western promises

COD - Center for Openness and Dialogue - Tirana

Press review

After participating at Onufri Prize XXIII, at the end of 2017, the Italian duo Perino & Vele return to Albania with Western Promises. This is the first solo exhibition of the renowned duo of Italian sculptors Emiliano Perino (born in New York, 1973) and Luca Vele (born in Rotondi, 1975), opening on Thursday, September 19, on 19:00 hrs, at COD - Center for Openness and Dialogue, on the ground floor of the Prime Minister's Office in Tirana, Albania. Gaetano Centrone and Genti Gjikola curate the exhibition, which includes a selection of some of the most significant works of the artists, including Video su carta (2011), a documentary about their work realized by the director Antonello Matarazzo.

As two original artists interpreting contemporaneity, Perino & Vele have imposed themselves from the very beginning of their careers (starting from the late 1990s), with their unique and well-defined style, and a language of artistic expression that borrows in abundance both from the urban scene of our period and from the great Italian and Mediterranean cultural tradition.

One of the most characteristic features of their work stems from an intense investigation of the individual properties of artisanal materials, and usually outside the canon of typical artistic expression - as in this case is papier-mache - which are subsequently decontextualized and reproduced as art objects that depict not only objects of aesthetical interests, but also rituals of human fragility and social weaknesses.

On display will be the work Pelle d'elefante (1998), which Harald Szeemann selected for the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999; the work is a 'habitable' sculpture made of a papier-mache elephant skin, stylized as a carpet, with two completely uncomfortable iron armchairs on it. The great dreams of luxury and prosperity of the western world are revealed to the public for what they really are: false and foolish promises that result in oppression and cruelty.

One of the most popular Perino & Vele series is dedicated to Elpis - Hope in Classical Greek Mythology - and is presented in this exhibition with several amphorae covered in layers of papier-mache; constructed from a raw and organic element - bitumen - they protrude as archaeological objects covered by contemporary interpretations mixing in their essence periods, symbols, identities, proportions; all this with a deft and sanguine craftsmanship.

The exhibition will be open at COD from September 19 until October 31, 2019 based on the official COD schedule.