Curated by Siliqoon
Macao, Viale Molise 68, Milan
October 22 – November 13, 2016
Laura Feral in the Well is the group show consequent to the third Siliqoon Lab, an independent residency program aimed to the production of new works in collaboration with a network of se- lected local companies. Derek Di Fabio, Colin Foster, Maria Gorodeckaya and Anna Solal were the artists invited in the residency at Macao, Milan from the 3rd to the 23rd October. In this pe- riod they visited artisanal businesses and worked in Macao’s spaces finalising a new corpus of works that will shape the final exhibition.
The third edition of Siliqoon Lab put into practice a new residency model: instead of hosting the invited artists for a period of time dedicated to research and design, which would have later evolved into an exhibition, this time every phase of the experience was condensed into 20 days of intense work. The artists spent almost three weeks visiting artisanal companies, working in the spaces of Macao while a selected team of students from NABA was supporting them.
The selected artisanal companies: Atelier Fragranze (perfume makers), Baroni (porcelain), Casa dell’Artigiano (metalware), Cangini & Tucci (blown glass), C.R.E. (electronics), De Luca (hydraulic pumps), Gobbetto (resin), Janautica (fiberglass), Leca (building materials), Opendot Lab (makers). Special thanks to Donatella Pavan/Giacimenti Urbani and Elvira Varanini/NABA.
According to Siliqoon Lab’s aim, the whole experience originated a corpus of works based on the artists’ individual research, characterized by a shared aesthetic sensibility and approach. All works exhibithed somehow deal with the conceptual dualism of wildness and fragility; rough and powerful elements are processed through poetic rigorous handiwork to render the complexity of all many-sided subjects of the respective speculations. The result is a chain of means shifts, a call into question of daily life imagination where all original roles are undermined.
Two relevant topics on the practice of Derek Di Fabio are the narration beyond objects and the concept of tableaux vivant, which he explores through their material and performative prospectives. The main element of his installation is a drawing carved on the surface of a plastic inflatable mattress, solidified by bamboo canes and backlighted with a red neon: the drawing is the detail from a scenography Chinese dragon digged in Macao’s basement, here reproduced as an asleep mythological animal in a built to scale mise-en-scène. Another organic element is a group of tentacular glass sculptures, laying upside down on soft bases; three of them have left the group and are now crouched inside a wooden box, a collaborative piece with Colin Foster, looking for a new hideaway. The glass sculptures, which are backlighted too, are filled with Kombucha, a fermented tea produced through the use of a symbiotic colony of bacteria: the liv- ing mass floates over the water, pending between internal and external, protagonist of a fragile, surface living that will change throught time.
The works were produced in collaboration with Cangini & Tucci and Centro Ricambi Elettrodomestici.
Colin Foster’s sculptures are narrative, furniture-like structures that are equipped with electronics, hard- wares and evocative found objects. These sculptures draw their strenght from meticulos combinations of materials and functions. The one exhibited is a metaphoric bedside, a cabinet of curiosities that holds several objects, neatly settled in different units: each of them is locked to the surface of its compart- ment, suggesting that who’s sleeping next to this night table is an anxious person seeking for a secure, worry-free rest. Every element of this collection, from the led candle to the incense bowl, is a relevant part on this sleep-encouraging setup. The whole structure is planned to enable the sleep cycle and its oniric outcomes: a mesmerizing altar devoted to the exploration of attention spans, dream and concreteness. A second cabinet hosts Derek Di Fabio’s glass scultpures, enhancing their parallel seek for safety. The whole sculptural group, as well as the water loop work, is a process piece that deals with the same dualism of relaxation and incitement, offering itself as a contemplative entity, outcome of an accurate manufacture. The works were produced in collaboration with Centro Ricambi Elettrodomestici, De Luca and Opendot Lab
Maria Gorodeckaya’s works are focused on ideas of subjectivity, gender and on the multitude of shades and issues gravitating around those topics. She explores values of desire and pleasure, translating them into synthetic installations, texts and performances. The work she presented for Laura Feral is a custom- made fragrance that mixes organic and chemical elements, aimed to recall character of a white heterosex- ual man, enclosed in a hand blown-glass asshole perfume bottle alluding to the fragility of its bearer. The other piece in the show is a pierced, pastel banner where embroidered formative narrations alternate with feminist quotes and symbols: together with doodles, ribbons and jewellery they all sprinkle over the blank cloth’s body, scoping “female” imaginary. The result is a traction between prurient and fragile traits, that mirrors a vicious cycle of norm-driven powerful and weak dispositions that Gorodeckaya investigates. The works were produced in collaboration with Atelier Fragranze Milano, Cangini & Tucci, Gobbetto and Opendot Lab.
Anna Solal assembles are made of trash cut-outs, decontextualizing elements of industrial objects and sewing them back together; her choice of humble materials is the result of an endless wandering through urban environments and their secretions, looking for potential into every item’s story. Her production often includes drawings, which she generates on a daily basis to structure her vision and to detect obses- sions. The results are dirty and tender, carefully nestled shapes, often recalling advertising symbols that leverage on collective imagination to be identified and on metaphysic composition to be reinterpreted. Solal’s weaves together pop and survivalist features, producing mysterious objects: every structure is a compromise between naive figuration and total abstraction, challenging the viewer to find its own inter- pretation of this quilt of details; here every segment continuously melts into something else, preventing the eye from laying over something familiar.
The works were produced in collaboration with Casa dell’Artigiano and Centro Ricambi Elettrodomestici.
Derek Di Fabio (1987, IT) lives and works in Berlin. Since 2010 he collaborates with Cherimus, an associa- tion dedicated development of the social and cultural patrimony through contemporary art. Since 2012 he works with Isa Griese as 2008daughters. Solo shows: Buio. Unplugged a cura di In Fact and In Fiction, Musil, Cedegolo (2015); When the sun is out, his house- shaped face bathes in it (2013) and Yslands (2014) at Almanac Projects, London – Turin; Free Range Winter Banana al Pavillon Social, Lucca (2013).
Colin Foster (1990, USA) lives and works in Baltimore, MD. He recently presented The Squinter’s Watch, Springsteen, Baltimore; a solo show, as well as participating in the two-person presentations Rigor Raging Rigger, Freddy, Baltimore (w/ Torey Thornton); and at Material Art Fair, presented by Springsteen (w/ Erika Ceruzzi). Selected group exhibitions include: Laura Feral in the Well, Macao Milano, curated by Siliqoon; Moiety, Brooklyn, Skylab, Columbus, OH; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, curated by Springsteen; Terrault Contemporary, Baltimore; and Lil Gallery, Baltimore.
Maria Gorodeckaya (1988, RUS) lives and works in both Moscow and London. She graduated from MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths University of London and recently presented her first solo show at Almanac London. Recent group exhibition include Planned Obscolence at Miltronic Club Moscow, Accessing Economies: En- gagement & Withdrawal at Club Pro LA, and Longshore Drift by Jupiter Woods at Sorbus Gallery Helsinki.
Anna Solal (1988, FR) lives and works in Paris. This summer she presented sculptures at Saint-Cirq Lapopie Biennale, Figeac. Selected group exhibitions include independant curators Pierre-alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou, The Ister, Brussels, 63rd77thsteps, WeekendWeekendWeekend, Room E 10 27, Paris , Belle Air, Essen, Lodos, Mexico.