble of characteristic elements, both from painting and sculpture, thus bringing together bidimensionality and tridimensionality. His works are abstract and colourful; however, they maintain some figurative elements such as sea waves and clouds. The aesthetic dimension is not superficial, but is an intrinsic part of Hashimoto’s oeuvre; and the overlapping of different and repeated units conforms at the same time an impressive and subtle whole.
Radhika Khimji (Muscat, 1979)
studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, and the Royal Academy of Fine Art in London. Khimji’s work questions postcolonial discourse, hierarchies in society and violence against women. The work is informed primarily by a making process which leads to installations and drawings. The surfaces of her work are platforms upon which she addresses her political and personal concerns, a complex ground sometimes auto biographical and sometimes abstract. There is a certain melancholia for a historic place, a search for a future place, where the shifts between the different temporalities of drawing, sculpture and stitching create gaps and slippages to manifest a discontinuity between places and things. Splices of memories and identities.
Gianni Pettena (Florence 1940)
has been a very active artist in the US during the Sixties and Seventies within the Land Art movement, and in Italy within the movement Architettura Radicale. In this sense, his works using photography as a medium are not those of a “photographer”, but more likely, those of the artist who uses photography to take notes, as outlines that would later influence his research on landscape and architecture.
In this exhibition, eleven photographs from the series Wandering Through-USA 1971-73. The Curious Mr. Pettena are featured. This series of photographs has been intentionally left as a notebook, as artist’s sketches and not as finalized works; that is why they are “dirty”, there is no retouch, or cleaning of the image. Using a Nikon F 50, which does not deform the subject in any way, Pettena’s photographs later influenced several of his own projects. They have been conserved and shown in the same condition in which gallerist Federico Luger found them by chance in the artist’s studio while working together for his show at the gallery.
Luca Pozzi (Milan 1983)
presents a piece that is clue for his oeuvre, Wall String (2013). The Wall String is a pictorial system in seven dimensions (SU7) composed by 49 aluminium folded bars. The polarity of each one of the bars is remotely connected through the magnetic attraction of two coloured ping-pong balls.
In continuity with Pozzi’s research on physics, in particular on Quantum Gravity and T.o.E (Theory of Everything: String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Noncommutative Geometry), the discrete pattern that arises linking these 98 points suspended in the void represents a hypothetical gravitational field, as some of the contemporary quantum theories have suggested.
Richard Prince (Panama Canal Zone 1949)
The work featured in the exhibition, Untitled – Angie Dickinson (1985), is part of a series of photographs in which the artist appropriated film stills from Brian De Palma’s movies. Appropriation (or re-photography) is a fundamental part of Prince’s oeuvre from the end of the eighties; from the famous Marlboro cowboys to the objects of desire, such as watches or cars, taken from fashion magazines that represented the American way of life of those years.
Giovanni Rizzoli (Venice 1963)
He lived in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK and the US for a long time in different moments of his life. After carrying on studies at the Architectural Association and after attending the course Works of art course directed by Derek Shrub at Sotheby’s and the sculpture school City and Guild in London to learn the sculpture technique, he graduated with a BA in Mediaeval Art History at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice. He lectured several times at the Art History Department at New York University, in New York and Venice. His work has been featured at 48th Venice Biennale 1999,D’apertutto, curated by Harald Szeemann; at the 15th Quadriennale di Roma, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in 2008, curated by Chiara Bertola, Lorenzo Canova and Bruno Corà; at the show Coup de Ville curated by Jan Hoet and Stef Van Bellingen in 2010 at Saint Niklaas, Belgium; at the Kunsthalle Goppingen in Germany in 1996 and 2010 curated by Werner Meyer; at Bildshön,Schönheitsklut in der aktuellen Kunst at the Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, Germany; at Corpi, Automi, Robot curated by Pietro Bellasi and Bruno Corà, Museo di Lugano and Villa Ciani (CH) in 2009; at Arte Italiana del XXI Secolo 2010-2011 curated by Marco Meneguzzo at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan; and in many other exhibitions in museums and private galleries in Italy and abroad. He currently lives and works between Milan, Venice and New York.
Santiago Sierra (Madrid 1966)
is one of the best-known artists of the international artistic scene. He has shown his work in important museums and institutions as MoMA PS1, New York; Reykjavik Art Museum; ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz; Museo MADRE, Naples; 50° Venice Biennale; Tate Modern, London. The works featured in this exhibition are part of the series Pigs Devouring the Hellenic, Italic and Iberian Peninsulas. These images are the result of a series of performances which begun in 2012 in Hamburg, where the pigs had “devoured” the Hellenic Peninsula; then in Luca, the Italic Peninsula; and finally in Milan, the Iberian Peninsula. Sierra is using a clear metaphor to denounce that the European financial entities are literally eating real territories.
Traslochi Emotivi (independent production house founded by Giulia Currà in 2010)
The video Kabul-Roma Roma -Kabul (2010) shows the friendship, and the artistic and professional collaboration between Salmon Alì and Alighiero Boetti. Alì tells about the encounter with Boetti in Kabul at the beginning of the seventies, and from 1975 on, invited by Boetti, of his move to Rome, where he will work side by side with the artist for all his life, as a kind of alter ego. The video Kabul-Roma Roma-Kabul has been shown at Spruth Magers London, Le Case d’Arte Milan and the Auditorium Rai Torino.
This project has been realized in collaboration with:Ghostart, Le Case d’Arte, prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Studio La Città, Federico Luger Gallery.Special thanks to Giovanni Rizzoli.
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