The Future Generations Art Prize (2nd edition), Victor Pinchuk Foundation, PinchukArtCentre, all works produced by Pinchuk Art Center
Going into the Future Generations exhibition located in the old world, stiffly´decorated Palazzo Contorini Polignac during this 55th biennale was like entering a world of global transitions within an atypical context. The driving force behind the show’s diverse installations, and occasionally ambitious projects, turning some spaces more than others into portals of´socio political tour de force, was a selection committee from the Ukraine based foundation and a high tiered international jury to select the winner of the prize. An overall interesting selection was presented, though quite uneven and thus ruptured.
Cohesively located on the ground floor, two Ukrainian artists dominated the exhibition’s gathering. 2011 prize winner Mykyta Kadan and the 2012 shortlisted R.E.P. Group initiated two projects criticizing the political stance of their nations’ politics locally and in Europe. The former dealt with the dilemma of economics and the latter with the integration (or lack of) into the European Community. R.E.P suggested a “renovated europe” with “Eurorenovation: Ways to Improve” consisting of two parallel empty wall frames supporting a post Soviet Union, deco induced curvolinear multi faceted ceiling design, verging on kitsch – a superficial construction as superficial as the Eurozone? Is this sufficient enough to maintain the country’s europication seemed to be the question posed by R.E.P.
R.E.P., Eurorenovation. Ways to Improve, 2010-2013. Installation
Mykyta Kadan’s “Baboushka (ensuring mausoleum)” , a monumental factory like glass and cement structure holds 1,600 loaves of bread, rotting and disintegrating through the racks in the humid heat of a courtyard the Venetian summer. Such deterioration metaphorically reveals the extremity of governmental expenditures on building up the state, its infrastructure and value on construction versus a concentration on provisions at the minimum for its poorer citizens. A bold, and subtle, hidden notion. Another superficiality in the system. Such can easily apply to any government in the world. The bread is thus martyred in a way symbolically catching the ruling entities wasteful mindedness.
Mykyta Kadan, Babooshka (Ensuring mausoleum), 2013. Concrete, glass, bread (two views), above photo by Sergey Illin
Aurélien Froment’s ‘portrait painting-come-scientific documentary’ of a fantastical undulating jellyfish in the deep blue depths of a tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium was as beautiful as it was informative. The video’s existential and factual discourse was taken from researched and pre-existing material (advertising, zoological guides, mythologies and interviews conducted with the aquarists) and montaged into a a nearly personalized recounting of this extraordinary creature’s existence in the tank focusing on its singularity reaching towards multiplicity of general life on earth: A metaphor.
Aurelien Froment, Pulmo Marina, 2010. HD video with sound, transfer to Blu-Ray, duration 5 min 10 sec, Courtesy PinchukArtCentre, Ukraine, Photo by Sergey Illin and Motive Gallery, Brussels
In a another multichannel video installation, “Portrait of a young samurai,” an actor repeats the emotions and dialog of a young pilot telling his family how he is leaving and will die for his country to serve with honor. Such raises questions of the history of Kamikazes during World War II, and in the context of this century, quite a powerful display of a real heartfelt. Or the touching story of a kamikaze’s dishonor due to his chance to survive the attack and how his life was earned in the disgrace of his comrades who perished at the perils of wartime.
Meiro Koizumi, Portrait of a Young Samurai, 2009. Multi-channel video installation, duration 9 minutes
Meiro Koizumi, Double Projection, 2013. 2-channel Video Installation with a framed photo, duration 15 minutes 40 seconds
Another very strong project to note at this Palazzo was Italian born Meris Angioletti’s somewhat cumbersome dialog of a made up language in a somber sitting room. Listen and decipher “unlanguage”, a lost in translation context where one tries to understand, thinking for a minute it is italian, the next minute realizing it is nothing more than gibberish. Thrown into this abstract mix of dialog, one gets the sense one is immersed into some encoded series of sounds and after 5 minutes of listening, the feeling move toward frustration.
Les Captives – Choitromanial, 2013. Sound Installation 2CH, imaginary language loop. Produced by PinchuckArtCentre.
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