SIGNS OF THE TIMES
CURATED BY JÉRÔME SANS
APALAZZO GALLERY, BRESCIA, ITALY, 2022
:MENTALKLINIK, JOËL ANDRIANOMEARISOA, ANDREAS ANGELIDAKIS, ROMAIN BERNINI, THOMAS LÉLU, LIN ZHIPENG (NO.223) AND LUNA PAIVA
NOVEMBER 20TH, 2021-FEBRUARY 5TH, 2022
:mentalKLINIK, JOEL ANDRIANOMEARISOA, ANDREAS ANGELIDAKIS, ROMAIN BERNINI, THOMAS LELU, LIN ZHIPENG, MIKA ROTTENBERG, LUNA PAIVA
Recent events that have plunged the world into a state of global uncertainty have proven that universal truth does not exist. Our societal model, which seemed to be unanimous, turns out to be a fragile chessboard that can be shaken at any time. If, after the pandemic crisis, the world seems to have resumed its usual course and its appearance of yesteryear, the background of everyone's thoughts has inevitably changed and the signs have also evolved. It is no longer the individual who constructs his environment but the environment that defines us as human beings.
The Signs of The Times exhibition aims to put the territory of these plural questions into perspective. How to decipher and appropriate from now on the new signs emitted by our environment under this uncertain horizon? As the collision between our civilization and the limits imposed by nature becomes more and more visible, how to reconcile the lightness of the simple pleasures of the present moment with the global consciousness of our time?
By demonstrating a critical spirit, the artists brought together in this exhibition approach with a radical imagination these existential, political and societal questions which animate our experience of the current world. Under the sign of the mirage but also of semantics and the power of infinite reproduction, the exhibition offers multiple universes flirting in an uninhibited way with the anxiety of an uncertain future. Beyond their immediate expressive power, the works underlyingly address some of our most pressing current issues: global warming, the rewriting of history, the growing number of those left behind, the challenges of the younger generation faced with a consumerist society, the flood of information messages, unbridled individualism... it is not a question here of giving solutions or answers to these problems, the works tackle in a frontal way this mutation of the signs in progress. And, in our world of images, they are, in fact, an active force.
By confronting us with our consumption habits, :mentalKLINIK dismantles common materials to create an alluring new aesthetic form. Their universe can be experienced as festive and glamorous, but also surprising, abrasive, violent and nostalgic like an after party angst. A whole work of encryption suspended between the true and the false, as in the work of Luna Paiva who gilds or casts in bronze everyday and popular objects. She transforms the bottom up, giving the banality of common objects new value and identity, like so many shimmering markers of our time. The question of the production of value is developed in the disturbing video stories of Mika Rottenberg, motivated by the inequalities of our global economy, the absurd working conditions and the fragility of the human body,
A figurehead of new Chinese photography, Lin Zhipeng (No. 223) reflects a certain spirit of unconventional Chinese millennial youth. Mixing love and chaos, fantasy and eroticism, his photographs act as a poetic diary of this generation eager to escape social pressures and aspire to the pleasures of life in an indifferent and constantly changing society. Also inspired by utopian ideals, Thomas Lélu's declarations on cardboard reactivate the spirit of contestation of fusion between art and life, when art takes to the streets. With irony, he hijacks these counter-culture attitudes with slogans specific to our time, soaking up daily life and our individual and social behavior.
A metaphor for fragility as an essential vital force, the elegant collages and meanders of paper by Joël Andrianomearisoa form monochrome landscapes in permanent motion that become a total opera of ethereal architectures. From one story to another, Athens by Night (2021) by Andreas Angelidakis transforms a journey through the remains of the ancient city into an immersive environment, questioning the history of Athens in the face of other possible futures. Like so many archaeological fragments of Greek marble, the modules of foam cushions are multiplied in copies of themselves, movable, stackable and lend themselves to the free interpretation of visitors as in a collective construction game to reconstruct a common world. The changing world that is in motion in the paintings of Romain Bernini: between wandering, shifting and trembling, his psychedelic paintings are the beginnings of contemporary mythologies between symbols and spiritual worlds. His search for an ecstatic relationship with nature begins with his Trees whose iridescence remains unclear: is it a proliferation of chemicals, pollution, or self-generated irradiation as a substance for their survival? ?
Thus, the exhibition, bringing together French, Turkish, Greek, Chinese or Argentinian artists, becomes a cultural mosaic, a reflection of our contemporary era, beyond borders, areas of creation, but also generational differences. Through all these new images of the man touched by doubt, these artists very rightly affirm that uncertainty is a driving force for collectively preparing for the future.