ALEK O., LARA FAVARETTO, MARTINO GAMPER, MARCELLO MALOBERTI, FRANCESCO VEZZOLI
This project presents the work of five artists born between 1966 and 1981 who, despite their different expressions and individual styles, demonstrate a shared focus on the use of materials packed with stories of the past, interpreting them in a new way and bringing them back to life in unexpected combinations. Theirs is an art of remains and fragments, composite, residual and hybrid. An art of assembly, transformation, rebirth, and perhaps also an art of crisis. Reuse and assembly, ever since their introduction as artistic techniques in the early 20th century, have always had close links with the concept of trauma and, upon closer inspection, this was also the case in more distant times, when the reuse of waste materials expressed the desire to take possession of a glorious past and the need for economical materials.
Lara Favaretto, Martino Gamper, Marcello Maloberti, Alek O. and Francesco Vezzoli measure themselves against a time that ‒ despite the unprecedented acceleration of scientific and technological progress and the future that seems to be running towards us ‒ still looks to the past a lot and in which the euphoria of consumption, of the new, is a sentiment that seems foggy and inappropriate. It is no coincidence that the work of these artists is often characterized by a “low-fi”, artisanal approach and a focus on manual techniques and bricolage.
Lara Favaretto’s research involves neglected paintings found in street markets, which she conceals and reveals by weaving a monochrome weft of brightly coloured wool around them. Martino Gamper remixes old furniture and objects with affection and skill, creating new forms and functions. Marcello Maloberti puts together different faces, stories and images in his performances, in a new kaleidoscope of figures, gestures and expressions. Alek O. performs the poetic action of destroying and reassembling everyday objects packed with memories, glimpsing new forms and modern patterns inside them that help to free them not from the past but from his weighty position as the youngest artist. Francesco Vezzoli comes face to face with history and fame, progressing from his embroidery produced with slow, patient stitches to the appropriation of Roman sculptures, forcing them into an ideal dialogue ‒ not lacking in humour ‒ with the present. These are all ways of measuring oneself against the past and against history ‒ whether on a small or large scale ‒ and seeking to come to terms with it, to draw vitality, new thoughts and new forms from it.