Monday, July 13, 2009

Opening Thursday: Lovisa Ringborg

courtesy HSF/©Lovisa Ringborg

Please join us at Harlem Studio Fellowship for the opening of a double solo exhibition of artists-in-residence, Lovisa Ringborg and Elena Ascari. Co-curated by HSF Chief Curator, Raffaele Bedarida with newly appointed Junior Curator, Teresa Meucci, the show presents works achieved by the two artists during their stay in New York (May-July-2009).

if your secret was an animal
what animal would it be


Curated by: Raffaele Bedarida and Teresa Meucci

Opening reception: July 16th 6.30-9.00 pm

By appointment:
July 17th-31st, 2009

HSF by Montrasioarte
128W 121st street
(subway 2, 3 to 116th street)
New York, NY

if your secret was an animal
what animal would it be

Swedish artist Lovisa Ringborg exhibits at HSF two interrelated works. A photograph, Insomnia is the visual and conceptual counterpart of an environmental piece, If Your Secret Was an Animal What Animal Would It Be, which consists of four photographs and a mirror text. More than doing photographs, Ringborg literally works with photography: her initial photographic shots, used as “raw material” (the artist’s words), are digitally altered and combined into carefully composed and theatrically staged images. As with Caravaggio (a rough mattress hardly visible under classical draperies), the fictionality of the represented scene is revealed in her work, and the masquerade in the artist’s studio emerges interfering with the subject matter. Subtle visual inconsistencies insinuate unreliability in the faux staged-photographs and add surreal echoes to their content. But there is no attempt on shocking effects: no juxtaposition of evidently incongruous images and meanings. If the sleep of Goya’s reason produced monsters, the inoffensive stuffed animals that Ringborg photographed at the Museum of Natural History, are turned into the elementary vocabulary of a potentially monstrous language. A language from which narrative is removed and humans, beasts, and objects are kept frozen on the threshold between familiar anxieties and uncanny premonitions. RB


The series of paintings presented by Italian artist Elena Ascari starts a new phase in her visual research. Ascari’s previous canvases portrayed the reflecting world of the malls’ escalators through a photorealist technique. The shiny world of glasses and mirrors was turned into a no-less-kitschy surface of gummy paint. The effect was one of complex visual fragmentation: repetitions, reflections, and distortions of the same figures resulted in an optical multiplication that could be read as an open sequence, a deconstructed story. With Cells, Ascari does a step further. Focused on the refracting skin of design objects, these new reflections destroy any perceptive continuity. An ordinary experience given by the popularization and domestication of Deconstructivist architecture is translated into a trope: close-up views become miniaturized oneiric visions. In the resulting kaleidoscope, humans as well as any other recognizable thing are fugacious and isolated apparitions. The story no longer exists, connections are lost. The aesthetic of very small reflective surfaces become, with Cells, a metaphor for the connective isolation of the i-phone era. RB

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