Not A Group Show

Not A Group Show
fr it

Because the three artists are dissatisfied with the world as it is, and dissatisfaction is nothing but the premise for all creative ventures. In order to placate dissatisfaction, the three fantasize, but fantasies themselves may diverge, may take different routes. And the obvious social critique imbedded in their research is no common ground either, as it is supported by different media, linguistic codes and personal outlooks.
On the other side, the challenge of a contiguous heterogeneity is justified by the aim of taking seriously the complexity of the questions facing contemporary art: indeed, the imperative quest for change may, or perhaps should, require answers from more than one possible futures. So, Not A Group Show introduces one answer by artist, among which one can choose, or perhaps build a combination according to the interest and/or pleasure got by the fruition. After all, the three artists see future as a way out from the commodification of both art and life; and while ways out may not crosscut one another, they are not forcedly at odds. To begin with, “Televendita” by Younes Baba Ali brings the antagonist to self-elimination by displaying the market impulse to commodify art as well as life: crazy parabolas, tvs buzzing against the wall, megaphones ejecting morse signals, convert the sacred rite of capitalist exchange into an irresistible prank and ridicule the fanatic collectors of the latest fashionable extravagance. A magisterial lecture about the devastating potential of lightness, as the artist limits himself to expose the entropic fate inherent in the obsessive buying and selling practices of the contemporary capitalist scene. More interventionist, Valentina Miorandi’s “STAR TRACK” replaces the Euro symbol of the BCE’s logo by the twelve stars of the founding Fathers, and stick them on a golden thermic wrap, of the kind given to accident victims and the homeless as a first aid device. A metaphor for the universal impoverishment caused by European austerity policies, and for the ensuing painfully growing inequalities, the work stresses the urgent need for solutions and is offered as the mean to overcome the problem: the concept involved being that men learn to exchange solidarity and compassion, and that this learning be fostered by art and the artist’s creations. In short, another kind of humanism, more socially oriented and militant, though its ability of interacting with Baba Ali, and Sullam as well, should be out of question. Indeed, Jonathan Sullam himself engages into full-fledged social criticism, ranging from the myth of bourgeois love (at once compelling and constrained by its chains) to a leaden and sinister landscape oppressed by a stratification of impenetrable mists, a reflection of men’s opaque glance at a nature disfigured by egoisms, frenzy of economic exploitation, material and spiritual pollution…And he too proposes his own way out, this time in term of a Faustian venture, an uncompromising journey of redemption or damnation. Through the polished formal perfection of this research, the world as it is transfigures into the world of the (im)possible, which the artist deliberately points at in order to prove that imagination is more powerful and valuable than the fake money commonly used for most of our transactions. Thus, Not a Group Show because Sullam’s utopian, or mythical, humanism is self-standing, as well as Miorandi’s social humanism and Baba Ali’s Voltairian humanism; it is rather a compendium of equally relevant approaches, an invitation to recognize them and, most demanding, a challenge to discover their synergies.

20 April – 20 May 2013

Younes Baba-Ali
Valentina Miorandi
Jonathan Sullam