KANE CADDOO on CAMPUS at CACT Centro d’Arte Contemporanea Ticino
To search out emerging young artists, the very humus and expression of contemporary life, is one of the tasks of an art institute. CAMPUS is an exhibition that derives from research conducted in partnership with Massimo Vitangeli, an artist and professor at the Academies of Fine Arts of Urbino and Macerata, looking into the aesthetics of communication and of new languages. The fact that this exhibition coincides with the 54thVenice Biennale, which is hosting several Italian artists with a long tradition of working with the CACT (Vitangeli, La Rocca and Seghene), gives it even more substance. The strong bond that every art venue should maintain with the Art Academies is no more nor less than a sound investment in the ideas for the future.
The focus on the (not exactly crisis-free) dynamics of the now visibly crisis-ridden bourgeois model, with its built-in guarantees of individual rights and freedoms, is reflecting directly and variously on today’s artistic output. As I have repeated on several occasions in the past, the increasingly gaping void with regard to references to the avant-gardes – and their utter revisionism – puts artistic expression in the centre of a study that has what it takes to throw art criticism completely off track, together with the concept of historical evolution along a path of progress. While many critics, including Jerry Saltz, talk about a descent without identity (when discussing the last generation but one), in reality a closer look reveals that artistic research is not conducted by studying new styles any more these days, but by investigating mankind taken out of the social and human context close to it, the one in which it ought to be reflected. Just like all bourgeois models, the avant-gardes have in actual fact lost their useful or utilitarian impact.
Setting itself up against the mere formalism, mercantilism and guarantee of the enlightenment vision, of which today’s democratic system constitutes the pinnacle of an historical nemesis, the latest generation – itself the offspring of a global village of communications – stands for something in society that counters the role played by the “individual”, preferring to reclaim the status of the “person” with tones as egocentric as they are dionysiac, shamanic and cross-fertilised, so quite outside the confines and criteria of the more rational interpretations to which we are maybe a little too accustomed. The very reasoning of the global concept of mass consumption of art facilitated by styles, fads and fashions that we are induced to follow and/or imitate as a way of building a conscious self comes in for serious questioning, just as the way in which society is arranged today and weak thought as a whole are being weighed up on the scales. There is still plenty of scope for discussing what has already been described rather randomly as a “rear-guard”, not only in artistic or cultural terms, but also their anthropological, sociological or philosophical approach.
One of the particular features of the artists under consideration here remains their vigorous bond with the history of representation, displayed not by using multimedia languages, but by surpassing them, so thwarting the dogma of the avant-gardes. No longer can their styles be classified under the heading of technical or technological achievements: they actually link them to the means of expression that comes closest to their individual experience, which is tactile, less visual and not at all collective.
While KANE CADDOO (1987), an Italian with Irish roots, reasserts himself in Street Art and Graffiti, melding them with a personal Expressionist vision, with jazz music constituting a fundamental element, the multimedia artist CHIARA SEGHENE (1983) applies a variety of media – and her attitude as a women – to express her sense of cultural and religious belonging. STEFANO TEODORI (1986) uses the medium of film, striking a balance between the artist video, the video clip and the advertising spot. FEDERICA BOCCHI (1985) reinvents her feminine identity by going back over her memories, together with the nostalgia that is such an important part of the story of successive generations. While JACOPO PANNOCCHIA (1987) basically follows the traces left by the Italian tradition of painting, also paying special critical attention to its psycho-geographical and religious culture, it is interesting to note how his visual work keeps pace with his role as drummer in a musical line-up.
Vernissage__Saturday 13 August 2011 at 5.30 p.m.
13 August – 18 September 2011
CACT via Tamaro 3
CACT Switzerland is supported by Repubblica e Cantone del Ticino – Swisslos, City of Bellinzona, Alfred Richterich Stiftung Kastanienbaum, Friends of CACT and MACT Contemporary Art Museum in Canton Ticino.