Curated by Mohamed Almusibli
June 30 – August 5, 2022
Opening Thursday, June 30, 2–8PM
Peres Projects, Milan
This exhibition focuses on a new generation of artists who are living and working in a world where traditional media is collapsing, resulting in a landscape where global “issues” have become as deeply personal as those in our private lives and immediate social group. The title of the exhibition refers to the famous Vogue Magazine September Issue which comes out every year. At the same time it refers to “issues” or problems. There’s a saying “That person has more issues than vogue”. At the same time, the notion of celebrity (under Anna Wintour, Vogue was the first fashion magazine to put celebrities on its cover) has also become personalized, leading to a society of branded individuals. This generation of artists are creating work that responds to this unprecedented cultural landscape, constantly oscillating between an aspiration for a given normativity and rebellion in the name of a better future.
In his work, Francesco De Bernardi confronts an ideal that is multiple and which must bear an attitude perceived as an uncontrollable control. With his three sculptures, this attitude can be defined as Sprezzatura. As portrayed by Un Romantico a Milano (2022), Sprezzatura can today be described as an attitude. Epistemologically described as “studied carelessness,” this term suggests a magnificence hidden in its nuances and imperfections, as well as a strength kept in reserve.
Victoria Colmegna illustrates issues affecting young people in general, as well as historical artifacts and futuristic inspirations. Visual cues that serve as imperatives towards a role model or ethos appear to make up one’s identity. The border between social and private erodes smoothly under a corpus of collected pictures that are part of a shared past that we inherited and use as a standard.
An ontology of thingness is exemplified by Miriam Laura Leonardi’s large-scale survival rope employed by preppers. Indeed, in a world where health and political institutions are so precarious, tangible items are grounded within a material continuum shaped by our own fears about the future of a world and existence that both feel so fleeting.
For Shuang Li subjectivity, as well as the attitudes blooming from it, are influenced and controlled through group dynamics. The ability of being able to easily control our appearance is key in this context where it can be used strategically against the imperatives of conformity. Guendalina Cerruti demonstrates this concept in her work, highlighting the importance of appearance and clothing in claiming agency.
Adam Bilardi questions the heteronormative bodies which are meant to be strong and ought to never bend. Bilardi’s paintings are a series of continuous canvases in which he explores the difficulties we have in expressing our emotions. Touching rather than feeling is more common nowadays. He stretches the bounds of intimacy with the most intimate morning kisses, focusing on kinetic connections on which we might dwell from with the fragments of our souls.
The essence of Jeremy’s works is a kinetical paradigm specifically carried by the body in the essence of its physicality. The body is portrayed as a narcissistic subject who is also struggling with heteronormativity’s dogma. In Hero (2022), Jeremy paints a flesh that has several identities while simultaneously being tamed by the pose’s logic. Because everything is so transient, the only traces we leave are those of our own bodies, with all of its splendors and delectable subtleties.
Troy Montes-Michie’s collage piece demonstrates that it is possible to manipulate heteronormativity through the use of clothes. Presenting the body as a space able to convey different identities and which has the power to subvert the norms of patriarchy and whiteness. Thus understanding that the body and its appearance is a threshold between the individual and the imperatives of the culture in which the latter is placed.
The term “generation” refers to the act of creating a language that will serve as an extension and differentiation of one’s own identity, paving the way for future works that will emerge from different experiences and contexts, changing over time and according to the temporality to which they belong. These artists express themselves through their bodies and the kinesics they exude. The context or concept takes precedence over the actual piece of art when modern artworks are designed to convey an aesthetical, sociological, or philosophical setting. The setting is entangled in this way, and it is extremely critical and resistant to conformity.
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