Trivignano Udinese, Rave Residency
Curated by Daniele Capra
Artists:, Enrico Bernardis, Rok Bogataj, Rita Correddu, Nicola Genovese, Ryts Monet, Adrian Paci, Laura Pozzar, Nada Prlja, Marc Schmitz, Lara Trevisan, Leonardo Ulian, Filip Van Dingenen, Aleksander Velišček
Adrian Paci’s workshop, undertaken during his stay in Trivignano Udinese for Rave Residency, is difficult to describe in all its complexity. Although the experience was brief, to give an all-encompassing account of the outcomes is almost impossible, and not just from a methodological point of view. On the one hand, it is in some way natural for the participating artists to draw inspiration from the farmhouse environment and the discussion of the subject of naturalness, which was the theme proposed by Paci. On the other hand it isn’t easy to assess the results of all this through an exhibition which brings together the work of such a mixed group of artists, each with their own artistic research. For this very reason it’s impossible to assess the effect of this brief workshop on the poetics of artist with their own well-established and characteristic personal research. It could be more interesting to consider how the reflections on naturalness have in some way stimulated a homogeneous vision and approach.
What is naturalness? The first thing that comes to mind is spontaneity, processes that occur with no apparent control, like they do in nature, with no obvious guiding hand. Naturalness rhymes with simplicity, well at least it does in the common perception. Paci started from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s thoughts: according to Pasolini, nature is never natural, quite the opposite, it is marvellous and extraordinary in its etymological meaning of “extra-ordinary”: beyond the “ordinary”. Paci invited the participants to overturn the idea that all which happens naturally is necessarily natural, spontaneous and good. Nature can be terrible, evil or mean, egotistical or animal-like: it can be cruel and attractive at the same time, a far cry from the characteristics of kalokagathia which are commonly, and simplistically, attributed to it.
The artist’s work moves fluidly between the opposing poles of the natural and the man-made. These are the elements that make the magic of the artwork possible, capable of drawing energy from thought as well as from the body. However it is precisely in this articulation of opposing approaches and emotional states (such as kindness/ cruelty or strength/ weakness, etc) that nature can become the magistra vitae for artists, an inexhaustible model from which to draw inspiration, not so much as a model to copy (the mimesys which has been the daily bread for generations of artists), but rather as an inspiring principle in the development of ones own work.
Indeed, the reflections that took place in the farmhouse of the Rave Residency were a careful examination of what making art means and of its underlying dynamics. During the workshop Paci talked with the artists about naturalness, but in actual fact he was talking about the profession of the artist and of the principles surrounding the daily development of the work. These principles are macro-vectors that are employed day after day in personal research, in the hard work undertaken to create those vessels of political, perceptive and conceptual meaning which are artworks. In the end, being an artist means never having to relinquish any of the liberties which are granted, looking for poetry in numbers or mechanical devices, as well as discovering the mechanics and the labourhidden in emotional processes. These are very diverse, real, practical or immaterial stimuli which naturally, like the steam of our breath, settle on the windows of our houses in winter.
Nada Prlja’s work in this exhibition, entitled ‘Patent Oppression’ arises from industrial patents used in animal farming. During her research the artist found the patents for the industrial handling of farm animals in a production line, such as poultry for human consumption. However the rigorous and scientific approach, primarily intended to reduce times and increase profit, has no respect for the animals. No care is taken to reduce animal suffering: each action is part of an infernal ordeal in which machines rip wings and beaks off, and inflict all sort of cruelty on the animal. These are genuine assembly lines of death and suffering, where everything is regulated by patented machines, devices that people know nothing about when they purchase their meat in neat supermarket trays. Prlja’s drawings and videos are a caution and a warning to make more responsible and moral choices.
Text by Daniele Capra
Other Artists work:
Exhibition: Waiting for RAVE. ANTICIPATIONS OF A POSTHUMAN TIME, Vila Mannin, Udine, Curated by Pietro Gaglianò
Condensation, Trivignano Udinese, Rave Residency, September-October 2011, Curated by Daniele Capra
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