Yorgos Stamkopoulos at Galleria Mario Iannelli

Yorgos Stamkopoulos is showing his new work in the group exhibition Anatomy of Restlessness (Anatomia dell’irrequietezza) at Galleria Mario Iannelli, Rome, together with Joe Clark, Tom Esam, Claus Philip Lehmann, David Prytz, Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld, Philip Topolovac and Felix Kiessling

Press release

Galleria Mario Iannelli presents the group exhibition entitled “Anatomy of Restlessness” (Anatomia dell’irrequietezza) with the critical contribution of Lorenzo Bruni, on Wednesday 11th May, from 6.30 pm in Via Flaminia 380 in Rome.

The artists Joe Clark, Tom Esam, Claus Philip Lehmann, David Prytz, Sarah Schönfeld, Yorgos Stamkopoulos, Philip Topolovac and Felix Kiessling created two new works each especially for this occasion, investigating, by using different techniques, the limits and identity of the surface of the “image subject” in the era of switching from the analogic system to the digital. The sixteen original works range from the “Time drawing” machine by Felix Kiessling, which measures the duration of the exhibition by using a piece of chalk repeatedly drawing a circle onto a base, to the “Snake dance” installation by Sarah Schönfeld where a snake skin is animated by an operative vacuum cleaner whose tube crosses connecting/breaking through two of the gallery’s walls; from the photographic images “Asset Management” by Joe Clark with lit surfaces rendering the virtual space of computer graphics to “Je suis Esam” by Tom Esam, consisting of a banner on which a black and white image of a crowd of demonstrators takes on parade the artist’s name highlighted in red.

These are only some of the examples of the contributions, all theming “a minimal event”, focused at characterizing the gallery space so as to produce not only a group show, but rather “a workshop experience” with different psychological and physical, personal and collective implications, between what is natural and what is real, what is organic and what is procedural. The peculiar aspect of this project is that its choral dimension, established through an intense dialogue between autonomous works of art, does not limit but in fact amplifies the fruition of the specific “method of research, partly scientific and partly unportrayable” adopted by the single artist. In fact, what they have in common is the fact that they are dealing with natural and psychological processes, aimed at involving the spectator in the process they themselves are experiencing and putting into practice. However, if compared to the path undertaken by the previous generation ranging from Mario Airò to Carsten Höller from Olafur Eliasson to Cai Guo-Qiang all the way to Thomas Demand, they are aware that the confrontation with the present world of “concretization of virtuality” must take place from an introjective dimension that reflects the false awareness we have today that everything has already been discovered and everything is just one click away. Their works of art, therefore, represent intimate gestures that can be insinuated directly in the mechanisms with which information/images “of the expanded surrounding” are mediated in order to highlight their function and thus be able to influence, as an individual and as a community, the perception and most of all the capacity to interact.

The exhibition Anatomy of Restlessness (Anatomia dell’irrequietezza) – a title borrowed from the collection of “Tales from the world” by Bruce Chatwin published posthumously in 1966 – arises from the need to review the journey started by the Galleria Mario Iannelli two years ago since it moved from Berlin to Rome. The artists involved all held a personal exhibition in the Roman gallery except Philip Topolovac who will inauguare his in September and Yorgos Stamkopoulos in December. This group show offers the artist/ spectator the`possibility to verify in practice a dialectical comparison that would otherwise have remained only on an intuitive level and pour parlé. Instead, the fact of enjoying the video “teorical poem” by David Prytz in which words formed on the screen are then erased and replaced by others in a suggestive and not only temporal loop, will influence and be influenced by the association within the same context of pictures by Claus Philip Lehmann where he exhibits jeans canvas, or the Topolovac model of the Berghain façade, the famous Berlin club, or the Stamkopoulos’ experiments where on the same support we have two pictorial surfaces, not abstract but dematerialized. The context that is thus created, due to the contamination between these processes shared with the public, makes it clear that the conceptual passage these artists move from is to investigate the reason why today an image exhists and is considered real when it is shared on the space of the web and not when it is taken as was the case in the previous modernist era? The ascertainment that the public’s time of reaction has become null, affecting the implications of the art piece’s production, is not the arrival point for them, but rather the starting point to ask oneself what should or might be the artist’s role in the present post-ideological time, of globalized communication and “post internet”. As Lorenzo Bruni wrote in the text that accompanies the exhibition: “…even though the subjects chosen are very distant from each other, their works of art have in common the fact that they are presented not as an image of reality, but as experimental and procedural devices. Their condensations of time, meant as a clot of experiences that are directly shared with the spectator, aim at a reflection on the “pictorial” aspect, independently from the picture object, but also on the need of verifying the contemporariness of the scientific and social findings perceived and acquired over the past century.”

Critical contribution by Lorenzo Bruni