Cohabitations: Studies on Beasts, Plants, and Objects


Harlem Studio Fellowship by Montrasio Arte presents:

Cohabitations: Studies on Beasts, Plants, and Objects

Featuring: Leone Contini Bonacossi, Federico Donelli, Gianni Moretti

Work in progress: On the Block, by Susy Blu

Curated by: Raffaele Bedarida

December 13, 2007 – January 10, 2008, by appointment

Harem Studio Fellowship (HSF) is pleased to present Cohabitations: Studies on Beasts, Plants, and Objects, an exhibition showing works and projects realized by HSF fellows during their stay in New York (October-December 2007). Curated by Raffaele Bedarida, Cohabitations includes three Italian artists: Leone Contini Bonacossi, Federico Donelli, and Gianni Moretti.

Cohabitations: Studies on Beasts, Plants, and Objects focuses on parallel levels of unnatural coexistences in wrong habitats.

Leone Contini Bonacossi has provoked, composed, and documented germinations of seeds and tubers in artificial contexts, desperate rituals of resurrection in the Whole Food era. American Baroque is an installation at the first floor, where Contini’s pale germinations grow in a former ice-house. The red light and the artificial sound of nature (composed by Lorenzo Brusci) create an overlapping between different evocations: Christian relics, Adonic cults and metropolitan evocations of a idealized nature/natural life. My Ancestors – Columbus Circle is a photographic tryptic: healthy sprouts that are sold at Columbus circle as modern elixir of life, are shown here as small holy pictures. Wheat Seeds Germinating Inside two Jazz-Trumpet Cases Lined with Blue and Red Velvet, Found in the Garbage a Few Days Ago Right Here in Harlem, is a reference to the Mediterranean association of germinating cereals to the Resurrection of Christ. The reflection developed here is on the popular imagery of the Harlem Renaissance.

Gianni Moretti synthetized the metaphoric and physical coexistence of mice, deer, and newyorkers in a series entitled Heraldry (New York). The subway ubiquitous presence of mice is melted with a symbolic interpretation of Manhattan urban shape and history – complex yet symmetrical deer’s horns that fall and rise again every year. In the basement, Moretti has realized four heraldic icons with the technique of spolvero, which was used as a preparatory stage in Renaissance frescoes for the transfer of studio drawings onto the walls. They were not meant to be seen by the public. Moretti has kept their ephemeral quality (they can be destroyed with a puff), raising here a question about recent developments of the Street Art and its ambiguous relationship with notions such as public space versus institutional art space, monumental presence versus virtual diffusion. On the second Floor, monotypes on paper are shown, featuring the preparatory studies for the Heraldry (New York) cycle.

Federico Donelli imposed fake memories on found objects by means of textual fragments: a reflection on the automatic narratives of history, and fictional intimacies of insignificant objects. At the second floor, Donelli exhibits three works. The Healing Force Of The Universe and Grandpa Is Dead are ink texts and monochrome surfaces on glossy photographic paper that give shape and words to the untold,what is behind, or in-between in a world of photographs. Teddy Bear In A Glass Dome, The Most Contested Color In the World, and Orchid In A Vase, is a threefold installation where the interconnections between texts, objects and photographs question the very sense of memory, narrativity and objectuality.

HSF visitors are invited to follow the developments of Susy Blu’s photographic project On the Block, a systematic study/portrait of the houses’ interiors on HSF’s block. The project is a collective reflection on topics such as gentrification, domesticity, identity and privacy. At the second floor, in a studio-like context, documents ad images of the work in progress are now on display. Photographs are shown through a loop projection, commented by text and sounds.

see videos on Vernissage TV


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