David Adamo, Manon de Boer, Andrea Büttner, Gerard Byrne, Nicholas Byrne, Aaron Curry, Moyra Davey, Enrico David, Aleana Egan, Koji Enokura, Esther Kläs, Pietro Roccasalva ‘Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in Cave and Grooving with a Pict’ borrows its title from a track in Pink Floyd's 1969 double album Ummagumma. Described by its composer as a “piece of concrete poetry”, the song combines experimental sound compositions with subtle irony. Similarly, this exhibition unites a group of artists who freely use and address languages developed in the last centuries to expand the understanding of “now” and “self”.
From drawing and painting to lens-based techniques like photography and video, the artists investigate the mutability, contingency and evolution of forms. Through these works, themes of pattern and repetition emerge and build a rhythm ranging from the stylization and fragmentation of the body to its paradoxical absence. Many of the artists’ interventions share a commonality of blurred starts and endings. Instead of defining the boundaries of the human figure, these works render them fluid, uncertain, and negotiable.
Representations of the human figure are part of a network of symbols in visual arts and cultural studies. These representations are reminders of who we think we are: imitations of life through which we define and locate our personal and public identities. Art has long sought the perfect method of representing the human body, idealizing it through an iconography of norms and resolving the disconcerting mutability of flesh and blood. In this way, the imperfect human body is overridden by a plenitude of representations.
Many thematic exhibitions tend either to delegate their focus entirely to a respective individual artistic position or to use specific works as mere pieces of evidence for an idea or subject. In this case, the idea of the representation of the human figure and its complex theoretical and visual layers can be seen as a topic general enough to allow a dually functional concrete context: on the one hand, the ability to strengthen the autonomous presence of the single works and, on the other, to allow the viewer to experience the works as they relate to one another and within the exhibition’s conceptual framework.
Curated by Gyonata Bonvicini.