LUCA ROSSI 2009 > 2019 

art – critique – new education


 In the Italian contemporary art scene there is a figure of considerable interest. Luca Rossi–artist/ collective, critic, curator, and blogger–is a controversial personality who works in anonymity, as some kind of Anonymous of the Art System. In Luca Rossi’s philosophy, the ego no longer exists because anyone can be Luca Rossi, at the same time that the “critical process”, the virtual space of the Internet, and the real context no longer have boundaries and blend into one. Scroll down this page. 

Today individuals experience a sort of “non-experience” in the sense that they spend most of their time surfing the “network”, producing a “new memory-without memory” or a “passive and a-critical assimilation” into the system. Luca Rossi knows this well. He constantly reminds us of the history of art and ideas, of our past, of what it means to be critical and active, struggling to preserve one’s own authenticity and originality in the great McDonald that is our contemporary world.

Many curators and artists, both in Italy and Europe, have been following Luca’s work with great excitement. By now Luca is considered the only critical voice that “stands out” in the current Italian landscape.

It is worrisome that Luca’s work has yet to be recognized by institutions and organizations, despite receiving the acknowledgement of the public and many curators and artists. This says a lot about what the value that the Italian system places on the “real artist”. The Italian contemporary landscape has been dragging itself down for more than 10 years, producing artists who “copy and paste”, endless repetitions of projects signed by the same names, and decreeing the end of contemporary art. 

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Since 30 years ago, art criticism and critical confrontation have slowly become the SELECTION of the art curator.
Selection is NOT art criticism, it is not a critical comparison. Art criticism means arguing lights and shadows of works of art; put the works on the ropes, seek their value with respect to the present and the history of art.

For this reason, slowly, today we have lost the reasons and motivations of the contemporary.

Danh Vo and Haris Epaminonda are significant with respect to this loss of reasons and reasons. They are artists affected by the “Young Indiana Jones Syndrome”. Artists forced to become “archaeologists of the past” to be accepted by a country (and a collector) for old people. Or for young people who want to look as deep and sophisticated as mature people.

Nicolas Bourriaud defines a new era that should arrive after the post modern (1973-2001): the alter-modern era. When Bourriaud provides the definition of altermodern, however, he does NOT find artists who can be called “altermodern”. This happens because if an artist follows the definition of altermodernism, he should deeply question his own nature. And therefore consequently the nature of the work of art, the spectator and the museum. 

Since 2009 in Italy “Luca Rossi” is a figure where ALL the roles of the art system flow together and overlap: artist, critic, curator, spectator, journalist. This figure, wearing all the roles, is theoretically independent and has been able to develop projects that we can consider “altermodern”.

On this page you will find a selection of 10 projects carried out between 2009 and 2019>

Black Mirror > click here to see the project 

During the visit to the Prada Foundation in Venice, radiators / air 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 guardians for a direction that investigates a mysterious and dystopic scenario.

LUCA ROSSI (SIX Gallery, Milan 2019) 

All paintings > “If You Don’t Understand Something Search For It On YouTube” acrylic painting, 70×70 cm, 2019. 

Each painting is a distillation of 10 years of critical work. Each painting is “motionless” but every day it is “in motion”; each painting contain the complexity of our time and, at the same time, it represent a resistance to the Dictatorship of the Algorithm and “I Like”.

In the center of the gallery: “Luca Rossi’ Tongue”, eraser, real dimension, 2018. 

We don’t need to express ourselves we do it too much; we need interstices of solitude and silence to finally say something true. In a time where anyone Mr. Rossi, like Mr. Smith, creates contents and seems to know everything, the “cut language” becomes a significant relic. But also the language of the person that tries to make the differences between the contents themselves.

One second sculpture, by the left hand fingers tips, now where you are. iuhdhdodldjoipdjpwe (New Museum 2017)

A series of sculptures made by Luca Rossi by the fingertips of the left hand. The fingertips are widely used in the digital age but at the same time they go to draw the wall of our “cave”, our private sphere, represented by Apple’s tactile mouse. They are very fast works because they are always in the same place and at the same time as the visitor, but also inexorably immobile. The sculptures maintain an ambiguous balance between the digital and analogical world, between speed and immobility.

