Cosimo Veneziano | Rompi la finestra e ruba i frammenti!
Curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini
Opening on January 29, 2018 at 6:30
Open to the public until February 10th from Monday to Saturday 3:00-7:00pm
As part of the ongoing project AlbumArte | Flash!
A series of short-exhibitions at AlbumArte
PRESS RELEASE >>>
AlbumArte Via Flaminia 122, Roma
On January 29, 2018 AlbumArte opens the first solo show in Rome by artist Cosimo Veneziano (b. Moncalieri – IT 1983, lives and works in Leeds, UK) titled Rompi la finestra e ruba i frammenti! (‘Break the window and steal the fragments!’) and curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini. The short 10-days exhibition presents a series of works which reflect about the ideas of Monument and Body, part of which has been shown at MEF – Museo Ettore Fico (Turin . IT) in 2016.
An important part of the show will be the launch of the artist’s monograph – including all his works from 2007 to 2017, at La Galleria Nazionale in Rome.
AlbumArte | Flash! is a series of short-exhibitions hosted by AlbumArte for a maximum period of 15 days. The cycle includes itinerant shows, shows that focus on a specific artistic feature, shows for special events or shows that are produced by other foundations and museums, it Italy or abroad, presented for the first time to the public of Rome. These projects complete AlbumArte’s objectives, contributing to the development of a dynamic, inclusive platform for dialogue and confrontation that, as a young independent space, AlbumArte has established as in the city.
The work on monuments and the changing fate of public works outside its temporal and political context has always generated fruitful reflections of intellectual men, particularly what a monument of the past represents when the dominant ideology and context of a certain place or nation change, or even of multiple nations when these are found under a single regime. Not only those people who have to (or should) preserve the monument as a testimony of past events are involved, but also those who were able to read more into these works. For example, in those countries governed by dictatorships, the public monument assumes a precise celebrative role, deeply impregnated with meanings that it becomes the first thing that gets destroyed when the regime falls. In the woods of the former Soviet Republics, there are suggestive deposits of monuments that can no longer be displayed, as the reasons for which they were erected in the first place are not there anymore or don’t really want to be remembered by anyone. After the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the first thing that was done was to take down his full-length monument from the square in Baghdad. Even amid the war, the winners triumphantly broadcast it live on TV all over the world. Before falling, the bronze man is portrayed in a position of power with an arrogant expression imprinted on his face, typical of those powerful people who feel invulnerable; now assaulted, not by bulldozers as in peacetime, but by tanks, the monument trembles, it inclines and finally falls, but without bending. The material of which the monument is made of does not allow it to crumble, but only to bounce in a merciless and almost ridiculous way, before being deposed, as the protagonist it depicts, swept away from the collective history of a population, from public and political history, and thrown away in a dump.
Public works of the past could end up losing the power to be witnesses of something relevant today, as the prominence or purpose of such works is nowadays decontextualized by the persistent flow of other recent events. Hence, not only the monument of an overthrown dictator, but also the sign of an institute that has given work to many people, instilled respect and expressed authority, today lies abandoned and devastated by neglect. Therefore, in the public sphere of the monument and of the public work, once interpreter of the projections of those who admired it or to whom it was intended, the presence of the Other begins to appear and to insinuate within, the presence of the individual. The singles. The community is taken in such a specific form, that it becomes fragments and individuals. Not the single person that has inspired the monument, but that for which it was created, that is, the individual, and consequently, the personal sphere. Here Veneziano investigates and formulate different hypothesis. Not a recycling of materials, but rather a reinterpretation of residual matter that triggers the artist’s reflection, over that precise moment when the public becomes private; the artist begins to consider the involvement of other smaller stories which for him are, evidently, just as relevant.
He breaks down and shatters the idea of public work and brings back to us what it remains, giving it another life; its life is embedded in interpretation.
I have been interested in Cosimo Veneziano’s research and production for years, and thus we seized the brief but profound opportunity to present his work in Rome, in an independent and energetic space such as that of AlbumArte, a platform for the circulation of original ideas and for meticulous research. The exhibition is curated by Benedetta Carpi de Resmini, who has followed the artist’s work since he lived in Turin, where Cosimo used to work before moving elsewhere (perhaps only for a period of his life). With the occasion, I would like to thank Benedetta Carpi de Resmini for her continuous, precious contribution to the development of our projects.
The exhibition lasts for a very short time. The public should hurry to see it, even if Rome is complicated; this exhibition is not to be missed and the work of Cosimo must be analysed. You will like it.
