Jupiter in Saturn

“Jupiter in Saturn” debuts tonight at Fondaco space with the works of Fabio Timpanaro and the sounds of Luca Longobardi. Curated by Nero Gallery, this exhibition is an anticipation of a show that will run in January to celebrate Twin Peaks of David Lynch, host of honour of the 12° edition of the International Film Festival of Rome.

 

David Lynch is one of the most innovative and eclectic firms of contemporary filmmakers. In occasion of the 50° anniversary of his career, the International Film Festival of Rome invited the director to tribute his works with the Premio alla Carriera. Master of uncanny, surreal atmosphere, twofold meaning and lack of linearity, Lynch is a director, screenwriter, producer, painter, musician, actor, and photographer. Parallel to the award ceremony, Nero Gallery organised a pop-up event to celebrate Twin Peaks, the famous series that has revolutionised the world and the language of TV shows.

“Jupiter in Saturn” is an exhibition that collects the works of Fabio Timpanaro, digital artist and creative director who dedicated his last works to the disquieting story of this small logging town five miles south of the Canadian border. Working on the mystery around the characters and the surreal atmosphere of the village, the artist offers us an overview of the peculiar symbolic language that makes Lyncian’s works open to several interpretations. Lynch inspired Timpanaro not only for the peculiar innovation of his works, but also for his artistic exploration. The works presented at the exhibition are characterised by an original combination of photography, digital and oil painting, which reflects the mystical and symbolic universe of Twin Peaks. In conjunction, Luca Longobardi curated an audio installation entitled 2357, that plays with the timbre and metric research of the sound imagery of the surreal world created by Lynch.

While we are waiting for the collective exhibition that will be run from January at the Nero Gallery, this anticipation makes us think about how the director is not only an inspiration for the world of cinema and photography, but also for the artistic research in a broader sense.  The peculiarity of this tribute is the creative play that Timpanaro and Longobardi have to engage with their own medium and the open interpretation they left to the viewer, rather than a linear and clear reference to an artist that cannot be classified because of his individual exploration.

Eastern palace for pleasure

On Wednesday, at the Nero Gallery in Rome, ended  “Eastern palace for pleasure’. For this solo exhibition, the curators Daphnée Thibaud and Giulia Capogna collected the works of Tony Cheung, Chinese artist who plays with pop illustration and ceramic on the contradiction of his culture.

Over the centuries, Chinese influences captured our imagination with fascinating manufacturing of silk and ceramic, and the variety of traditions and languages still evolving and transforming within the society. The connection with this immense land increased with the economic crisis in Europe, when the role of China as superpower became every day more evident in our economy. However, what we know about this vast and variegated land is only a small angle of the whole picture.

Since 2008, Beijing government has been filtering and detecting any information or channel of communication that could create doubts or discussion on the political moves of the government. YouTube, Google, Whatsapp or Social Media, which in the Western world are basically necessary to be part of the society, are totally forbidden in almost the all country. Beyond what we can see on the surface, the internal differences create contradiction not only for the political party, but also for the identity of the citizen.

 

 

Tony Cheung, from Canton, based his works on this social contradiction with a combination of Japanese manga, old Chinese painting, ceramic and the political posters of the Mao period. Tony began his artistic career with “Sensitive Words”, a project to investigate the evolution of the meaning of words under censorship, and the limits of expression on Internet and channel of communications. The artist’s illustrations highlight the contradiction in the society, analysing how ancient tradition and globalization are affecting the individual expression.

With a sarcastic vein, the artist plays on the commonplace connected with his culture, like school uniform or transformation of sexuality, illustrating how old and global tendencies are forming new shapes in Chinese society. Using traditional medium as illustration and ceramic, the artist proposes unexpected, dirty content without filter or easy moral.

The interesting aspect of the artist’s project is the lack of intention of leading the visitor to a fixed interpretation. In opposition with the philosophy of censorship and obvious categorisations, the artist leaves the observer free to give is own interpretation, without any label, but using the eyes of the artist to develop a personal understanding. This is a brilliant example of integration between two different cultures, where the opportunity for a “meeting” is left to the work of art, and how they move our sensibility or interest, rather than to a ready-made product that promotes the same, easy, meaning for everyone.

Beu-Beu Art Festival!!

Yesterday ended the first edition of Beu-Beu Art Festival in Badia di Ruoti, a small village in the heart of Tuscany. The festival has been organised by Schimen Onlus with the collaboration of the associations Eureka and Strange Opera to present the works of over 70 artists through exhibitions, workshops, music and talks.

This was the first time for the Beu-Beu festival, a mix of contemporary art, illustration, publishing industry and workshops. Placed in a small village near Arezzo, the festival offered an overview of Italian contemporary art performing in the unique landscape of Tuscany’s countryside. Playing with the traditional atmosphere of the location, the exhibitions were spread through the walls of the XI century Abbacy of Badia di Ruoti to create an innovative contrast between the art and the place.

Example of this combination are the skates painted by the roman artists for the exhibition SKATE HEART ROMA, an idea of Davide Orlando and Valentina Roccanuova; or Fabulae, a collection of 10 artists presenting the ancient tales of Fedro; or the first collection of woman illustrators in Graphiste. Curated by Rossana Calbi are also the solo shows of Francesco Viscuso, Folklore, and Sergio Marsala, Snaturar Corrivo, that presented their work to celebrate the first edition festival.

In addition to the shows displayed in the Abbacy, the festival spread around the small town during the weekend interacting with the visitors with several activities. For the project WOODoo, following the idea of Marina Ronca, five artists invited the walkers to play with the big wooden man. Meantime, in Ambra, a small town next to Badia di Ruoti, the artists Nicola Alessandrini and Lisa Gelli live painted the first mural in the area of Bucine, inviting the visitor to discover the land while looking for the art.

The audience has been actively involved to be part of the festival during the whole weekend. The children could enjoy the editorial workshop Il Mondo Extra-Ordinario with Laura Caputo, while everyone could play with wood with Robox, or learn about serigraphy with Andrea Baldelli.

During the evening, you could enjoy a dinner made with local products waiting for the film projection of Virginia Mori or the independent music and DJ set. The artists Francesca Toscano e Francesco Viscuso framed the concerts with Il ramo d’oro, a floral site-specific installation created in harmony with the location and the atmosphere of the small village.

The artistic direction formed by the artist Marco About, the musician Luca Zampi and the curator Rossana Calbi gave space to independent art usually on the edge, offering a brilliant and variegated overview of contemporary art through music, visual art and talks with editors. The visitors weren’t only invited in discovering the art, but also the place.

And here I found the real peculiarity of this initiative.

Organized in a rural town of Tuscany, the festival kept is traditional background presenting avant-garde and cutting-edge art product of our time. The market and the food were local, offering the chance to small businesses to present their products, and their land. Rather than being stacked in saving a tradition that it is not going to be shown anywhere, the organisation of this festival illustrated us a concrete alternative to conserve our unique tradition through the pluralism characteristic of contemporary art, offering a new way to live our culture.