2011

luoghi comuni

fondazione arnaldo pomodoro - milan

Press review

Curated by Lorenzo Respi under the aegis of the Region of Lombardy, the Province of Milan and the Municipality of Milan, and with the support of Renato Corti, Comieco and the Naples Metro, the exhibition entitled Luoghi Comuni (Common Places) will illustrate, through 25 large-scale works, 17 years of the artists’ career that have turned around the theme of a lucid but at the same time ironic critique of corruption, violence and social conservatism. 

Through an original use of papier-mâché, Perino & Vele model forms that allude to news items, themes of social and political denunciation and the distortion of reality by the mass media. Objects of everyday use (holdalls, prams, armchairs), traffic signs (road signs, barriers, signposts) and animals (pigs, camels, bats) become the pretext for focusing the attention of viewers on subjects that are passed over in silence or deliberately forgotten, such as massacres, or violence towards human beings and animals. 

The exhibition opens with the work Luoghi Comuni (Common Places) – which has been created specifically for the show in Milan and gives it its title – freely inspired by Pino Corrias’s book of the same name, in which a multitude of road signs pointing in opposite directions indicate the way to arrive at a real understanding of the real-life events cited, such as the bomb at Capaci that killed the judge Giovanni Falcone, the mystery of the DC-9 that exploded in the sky over Ustica, the inquiry on the waste-to-energy plant at Acerra. Next come Help!!, a new installation in which a number of barriers mark out places on giant maps of the world which have become hotbeds of violence and terror, and Goodbye, a banner riddled with bullet holes that is a metaphor for the current international state of society. 
The exhibition continues with the sculptures Statura 190, capelli biondi, occhi azzurri, professione Ingegnere (Height 190, Blond Hair, Blue Eyes, Profession Engineer) and Vendesi Monolocale Salotto Cucina Bagno con vista panoramica £ 4,5 Milioni (For Sale Living Room Kitchen Bathroom Bed-sit with Panoramic View £ 4.5 Million), inspired by the condition of the young and their lack of prospects for the future. 
Untitled (Kiosk) and Public Invasion on the other hand are works that analyze the social dynamics of city life with its contradictions and its sense of alienation. The works on environmental politics include Silvio Berlusconi vs. Vladimir Putin, Carol Wojtyla vs. George W. Bush, Osama Bin Laden vs. Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Achille Bonito Oliva vs. Mary Carey, Neil Young vs. Deng Xiaoping, a large installation that is seven metres long and made up of five advertisements with slogans of politicians and figures from the cultural world. The exhibition closes in ideal fashion with a section devoted to antimilitarism and the condemnation of violence: the inhabitable installation KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation, title of the CIA’s secret manual of techniques for interrogating prisoners, will oblige the visitor to pass through a cramped and oppressive space, while from Porton Down, the name of a military research centre in the United Kingdom, denounces the torture inflicted on animals bred to test new chemical weapons and Mina (Mine) presents an empty mattress with the impression of a body and two rusty iron crutches. 

Catalogue: Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, with texts by the curator and Pino Corrias. 

On the occasion of the exhibition Antonello Matarazzo will shoot the short film Video su Carta.

At the same time (from 7 April to 17 July 2011), the spaces at Via Solari 35 will house a fascinating reinterpretation of Dante’s Inferno through the works of Salvador Dalí and Robert Rauschenberg, along with an exhibition of a selection of contemporary artists, all from the museum’s permanent collection, completed by a new presentation of the works of Arnaldo Pomodoro, and, in the UniCredit Project Room, the solo exhibition Olga Schigal. Beyond the Cold Lands.

Sketches of the exhibition