Pietro Sanguineti, a master student of Joseph Kosuth , presents his recent works in theAJL Art Galrie.
The gallery itself is an unusual one – it is more about people, artists and concepts rather than the space itself; it holds its projects in various venues. This time the gallery presents Pietro Sanguineti at Schroederstr. 14 in Berlin.
There are no more than 5 recent works presented, but each contains a deep and thoughtful message. A whole manifesto rather.
One of the works is the neon light installation featuring the word “nothingness” with an “i” visibly highlighted in the middle. The dot above the “i” resembles the nimbus of a saint, and focused, it hints on the obsession with the personality. That is the modern society, and the “nothingness” is a fanciful mockery of what the person is, or thinks about themselves today. Back to the Ptolemaic system, aren’t we? – I, I, I am the centre of the universe! However, “i” being an essential element of “nothingness”, strikingly shows how meaningless and small “i” really is. The “nothingness” installation has a truly cosmic scale – it conjures with the notions of nothingness, emptiness, and infinity, at the same time incorporating “me” into this system. However, there is another side to that, for Sanguineti retains the personal dignity in “i”, underlining that “I” is not-a-thing, but a human being. The duality of the perception is what amuses me as a viewer and tickles my mind as an art-lover with a penchant for conceptualism. Perhaps, we all are stuck between the glittering image of ourselves and indifferent hollowness of the universe. In the “nothingness” the artist has managed to deliver an ironic, yet sad image of the relationship between an overblown ego and the universe.
The dead-end path of another modern concept – fun, which is turning into the dictatorship of fun, is showed in another installation. The chant of my parents generation wasresponsibility – no matter what you do, you do it diligently and responsibly. At school, at home, at work- the responsibility seemed to be the moving force of the social progress. Today it is all about fun. Fun became the first and foremost criteria in choosing a university path, a job, a partner. It is frowned upon if something is not fun to do or someone if not fun to be with. People break up with other people because “she is just not fun”, they quit a college, because apparently mathematics is not fun either. But the uselessness and desolation of fun is here. Fun cannot linger forever; it can go on for one, two, three time intervals, but not forever. Suddenly fun is limited, but that not the only tragedy of it. The installation sets off the carved letters “u” and “n”, showing that fun is not linear, it has its ups and downs. Oops, seems like the fun is not the universal answer to all our needs!
The third piece I consider deserving attention is the installation of the word “super”, where the letters start diminishing from the upper “s” to the lower “r”. Everything today is slightly better than itself, or is presented that way. It is not a model, but a super-model, not a car, but a super-car. Moreover, it is not enough to be oneself; one needs to be “super” in every relation. The glossy magazines readily give guidance on how to become a super-chief, a super-mom and how to build a super-house. A wish to decorate one to look a bit better to the outer world is not a novelty, it has always been so and ever will. Even the young people in Neukolln want to appear slightly fancier, slightly poorer and slightly more independent than they really are. But what Pietro Sanguineti’s artwork shows is that indeed all the spangles and gold ultimately meet black hollow nothingness.
The artist thus has managed to break his manifesto on critique of the modern society into parts and put them into every of his object. It resulted in the coherence of the exhibition, not only in conceptual, but also the communicative level. The artworks have a number of messages, and the best way to receive them all would be to experience the exhibition personally.
Fun Fun Fun