The monograph Cosimo Veneziano – appunti 2007 / 2017 includes texts by curators Michael Birchall, Benedetta Carpi De Resmini, Kateryna Filyuk, Elena Forin, Andrea Lerda, Matteo Luchetti, Silvia Simoncelli, Marco Trulli, by Cristina Cobianchi and lawyer Alessandra Donati. It has been published by Zamorani Editore (Turin, October 2017).
BOOK LAUNCH on Friday, January 26 2018 at 6:00pm
La Galleria Nazionale, Viale delle Belle Arti 131, Roma
The artist will be in dialogue with curators Benedetta Carpi De Resmini and Marco Trulli
Break the window and steal the fragments! by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini
(Texts from the catalogue Cosimo Veneziano – appunti 2007 / 2017, published by Silvio Zamorani Editore, Turin, 2017)
This title, inspired by a work of Lithuanian sculptor Mindaugas Navakas, brings to light a playful take on what the history of sculpture/monument represents today, with reference to the work of Cosimo Veneziano. “Frammento” (fragment) immediately denotes a small piece that has been separated from some sort of body. Bearing in mind the relevance of fragments for his production, what emerges is an emphasis on multiplicity, rather than the loss of uniqueness; the capacity to work on the single piece. Many of Cosimo Veneziano’s works exemplify his personal reinterpretation of the effigies of the past: “In each work, I try to focus my attention on fragments coming from unknown stories, emphasizing the processes of transformation and refusal”. The archive becomes the skeleton on which to build numerous “monumental or public” works. It becomes a medium to recollect historical memory: public or private, of the single individual or of a community. By capturing even the most marginal aspects of a story, he succeeds in restoring its monumentality. From the dust of the past, he creates new works. This kind of practice insipires hope, in a scenario where the fragmentary aspects of form make creative intervention even more urgent and meaningful.
If we were to analyze the term “Monument” from the “Great Soviet Encyclopedia”, (acknowledging the long Soviet tradition of displaying power and glory through art) we would then understand how the concept is nowadays very obsolete. “Monumentality is a property of the artistic image, connected to the aesthetic category of the sublime. Its content is socially relevant, and it is expressed in the majestic plastic form, imbued with heroic and epic themes that affirm a positive ideal”. The history of the Soviet Union is still fresh in people’s memory. As such, it is evident that in Eastern European countries the monument – or the anti-monument – is often exploited to problematize an unresolved past (as mentioned before in the case of Navakas). Cosimo Veneziano’s work encompasses all of this. It stems precisely from the will to recount our “enlarged” history, through a recuperation of sculpture, yet in a fragmented, precarious dimension. The artist does not speculate on the relics of the past; he recognizes that we live in a liquid society1, thus he rather inaugurates a kind of new life of the artefact.
In the work “So, is this a monument?”, the artist intervenes on the fountain in via Verolengo in Turin, where the factory of Superga once stood. Conducting an extensive research on the history of this place at the historical archive, he reflects on how the single represents the collective. After a meticulous study on written materials, the artist concentrated his focus on a tiny group of female factory workers, and especially on the meaning and significance of the repetitive gestures they performed. These gestures represent a monotonous, mechanical action; yet they also embody strong symbolic expressions of dissent, performed by female workers in the industrial city of Turin. These small hands become emblematic of a contradictory system, revealing capitalism’s strengths and weaknesses: economic prosperity, job opportunities, but also exploitation of human labor, workers’ struggles and protests. Next to this artwork, the piece Banca d’Italia, realized in Carrara’s marble, strikes the audience as alienating and, at the same time, it echoes the previous work. The procedure is similar, a re-appropriation of an element of the past. During a residency at the Malaspina Castle located in Massa, the artist focuses his attention on an old unused building that once was the home of the Bank of Italy. Far more than words, this simple institutional sign represents the meaning and power of the “monument | anti-monument” today. The sign, ornamental only in its appearance, wants to challenge this post-war Italian establishment. The work is a displacement that both questions the value of the symbol while at the same time, retrieving it.
The works by Cosimo Veneziano do not try to present definite answers or celebrate any historical moment, but rather they invite reflection on those values of the past that now seem somewhat obsolete. The artist surpasses the boundaries of what sculpture once symbolized, posing new questions, and opening new pathways by way of “stealing” fragments from the past.
INFORMATION SHEET AND PRESS INFO
Exhibition: Rompi la finestra e ruba i frammenti!
Artist: Cosimo Veneziano
Curated by: Benedetta Carpi de Resmini
Venue: AlbumArte, Via Flaminia 122, Roma
Opening reception on Monday, January 29 2018 at 6:30pm
Open to the public UNTIL FEBRUARY 10, 2018 | Free entrance
Exhibition Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 3:00-7:00pm
Book launch at La Galleria Nazionale on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 6:00pm
Infos: +39 06 3243882 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.albumarte.org