Seven Italian Young Artists. Curated by Caroline Corbetta. Even though it is always hard to select a significant, short list of artists who represent the currant production in their own country, it seems even harder to detect a list of common features in the work of the new generation of Italian artists considering the almost countless range of media and languages used.
Seven Italian Young Artists
Carlo Benvenuto, Gianni Caravaggio, Letizia Cariello, Alessadro Dal Pont,
Lara Favaretto, Marcello Maloberti, Alessandro Pessoli
Curated by Caroline Corbetta
Italianamente is an adverb which means â€œIn the Italian wayâ€, but it is also the aggregation of â€œItalianâ€ (Italiana) and â€œmindâ€ (mente)
Even though it is always hard to select a significant, short list of artists who represent the currant production in their own country, it seems even harder to detect a list of common features in the work of the new generation of Italian artists considering the almost countless range of media and languages used.
However, a shared character in the work of many young Italian artists can be found in a conceptual approach to reality, which is not at all new as it has been characterizing Italian art from its origins.
The artistic heritage in Italy is often considered a burden for young artists as they will never ever stand the comparison with it.
To distinguish and analyze some features - which indicates not a caesura with the past but rather a transformation, a development from it - can be a challenging task for an Italian group show.
The work of the seven artists invited are related to the tradition - not in a conservative sense â€“ but rather understood as a poetic mentality, a way of looking at reality which has been building up in Italy in the last 800 years at least.
Up to the present, Italian artists approach reality and transform it in symbols, in concepts. Elaborating concepts is an important imaginative act for them. They donâ€™t seem to be interested in recording reality as it is, but rather they prefer to assimilate it and transform it in something else (art?) by elaborating it through imagination.
Representing reality through optical perception doesnâ€™t implicate giving up the symbolical principle. Carlo Benvenutoâ€™s untitled photographs, for example, are made without any digital elaboration and in full scale to underline an almost mimetic adherence to reality. However, Benvenutoâ€™s portraits of real objects appear like illusory images. Two very different artists like Letizia Cariello (My Bed) and Alessandro Dal Pont (Dropping) give shape to their personal memories and obsessions. Both their sculptures arise from personal experiences which are translated into shareable structures, i.e. symbols. Also the imagery of Alessandro Pessoli consists in visions inspired by what surrounds him. But in his animated drawing, Caligola, there is a strong expressive component which is totally absent, for instance, in the production of Gianni Caravaggio even though he draws inspiration from everyday life as well. He metabolises common signs (in this case sugar molecules â€“sugar no sugar metamorphosis) disclosing them to the audience as imaginative outcomes as well as triggers. Similarly to the other artists, he doesnâ€™t represent the world as it is but he offers the viewer new, and always changing, points of view. Lara Favaretto displays two cannons (Confetti Canyon) which shoot multicoloured confetti. She starts from a social, anthropological Italian ritual like the Carnival to reflect upon the idea of celebration. And she (re)converts the opening of a show into the celebration of the epiphany of the work of art. Maecello Malobertiâ€™s A Torino piove da dio, a series of photographic portraits of (fake) south American catholic priest, is a comment on the changes in the Italian society as well as on the artistic tradition of the image as a mise en scene which, in the end, is more realistic than reality.
None of the works exhibited in Italianamente make use of explicitly political texts. This is because, as a matter of fact, Italian young artists rarely make overtly political works. They prefer to work in a pre-political dimension from which political discourses will germinate.
To organise a national group show is becoming more meaningful because of the overabundance of international shows set up all around the world that look increasingly similar. The aim is definitely not to put forward national culture as a cure for the mounting homologation in contemporary art, on the contrary itâ€™s a way to show that differences (or better, values) are â€œgood for youâ€ - especially now that we are in a globalised, connected world and these values can be compared and exchanged.
Itâ€™s particularly stimulating to show Italian artists, who filter and elaborate reality, in an artistic context such as the Norwegian one, where, in general, social and political events are immediately perceived by the artists and incorporated into their practice. Norwegian as well as other Nordic artists are much more connected to the international and local political situation, while, generally speaking, Italian artists tend to address their effort to the elaboration of paradigmatic images.
The political debate is so much entwined with the artistic one in Norway, that Lara Favarettoâ€™s confetti cannons are seen as a statement upon the pre-war time weâ€™re now experiencing. In fact, those cannons were not created to be political comments at all but this â€œmisunderstandingâ€ on their meaning is very interesting and fruitful. You can get different interpretations of the same work according to the place where it is exhibited â€“in the end, you canâ€™t say anymore that that of the artist is the right one as the work changes in the eye (and mind) of the viewer.
Organising a national group show is definitely not a matter of presenting art grounded on national identity, but rather the contrary that is to try to understand contemporary reality through art. And since the scene is now international, Italian art can offer just another point of view. Neither better, nor worse. Just different.
Showing at UKS galleri in Oslo from the 31st of January â€“ 9th of March 2003
Opening 31st of January 19.00
Opening hours Tuesday â€“ Friday 12.00 â€“ 17.00, Saturday â€“ Sunday 12.00 â€“ 16.00