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Physically present, mentally not
„Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable.” Sol Lewitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art Snaps of exit signs: deliberately affectless, depersonalized, repetitious. Ubiquitous snapshots, that became the most common type of photography, have developed in contemporary art into a coherent pictoral strategy featuring the sensory presence of everyday life. Florian Reinhardt has shot, over a period of almost 10 years, altogether 1024 exit signs from all over the world. He photographs with the iPhone camera: a spontaneous gesture, not planned and not staged, always emerging from a specific situation. He refuses to use any different camera than that of a smartphone, since for him the act of snapping a photo needs to be impulsive and at the spur of the moment. The majority of the signs are shown as close-ups, with no further references in the background – they deprive the viewer of any sense of scale or cultural reference to the environment, since exit signs have become global, regardless of a country’s language. In a world overwhelmed by signs, Reinhardt focuses and delivers the view of an inverted telescope on mundane and omnipresent signifiers of daily life. These signifiers, be they exit signs, words, arrows, circles, squares or pictograms, are universally understandable. In his present series, Reinhardt universalizes exit signs, framing their type as if they were specimens pinned onto a card. In this context, the Exit series is to be understood as a reception of both Ed Ruscha’s proto-conceptual approach to photography and of Duchamp’s appropriationism. All three artists apply the iconoclastic principle of Dada by displaying images of so called readymades: industrially-manufactured objects shown with no alteration. This form of transgression and appropriation of everyday objects was most prominently employed in pop art. Reinhardt’s collages of 25 images as a direct reflection on Warhol’s genre of multiplied and repeated portraits, which he referred to as the ‘assembly line effect’. However, Reinhardt takes the abstraction of Warhol’s critical reflection on uniqueness even further, by using identical images. Reinhardt’s exit signs, seemingly objectively accumulated without a conscious imposition of artistic selection or hierarchy, are unlike Ruscha’s series a narrative character, and are thus subjective and breaking the boundaries of documentary and dipping into conceptual art. The photographs are complex and layered: over the affectless, depersonalized, repetitious of never-ending industrial exit-signs comes the narrative layer of the contextual physical act of photographing the images. Each exit signs corresponds to an exit situation, narrating a particular moment in time, of instances of being physically present, but mentally not. As a consequence, Reinhardt’s photography are not only an archive of readymades in a Duchampian sense, but also an archive of subjectiveness as formulated by Theodor Adorno’s notion of mimesis. On this conceptual basis, Reinhardt decided – in cooperation with curator Anne Avramut – to design the exit series globally and participatory: in the course of the exhibition at the Rudolf Budja Gallery a platform will go online on his homepage (www.exit.art), where everyone is able to upload his/her own exit sign photographs and inherent story and where by these collective means an Encyclopedia of Exit will come into existence. Florian Reinhardt works all over the world and lives in Cologne. A. AvramutView exhibition
Visconti Fine Art - Collection
Valério Adami was born in Bologna, Italy on March 17th in 1935. He developed an interest in painting at an early age, and at the young age of 16, he gets accepted to the Accademia di Brera in Milan, where he pursues his studies until 1954. At the age of 20, he already has the chance to visit Paris where he meets both Roberto Matta and Wilfredo Lam. Both of the painters encourage him to develop his talents as an artist. Between the years of 1955 and 1965, Adami constantly travels between Italy, Paris and other, mainly European cities, interrupted by brief visits to New York, South America, and India. His first one-man exhibition is held in Milan in 1959, and since then Adami has held numerous exhibitions all around the world. One of the most prominent of these was his full-scale retrospective held at the Musee National d’Art Moderne at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1985. Adami also realized the feature film “Holidays in the desert” together with his brother Giancarlo. In 1978/79 he creates paintings with primarily mythological themes. As of 1984, his paintings are not dated anymore. Adami has managed to evolve his own iconography, an ingenious pictorial language that embraces both past and present, and within whose frontiers strange creatures keep company with famous faces from history: the author James Joyce, the French Revolutionary politician Robespierre, and the composer Gustav Mahler. Adami’s art also teems with figures from the great works of literature such as the knight Don Quixote with his faithful companion, Sancho Panza and the young Prince Hamlet preoccupied with gloomy thoughts of suicide outside Kronborg Castle in Elsinore. Visconti Fine Art has collaborated with Adami on various occasions, both through Editions and at various art fairs, where Adami was exhibited, around the world. One of these Editions is the SPORT AND ART, which was initiated in 1991 between Fascination “The Gallery of Modern Art” in Switzerland and Visconti Fine Art. Five internationally renowned artists, one of them being Valerio Adami (Italy) have created a limited edition of artworks, especially for SPORT AND ART.
PASSION AND RESTRAINT
Curated by Virginia Alberdi
In ‘Passion and Restraint’ I choose to present two young painters – Adislen Reyes Pino (Havana, 1984) and Lancelot Alonso Rodríguez (Havana, 1986) – who apply color in a very distinctive way: She, with soft, pastel tones, and he, with full intensity. The work of both revolves around eroticism. This common focus is not unusual, since many artists from different generations have covered it with greater or lesser intensity; however, it allows me to introduce young creators who deal with a universal topic without turning it obscene and allowing all audiences to approach it as inherent to human nature. In my opinion, Adislen and Lancelot are two of the most interesting artists among the many that strive to establish themselves in the contemporary Cuban art scene. This curatorial project should be regarded as a snapshot that freezes one moment in the evolution of two artists whose youth, in creative terms, advances toward stages of maturity. Adislen and Lancelot are just a pick out of a complex, vast, and promising movement. Today’s young Cuban artists, have much to offer. VIRGINIA ALBERDI, who lives and works in Havana, Cuba, is an art critic and currently editor of the Artecubano Publishing House. Bachelor in Literature, she has been a professor and curator, and collaborates regularly with several specialized publications and galleries.