With the transformation of the art critic into a curator in the early 1990s, reasons and motivations for contemporary art were slowly lost. After a dense century as twentieth century, the language of contemporary art seems worn and exhausted. Before COVID-19 the places of contemporary art were full of many works of art, this reduces the times of fruition of the single art work (space + many works = little time for the single artworks). The artists who emerged after 2001 in order to be successful in these tight and short times are forced to elaborate the codes of the past (Young Indiana Jones Syndrome) creating works that seem a sort of “twentieth century craftsmanship” which in 2009 I defined “evolved ikea “(good furnishing solutions with inflated prices).
For these critical positions I am strongly ostracized by the Italian art system.
COVID-19 has only made clear issues that I have been facing since 2009. From these reflections the idea of a clandestine and unofficial Italian Pavilion 2020-2022 was born: to leave the Italian Pavilion EMPTY and develop projects that could address this void. While the Italian Pavilion is empty and will remain empty until summer 2022, on this page we propose a continuous work in progress. At the moment we are presenting 3 projects that respond differently to the current emptiness of the Italian Pavilion :
1- San Gimignano SKYLINE PROJECT (for the 30th anniversary of the Galleria Continua)
2 – BLACK MIRROR (Prada Foundation, Venice)
3- By left hand fingertips sajdlkajdjldjjdijasijaijdèadèj (Hauser&Wirth, Minorca)
4- 7800 (Forests of Trentino, Trentino Alto Adige)
If you don’t understand something search for it on YouTube
video projections, MoMA New York 2020.
Art Project for Smach 2017 in Val Badia (Italy). Installation published on “The word is Art” Thames & Hudson.
If You Don’t Understand Something Search For It On You Tube > giant letters, recyclable pvc, Luca Rossi, San Gimignano 2020.
The project consists of a large environmental installation where seven giant letters are mounted on the famous skyline of San Gimignano in Italy.
The acronym refers to the 30 years of activity of the Galleria Continua and the five locations of the gallery around the world. But after IMG any combination of numbers can work. In fact, thousands of videos are made every day around the world and uploaded to YouTube without giving them a specific title. This installation, despite being huge and apparently incomprehensible, changes every day and manages to reflect the fluid and precarious complexity of our present. Following the title of the installation also means creating an act of resistance to the Internet algorithm that always tends to offer us content that “we like” because we will arrive at a completely unexpected and different video playlist every day.
Today we are experiencing a pollution of information and content in which we have all been producers and consumers for 10 years.
This pollution brings substantial anesthetization where we are forced to live on the surface of things. This large installation does not create yet another content but a way to order the content produced in the world already in an abnormal way. Gilles Deleuze said that people no longer need to express themselves, they do it too much, they need interstices of solitude and silence to finally say something true. Today people are forced to express themselves by the development of social networks. If you are not a good “social media manager” you risk not existing. A sort of dictatorship in freedom of expression intended only to give us the illusion of really communicating (as if a person were talking in a room with one hundred other people at the same time) and illusion to really contribute to the political and social debate (fighting one’s battles on social network without having to do it in reality).
The Black Mirror project presented in 2019 at the Prada Foundation in Venice identifies large “black screens” that are inexorably extinguished in the large air conditioners that accompany the visit to the foundation.
As if the screen where we can see the videos entitled IMG 3005 on YouTube suddenly went off. The interstices of solitude and silence of which Gilles Deleuze speaks. Moments of decompression where you can finally “say something true”. “But what is true?” in a world where the truth does not correspond to the real facts but to the way of communicating these facts? Visitors to the Prada Foundation are invited to place their mobile phone over the “black screens” and record a video of their interior. As if the artwork became the tutor to investigate the truth and mystery of these black monoliths.
In the summer of 2018, through the main social networks, in the local area of Trentino, a video was released that documented 7800 Africans performing a collective ritual around the Trentino woods. Where they exactly were was not known. If you wanted to know if it was true you had to go look for Africans in the Trentino woods. To go beyond the truth of the screen you had to go for a walk in the woods (again an interstice of solitude and silence). As if one of the IMG3005 videos could be verified in person by going, once again as in Black Mirror, beyond the screen.
Through the keywords linked to the Galleria Continua, Emanuele Perrotin, Hasn Ulrich Obrist, Massimiliano Gioni, Hauser & Wirth, this page will intercept all the searches that will be made in the world and will bring visitors to this project. The English text has been deliberately translated with Google Translate to allow a more open and unexpected reading of the project.
Black Mirror > Prada Foundation Venice> Luca Rossi
During the visit to the Prada Foundation in Venice, the conditioners look like big “black screens”.
These “screens”, inexorably turned off, seem to be an oasis of solitude and silence within the official exhibition presented by the Foundation.
Visitors are invited to place their mobile phones, with the video camera facing down, on the grids of these black monoliths and press REC. By moving the phone as desired on this surface the “black screens” become “tutors” for a direction that investigates a mysterious and dystopic scenario.
By left hand fingertips
various material, dust, saliva, Tate Modern 2020.
By Left Hand Fingertips foiheoihfpàfjàpefwhiàoef > Hauser&Wirth > Luca Rossi
>>>> various material, Luca Rossi 2020 (Hauser & Wirth, Minorca).
The sculptures made with fingertips are extremely significant. Fingertips are the thing we use most in recent years. Apple’s tactile mouse becomes a sort of extension of our “cave”. The private dimension which today represents the only remaining political space. The choice we make in this dimension is worth 10-20 times that of a politician.
7800 > Trentino Wood > Luca Rossi
>>> communication video campaign on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, action in Trentino woods, 2018.
The title of this project, “7800”, suggests an imagined altitude but also a year of the future.
The project, designed for Manifesta 12, celebrates the Voodoo, the oldest religion in the world, and involves 7800 Africans participating in a large collective ritual in the woods of Trentino. This ritual will take place every day at dusk for an indefinite time. The location of the ritual, however, remains unknown: we only know that it will take place somewhere in the sacred spaces of the woods of Trentino (20th – 28 th July 2018).
The ritual entails a collective prayer in the hope that something significant will happen: a sign, or a series of coincidences, that can tell us something about the present and the future of Europe. What will happen will be documented on this same page.
Every day the 7800 people involved in the project perform a Voodoo ritual that has been integrated and contaminated with foreign elements, including the use of dried sage, the oil of Hypericum, elements of the Shinto religion, and a Christian prayer that the artist, creator of the project, learned as a child.
Can the large migratory flows affecting Europe become a wealth? Can they help us rediscover the primordial relationship with our soul and with our earth?
In the Mediterranean region there is a “demographic transition” that in just one century will cause the inhabitants of Africa to grow by 530%, going from 43.5 million to 274 million.
Moreover, climate changes have rendered some areas of Africa uninhabitable (the UN expects about fifty million climate refugees only from Africa by 2050); strong political instabilities have resulted in civil wars and genocides in Sudan, Eritrea, Central Africa, Congo, Libya, Chad; the silencing of Italy’s involvement in the selling of heavy and light weapons to African countries has contributed to these wars and forced millions of refugees out of their homelands (only in 2016 Italy has exported weapons worth 14 billion euros); finally, 30 million people are suffering from starvation in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, northern Kenya, and around Lake Chad.
All these reasons tell us that we need long-term policies that can connect and integrate people and solve what can reasonably be defined as another Holocaust.
“7800” is a contemporary fresco, a premonition, and a mirage for the visitors of the woods of Trento. It is a prayer that begins to identify a trace, a concomitance of events or a sign, about the present and future of Europe in relation to this new contemporary exodus.