Diango Hernandez, Simone Bergantini and Björn Braun at SPAZIO 22, Milan
Diango Hernandez “Hurricanes”
Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) is proud to present the second solo exhibition by Diango Hernandez (Cuba, 1970) at the gallery after “Diamonds and Stones: My education” in 2008. Hernandez is one of the foremost conceptual artist from his generation.
“Hurricanes” consist of seven suspended sculptures of rusted metal bars describing hurricanes trajectories; simple diagrams showing the paths towards the most damaged historical sites. The installation convey also the violent force of tropical storms that results in a temporary paralysis of social life, and remind us all about human fragility towards uncontrollable events and the force of nature.
The show includes also five paintings on Iokta paper from the series “Words to sea”. Words that Hernandez took from speeches that Fidel Castro made in 1961 and to which the artist applied a font he created on purpose and named Waves. In Waves all the letters look the same therefore the speeches “translated” this way appear like a continuum of sea waves.
at FL-Gallery / SPAZIO 22, Milan
until 11 March 2016
Diango Hernandez “Hurricanes” installation views at FL Gallery / SPAZIO 22, Milan, 2016
Simone Bergantini “IT’S FUNNY–Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”
The artist constantly tries to catch something. In the same way, the impatient hand in the anonymous image communicates the vibrant anxiety of the gesture.
Simone Bergantini is like J. D. Salinger’s catcher. But what can he really catch? Some shared images, maybe. Or maybe just the sensation that they can exist only in that dimension–the web. It may be a dimension by which we are so absorbed that we do not know how to rule that yet. On the contrary, we may think that the control, which those who existed before us cared about has been abandoned now. It is likely that the tendency to embrace the unclear and the unsuccessful attempt to define its boundaries represents a new scenario, which we have to get familiar to. It is hard, of course. However, it is the artist who has the ungrateful duty of catching something from his–or her–own age.
Facebook, Twitter and smartphones–these are the new realities we live in. A world made of screens, flat surfaces, retro illuminated images, news scrolling on tablets and laptops, which we are always about to take off from their case to increase the information about our world or to completely escape from that reality immediately replaced by something fluid. The container has become more important than the content. Follow me on Instagram! It does not matter what I upload on my profile. I have an iPhone! I do not care which photos I will take. The screen of a phone, though broken, is more powerful than what it contains. We are talking about surfaces–monochromatic, flat, lacking any perspectives, anti-narrative, firmly linked to graphics. So the artist is catching something. A possible future aesthetics, maybe. The production of images, which are so proudly two-dimensional, is unprecedented in history. It looks like the age when the frustrating artist used to chase the plasticity of sculpture is now over. Today’s images are created by super-flat devices, which do not shape reality–they rather record it in a likewise linear way, they add it to other level of reality on the base of an additional principle. Consequently, the narration undergoes a mutation, and characters and places disappear–what is left are flat surfaces and objects.
We live in an era overwhelmed by information, which damage our cognitive skills instead of pumping them. So art is not supposed to contribute to the creation of this informative fatigue–this is the reason why the register of art is changing, gradually taking distance from the narrative textile, which leads to the atrophy of the mind. The path, which art is taking consists in choosing quotes from the real instead of reality itself. One part to the detriment of the whole. This fragmentation supports an open-minded attitude, it allows to reshape the boundaries of authority and to feel the structural changes in the artistic research compared to the models of life, which we are all embracing. A new iconography is rising notwithstanding the opposition of some critics, always ready to find political and social references in any image. It is possible that this desperate search for a meaning, exclusively pointing towards the past, is destined to dissipate in new practices, more effective than the previous ones in recording the fading reality we live in. So the artist, like the catcher in a baseball game, is ready to receive the balls from the pitcher–those balls, which the catcher himself often suggests.
Today, that pitcher ready to throw the ball is technology, and the artist, with his–or her–mask and chest protector, has to be ready to receive that ball as well as to call it. In order to do that, the artist has to know the game very well and to expect the trajectories. He–or she–cannot distract from the game looking at the past since he–or she–would not be ready to face the present, to receive the immediate ball, the quick and precise ball heading to the future. Bergantini does not often use technology directly–he receives its suggestions and tries to hit them back through images and objects. He prefers to stop the flow of events and collect its traces, like an archeologist. However, instead of dealing with the past he is called to direct his own sight somewhere else, on a slippery though fascinating surface. This is dangerous but rich with the satisfactions typical of something which is still not known. And this is our turn, the beneficiaries of this practice–the game takes place so that the message reaches someone who has to follow the game even without the information, which have alimented it. It is just us, alone, face to face with three big chromatic surfaces, which lack icons. Us, lacking a semantic handhold, which piques any previous interest. Us, who are called to manage a sort of vertigo, alone. A pleasure coming from technology, from erasing the pain represented by the routine of its use.
at Galleria Pack / SPAZIO 22, Milan
until 11 March 2016
Simone Bergantini “IT’S FUNNY–Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody” installation views at Galleria Pack / SPAZIO 22, Milan, 2016
SPAZIO 22 is pleased to host Meyer Riegger, from Berlin. Meyer Riegger is pleased to present the first Italian solo exhibition by Björn Braun at SPAZIO 22 in Milan.
Braun’s work is based on the process of transformation: In a synthesis of appending and removing the artist generates pictures, collages, objects and installations, which shift between natural formation and artificial shaping. For Braun, paper, wood, fibers and feathers in different manifestations–as industrially produced textiles or as articles found in nature–are the raw substances that he subjects to a discourse rich in imagery. The material in its respective state plays just as important a role for the artist as the object or item itself.
Björn Braun takes the exploration of a material regarding its potential for transformation as a point of departure, thus examining to what extent an object must be altered in order to produce a narrative element. The concept of turning material into a narrator is a substantial component of his work. The viewer, as recipient and witness of the transformative process, is able to conceive the narrative on his own, due to its integral openness, and at the same time perceive an unlimited spectrum of sovereign meanings. Another focal theme in his artistic work is collaboration with animals, often with birds, which he integrates in his artistic process in various ways. Sometimes the animal is called on to physically cooperate, the artist merely selects and provides working material, sometimes the artist seizes on the shape of a certain habitat and forms a new sculpture from it.
Björn Braun’s work oscillates between dissociation, dissolution and conversion; the transformative process, as a basis of his artistic method, produces a self-referential visual language in his sculptures, objects and collages.
at SPAZIO 22, Milan
until 11 March 2016
Björn Braun installation views at SPAZIO 22, Milan, 2016
Courtesy: the artists; Meyer Rigger, Berlin; SPAZIO 22, Milan. Photo: Antonio Maniscalco