Viewing Room

Descrizione delle mostre in 3D (da inserire in ITA e ENG)

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European by descent, African by birth, Kendell Geers defines himself as both animist and mystic, shaman and alchemist, punk and poet. Committed to the fight against apartheid from a very young age, Geers used his experience as a revolutionary to develop a psycho-socio-political approach in which ethics and aesthetics are viewed as two sides of the same coin spinning on the giant table of history. In his hands, the vast narrative of art is brought into question, the languages of power and ideological codes are disrupted, expectations dashed, and systems of belief are transformed into aesthetic canons.

The contradictions that are intrinsic to the artist’s identity are embodied in his work. His pieces combine personal with political, poetry with misery, violence with erotic tension. Geers works in various media and techniques, ranging from everyday objects to large-scale installations, and comprising the use of neon, performance and video.

The exhibition’s title is based on OrnAmenTum’EtKrimMen the 1908 essay Ornament and Crime by Austrian architect Adolf Loos, pioneer of modern architecture who condemned the decorations on the façades of buildings as a useless, even dangerous excess, steering the course of architecture towards the concept of functionality. For M77, Geers embraces Loos’ cultural heritage by interrogating the languages of Mini- malism and the model of gallery white cube, throwing aesthetics against the brick wall of experienced and shards of broken ethics.

Through a selection of historic pieces, his newest production and site-specific installations designed to interact with the gallery’s interiors, the artist creates an itinerary in which the juxtaposition of differ- ent materials and the powerful impact created by his use of colour and pattern give rise to a series of cross-references and contrasts intended to threaten the cherished beliefs of the observer, consciously or unconsciously immersed in a setting that is indeed attractive but that is in fact inhospitable and potentially dangerous.

«OrnAmenTum’EtKrimMen is a resurrection of spirit through an invocation of nature, a powerful invocation on the subject of love through the agency of still life painting. The cut flowers of the classic still life painting tradition might be the most precise symbol of our times. The flowers have been severed from their roots and are sustained, only for brief moment, by the water in their vase. Their beauty lies in their fragility, still alive and yet dying simultaneously.» says the artist.

Geers flips the Dutch art historical language upon its head with a conceptual-expressionist twist and the cut flowers are framed against the backdrop of climate change and the proliferation of borders and social

Geers flips the Dutch art historical language upon its head with a conceptual-expressionist twist and the cut flowers are framed against the backdrop of climate change and the proliferation of borders and social

Geers flips the Dutch art historical language upon its head with a conceptual-expressionist twist and the cut flowers are framed against the backdrop of climate change and the proliferation of borders and social boundaries. Describing himself as an AniMystikAktivist, he weaves together animistic and shamanic tradi- tion with alchemical mysticism in an unbridled activism. In protest against the materialism of our age ruled by economic prejudice and political expedience, the artist proposes an art of spiritual transformation. He believes that Art holds the key to the difficult questions of healing. He believes art is an esoteric practice and the work of art is nothing less than a talisman. His studio is his heterotopia, a space set aside from reality in which he is able to channel spirit into form, a word is made flesh, a dream manifest and formless uncanny silence given a voice to sing. To him creating a great work of art is more than a physical process because when you look at a great work of art, that work of art looks right back at you for it is alive – with a spirit.

“There are no mistakes in history. The whole history is a mistake.” – Braco Dimitrijević

M77 Gallery presents a new exhibition which from 10 June will animate the gallery: Traveling to Post History, a solo exhibition by the Bosnian artist Braco Dimitrijević (Sarajevo, 1948). The exhibition, curated by Danilo Eccher, follows the style of the latest shows presented by M77, where artists are invited to freely interact and dialogue with the spaces of the gallery, each time creating true site-specific projects.

The exhibition marks the triumphant return of the artist to Milan following his participation in the important collective show “Arts & Foods” by Germano Celant at the Triennale on the occasion of the Expo, with a presentation that offers an examination of the main themes of Dimitrijević’s work without losing the powerful dimensional strength of the installations.

Drawing inspiration from his work in the 1970s, the artist examines the relationship between chance and creativity with two never-before-seen large-scale works created especially for the exhibition, which question and almost desecrate the very idea of works of art and the concept of the artist. In that period, ahead of his time in his theories of relational aesthetics, Dimitrijević referred to the role of the artist as an “arranger”, setting up an initial situation for which the public is co-author and the final result is unpredictable.

Visitors are welcomed by an imposing installation centred on two boats with sails that portray the faces of artists and intellectuals such as Tesla, Modigliani, Malevič and Gončarova, who all shared alternating critical success and a fame that was recognised only many years after having produced the works for which they are considered masters. As well as the casual nature of fame, in these works in which the portraits are accompanied by an organic element – in this case coconuts -, Dimitrijević also focuses on nature and its capacity to rebalance the forces in play. It is a recurrent presence throughout the artist’s work.

The exhibition continues with two series of works by the Bosnian artist set around the large installation Heralds of Post History, a piece that was previously presented in Arts & Foods. It consists of photographs from the Balkan Walzer series: portraits of famous composers “defaced” by pickaxes that break the glass surface and remain wedged in the picture, with a red chilli pepper evoking a trickle of blood. This series introduces other themes dear to the artist, such as the continuous blending of nature and artifice (fruit and everyday objects), the references to historical figures that have a particular meaning for him, to be honoured or stigmatised, thus expressing ethical and aesthetic judgements on Culture, Art and the role of the artist.

The second selection of works is dedicated instead to another important body of the artist’s work consisting of installations which create alienating encounters between wild animals and works of art. Silent dialogues in which nature and culture come face to face in a suspended dimension.

As suggested by the title of the exhibition, the work of Braco Dimitrijević originates from a critical standpoint with regards to History. The artist developed the concept of “Post History” in the treatise Tractatus Post Historicus from 1976, a few years before the creation of the term Postmodernism, defining it as a coexistence of different concepts and models, a pluralism of the truth and time of a multi-angular vision.

“In reality, chance is hidden determinism, as nothing really happens by chance, everything needs to be seen from a cosmic perspective” – explains the artist. “This is demonstrated by the many errors of history, which pushes people to the side-lines as though they were “passers-by”, to then re-propose them as heroes. One only has to think of Kafka, El Greco forgotten for 300 years, Van Gogh and many others. I tell this story”.

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