press release

Economy and violence are the elements that generate the Economies exhibition, organised by Manuela Gandini and Marco Scotini at Artantandgallery in Milan. The manifold aspects of plural economies in relationship with the global economy, outline a mobile territory, dense with minimal and marginal forms of exchange, related to the representations of the strong symbols imposed by the “single thought” of western democracies.

Rosemberg Sandoval (Colombia) Puts a down and out on his shoulders and carries him inside a museum. He wipes him energetically upon large pieces of paper, tracing abstract patterns with the grease and filth of his clothes. In this action, in which the homeless man remains totally passive, the borderline between ethics and violence is very, very fine pounding within a powerful explosive message. In the centre of the gallery, the artist has created the flags of rich countries realised with the cardboard box “houses” of homeless Colombians

In another hall – in Jonah Freeman’s film (Usa) – the Franklin Abraham building, towers up virtually, an immense skyscraper with 2 million inhabitants, a monstrous, rococo hybrid of endless corridors, the keeper of numerous micro-stories squashed by the ambitious real-estate speculation of the imaginary Maxwell Blum. The absurd, suffocating, contemporary landscape is depicted through youth gangs, family conflicts, prostitutes, business affairs, labourers, doormen, architects and squadrons of soldiers all at the entrance of the building.

The exhibition continues, touching upon the vacuity of an absurd autobiographical production, in a new video-installation “Mary’s Cherries” by a young Israeli woman Mika Rottenberg (Israel). Three fat, exhausted working women, cut off their long red fingernails, which turn into cherries, while the pedal locked inside their dreamless lives.

In the Economies exhibition, surreality mingles with critical reflections on the trends of different countries: Talking about Economies, the work of Dominic Hislop (Scotland) and Miklos Erhardt (Hungary), is in fact, created by a dry analysis of contemporary processes which develop through the social differences of nations. Alternatives to the piloted commercial thought spring from creative attitudes, which are not mechanically functional for the economy, like for example the work carried out by the Viennese group WochenKlausur (Austria). In this case, the collective intervention by WochenKlausur is targeted to the realisation of welfare and development structures such as a mobile ambulatory, equipped to aid the homeless on the streets of Vienna, or the seven language schools opened for the children of Kosovo.

If the longstanding symbol of capitalism is imploded by multinationals of terror, new bloody pathways, signed by the flocks and illegal dispatches, stretch out behind the tragic picture of economic renewal. The desperate march of the rejected seeking their fortunes, is intercepted by Gianni Motti (Italy) who, with concrete and disturbing actions, involves illegal immigrants and the miserable in the representation of their own drifters’ existence. In the same way Anibal Lopez (Guatemala) chose illegality to self finance a “good deed, also for the son of the kidnapped person” as the artist himself stated.

Meschac Gaba (Benin) put into act economic processes that epitomize individual territorial identities under continuous confrontation between local and global. Through the criticism of central European cultural models, this artist creates an in progress nomadic museum – the Museum of Contemporary African Art (MCAA) - with professional roles that alternate and exchangeable figures. The group of young Italians Alterazioni Video (Italy) investigates on the reconstruction of the events that occurred during the G8 summit in Genoa and raises funds to finance legal processes in progress. (Italy), tackles dysfunctions at a local level in Italy, in relation with iconographic and town planning changes determined by the social tissues of the city on the move, like for instance, the Chinese immigrants living in the town of Prato.

Paul Griffiths & Cesare Pietroiusti (Italy) levered directly upon the destruction of money. They asked potential donors for banknotes, altered their characteristics with chemical compounds, according to the thought of the artists, notes belong to the State (or rather the bank that prints them) and not to the citizen, who is simply a “carrier” and even if destroying them represents an economic damage for those that do it and an advantage for the State, it’s against the law. Following their alteration process the banknotes change value and became a work of art. Translation by Jacqueline Madden

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Kuratoren: Manuela Gandini, Marco Scotini

Künstler: Alterazioni Video , Jonah Freeman, Paul Griffiths & Cesare Pietroiusti, Dominic Hislop & Miklos Erhardt, Meschac Gaba, Anibal Lopez, Gianni Motti,, Mika Rottenberg, Rosemberg Sandoval, WochenKlausur