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Exhibition Review :: Milano (IT)
Galleria Gio’ Macroni
Franz Ackermann “From Eden to Lima”

Galleria Gio’ Macroni, where I had my first interview in Italy for a real job after graduation, consists of a very well-designed modern building with two floors and lots of professional gallery space. The dominate colors of this gallery are yellow and white, and boasts of a good use of exhibition space, as well as excellent lighting. At this stellar contemporary art gallery owned by a famous father-son duo, there is A/C (almost unheard of in Italy, still!) and a large, very professional staff to help out with the necessary gallery functions. It was evident, when browsing the gallery after my interview, that this was the type of environment I wanted to work in.

Unlike most of the galleries I frequented this summer, there were two shows going on simultaneously at Galleria Gio’ Macroni. The one that took place downstairs displayed what seemed to be the chaos caused by typhoons and hurricanes in some South American country (Peru?). This exhibition, which took place in three galleries, consisted of big and small paintings (think abstract/morphed land and cityscapes), mostly painted with bold and daring neon colors, clutter of the actual damage caused by these natural disasters (think damaged palm trees scattered on the ground and a broken, deserted boat) and photographs (both color and b & w, mounted on a pedestal as a collage or in a horizontal line on the wall) of people, places, landscapes, street signs, religious icons, nightlife and scenes of everyday life. In addition, there were also pictures of rundown buildings, new and very contemporary urban developments, beaches, highways, airports and street art. The point to be proven seemed to be simply this: Material things and the geniuses of mankind are here today, gone tomorrow, for one can never predict what will happen tomorrow.

One of the most creative ways of combining mediums was a funky shaped, neon colored painting that was plastered to the wall. The painting itself plays out to be a conceptual image of twisted, circular branches floating into the trunk of the tree; the top part of the painting, which seems to represent a huge wave (duo-toned blue), has a peep-hole one can peer into and see, inside the wall, a (silent) video of people and monsters protesting, walking around a stadium, carrying flags, and cheering. There was also a float going around the stadium, with people dressed like Captain Hook in yellow and white costumes. This parade seemed to take place in Brazil, due to all the Brazilian flags and such. Could it be that these creatures, emerged out of the video and were the ones responsible for the damage? Could this be their celebration of victory?

But hey, remember that this IS contemporary art… which can be just about anything anyone feels like creating, RIGHT?!

As a whole, this exhibit was creatively imputed and in your face, chaotic yet boldly honest. Even though it was (as the British put it) “a right mess”, it emphasized what once was and what will never be again. This was an exhibit that you could feel with all that was within you, as you stand in the middle of sheer chaos. It forces one to stop and ponder on what is truly valuable in life, and which things are worth holding onto. It also questions the worth of art as something incredibly temporary, and asks why we put so much time, money and creative energy on things that could easily be wiped away within the blink of an eye.


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