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Opening COMMA

After two weeks of hard work and dedication the Pallazzo della Penna opened its doors to the public. Opening an art exhibition in Italy is a very formal event. After an introduction from the organizers followed a speech from the city council, followed by a speech from the Dutch Embassy, followed by a speech from the curators, Marco Gallmacci and Rocco Pezzella.

It was good to see the crowd of visitors lining up to see the exhibition ranging from parents, to city officials, to a young crowd of supporters and curious people. A healthy average of a city’s population is probably the best thing you can wish for, when organizing an urban art event that wants to be taken seriously.

The work shown by the 15 artists invited was as diverse as the public. They had five rooms to share. The first room hosted Maomaland, Lil’Shy, The London Police, Zedz, Morcky and Galo.

Upon entry one was greeted by the large and labor intense installation from Maomaland and Lil’Shy. Like a little house on the prairie the fluffy colorful sculpture sat in the middle of the room, resembling a mysterious but inviting house without windows or doors.

On the wall, next to Lil’Shy’s “linguistic patterns on fabric”, Maomaland showed a series of photographs taken from the 1920’s and photo-shopped into photographs from the fantasy universe of Rocco Pezzella and Guilia Laura.

The London Police, Zedz and Galo created murals integrating canvasses as if they’re part of the picture. Morcky created a large beautifully collaged mural covering a whole wall, including elements of painting, drawing and paper shapes with open doors and hidden towers. The mural seemed the only work inspired by the city of Perugia and it’s magic.

Chaz from the London Police also presented a video installation of the humorous ‘slapping video’, wherein different people were simply slapped in the face. A funny and beautifully edited piece. Like a comment on the pains of life and the fun it entails.

Abner Preis had a room to himself presenting the Superhero Project with six photographs taken during his performance in Perugia and a video installation. Preis has been working on The Superhero Project for over a year now and has traveled to different cities taking on the role of a superhero and approaching the people he meets to become superheroes themselves; making them imagine their potential to be super.

Joe Holbrook, Raymond Lemstra, Wayne Horse and Minivila shared the second big room. All four artists showed work created during their stay in Perugia, ranging from the fine pencil drawings from Lemstra, over Holbrook’s realist paintings, to Wayne Horse’s puzzling almost surrealist canvasses. Only Minivila included an installation made of fabric to surround her fashion character drawings.

The other two rooms were shared by Ovni and LordH and Rocco Pezzella and Sit. Ovni and LordH both work with abstract shapes and created two big installations. While Ovni experimented with organic shapes made from cable -an experiment with a lot of potential that seemed a bit one-dimensional for what she usually crafts- LordH presented a well-designed composition of lines and shapes fusing into a dynamic wall that almost made me dizzy when looking at it too long.

Sit presented works from his Noir series, examining the “troubled relationship between the animal kingdom and mankind”. A recurring theme in his work translated into beautiful black and white paintings that differ in strength, but are nonetheless beautiful. For COMMA he also made two large canvasses with a lot of details that were perfectly integrated into a mural.

The work that impressed me most was the video installation by Rocco Pezzella. Two desks with framed screens on top and a mysterious connection. One, is the desk of the German scientist Heidegger, featuring a Russian style documentary in German about Heidegger inventing a machine that can read the subconscious. On the antique desk Pezzella arranged different items with an attention to details that left me speechless with curiosity. Books, open diaries with mysterious writings and letters, rabbit heads and other items preserved in bottles with alcohol, a piece of fake hash and other paraphernalia. In his diary an abstract a vision, as Rocco explains, and a thread to the next piece. Next to the antique desk stands a futuristic installation showing an animated video resembling a dream sequence. Bellow Pezzella created an abstract monochrome landscape of sharp edgy shapes and a group of miniature people walking down a hill of salt. A dream or creation of the subconscious itself.

DreamCall Nightmare – a midwinter surreal fantasy from HELLO, SAVANTS! on Vimeo.


After the well received opening and promises and plans for following COMMA events the artists seemed relieved and happy with what they had achieved. What followed, was another Perugian night, celebrating with a bright future and many more to come.

The exhibition will be on until the end of July.

To see more pictures visit No New Enemies.

by Maxi Meissner



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