The way, the path (Sénanque Project 2013) 

The Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque, in the south of France, is a great religious Walt Disney that welcomes thousands of visitors every day. Luca Rossi moved the visiting hours that were placed on a large empty case and began to obsessively photograph the inside of the case. The action of photographing the display case becomes a sort of flash mob, of a candid camera towards so many tourists that begin to slow down their pace, rub their eyes, until they get to photograph themselves that mysterious emptiness. A void that, if we look at the photographic documentation, is not really a void: a micro universe, a landscape emerges from the case. The typical veins of Zen gardens, a slit, a small object right on the edge, but invisible to a distracted look. Ethereal figures that manifest themselves reflected in the case. Fragments of white color and a very small Tao visible only through the macro of photography. In this case we can say that the mediated experience that we can do in the silence and calm of our daily life, returns a much more interesting and complete experience than the direct experience. The monks themselves refused to keep this display case officially, because they counter how “non-Christian” symbols cannot be displayed in the abbey. But for the monks themselves the case is empty, what then does the “non-Christian” case contain? Is it not perhaps the same “void” in which religion itself asks us to believe? This project carried out in 2013 continues a series of interventions that can be considered “positive attacks” aimed at reconstructing the sense of place instead of destroying things and people.

If you don’t undertsand something search for it on YouTybe (Dolomities ITA, Smach 2017)

In 2017 this great writing was made in Val Badia in the heart of the Dolomites. Also in this case the work experiences a subtle ambiguity between the digital and analogical world that in this case is evident in the video of the realization of the work. This same video can be considered an independent work, which opens, following the title, to a fluid and everyday dimension of change. This project has been declined in 2014 in different contexts up to the project carried out in 2019 within the SIX Gallery in Milan.

Rajm (Venice Biennale Gardens)

During the 2015 and 2017 Venice Biennale it was possible to purchase a PDF document online that indicated the position of a sculpture within the Biennale Gardens. The document presented the photos of the work, the directions to find it and a text by Luca Rossi. The sculpture presents a young man with his legs and arms cut off, and resumed in a sort of momentum. Then a hole can be seen in the neck, and on the face a beam that could be further loaded with stones. As soon as I saw it in 2015 I immediately thought of “Luca Rossi”, the “village fool” who says that the King is naked and is “stoned” by the King’s court. Luca Rossi’s languages ​​created in 2018 seem complementary to this project.

7800 (Trentino woods, 2018)

The project, conceived for Manifesta 12, celebrates the Voodoo, the oldest religion in the world, and involves 7800 Africans engaged in a great collective ritual in the woods of Trentino. It is not known where, but only that this rite took place every day, at dusk, between 20 and 28 July 2018. A great collective prayer so that something meaningful can happen. A sign, or a series of coincidences, that can tell us something about the present and the future of Europe. The 7800 people involved carry out a Voodoo ritual every day that has been integrated and contaminated by extraneous elements, including the use of dry sage, Hypericum oil, elements of the Shinto religion, Trentino centenary wood and a Christian prayer that artist, creator of the project, he learned as a child. The video was distributed via Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The video was interrupted after a few hours to avoid dangerous reactions.

… plays … (an art gallery in Warsaw, 2011)

The sun’s rays, before the official installation in a Warsaw gallery, become light paintings. These paintings are formed when light (understood as rays between points) meets a place. Without a vital critical system works of art are made of a subject made of places and public relations. The work changes every moment and at certain times of the year it tries to install itself in space. At night, instead, it is necessary to sustain a void, an empty wall.

Thermal Refuge (Hotel Helvetia, 2016)

On the hills near Bologna, a wellness center was built in a bomb shelter from World War II. A place that unknowingly combines western, eastern and local culture represented by its thermal waters. In this already suggestive place Luca Rossi suggests a reading that he himself found by chance in this place. A short article that shows how the last few years in human history represent the best of the worlds that have ever existed as rates of freedom, well-being and democracy on a global level. Not the best world ever existed, but the best world that human beings have managed to create on earth. This historical observation contrasts with the common sentiment of contemporaneity.

Gagosian Project (Rome,2019)

Two interventions of the “unofficial” project realized in 2019 by Gagosian Roma. The “unofficial” interventions carried out by Luca Rossi, show how it is necessary on the one hand to take new awareness of the concept of “experience of reality” and on the other hand respect a dimension of opportunity that redefines the idea of ​​artist, museum and artwork.

“Order a pizza …”

In 2009 Luca Rossi had modified the press release of an exhibition by George Condo at the Galleria Massimo De Carlo. The modification of the press release, of some specific information, shows how the manipulation of information (the concept of fake news) can play a decisive role. The project took place in 2009 when the problem of fake news was not yet at the center of the international debate. “Ordering a pizza” means making a small choice in our private dimension. A choice in this dimension can be worth 10-20 times the choice of a head of state. Pizza is a “standard content” that has less and less value in favor of an information system that is able to manage it according to the users’ wishes. Projects like Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Instagram, are completely uninterested in the content in favor of a virtuous system capable of letting us find what we are looking for, let us communicate what we want or let us buy what we need. Over the years, this project has had several variations, becoming a sign outside the gallery in a project carried out in the T293 Gallery in Rome in 2017.