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YOU CAN’T

Stephan Balleux, Adelheid De Witte, Gianluca Di Pasquale, Benoît Félix, Aïda Kazarin, Kristof Van Heeschvelde, Alessandro Scarabello

curated by Bouquet Brussels in collaboration with Yellow

29.10 – 26.11.2017

(ENG)

 

Yellow continues its research in the field of contemporary painting and by pursuing its mission to establish and promote networks and exchanges between artists and institutions, it presents a new international collaboration between Belgium and Italy.

 

Brussels lands in Varese with ‘You Can’t’, a group show on contemporary painting, and the first collaboration between Yellow and Bouquet Brussels, founded by Natacha De Mol and Florian Kiniques. You Can’t is an exhibition presenting work by five Belgian artists : Stephan Balleux, Adelheid De Witte, Benoît Félix, Aïda Kazarian and Kristof Van Heerschvelde, and by two Italian artists : Gianluca Di Pasquale and Alessandro Scarabello.

 

The title of the exhibition was chosen on account of the ambiguity it evinces: is painting attractive because it is forbidden? Or is it forbidden because it is attractive? You Can’t originates in Yellow’s founding question: “what is the place of young painting in Italy today?”.

 

Bouquet therefore decided to design an exhibition of seven artists who are committed to Painting. Each of them inscribes his/her research within the use of various strategies of representation constantly aiming to question the identities of painting —

 

absent / forbidden / guilty / image / exotic / landscape / plot / seductive / playful / alone / absurd / contortionist / body language / motif / clothing / mobile / stirring / in progress /…

 

This heterogeneity marks Bouquet’s curatorial initiative, aiming to draw attention to some highly individual artists met at their studio, by putting together an exhibition of their work.

 

You Can’t is supported by Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Kunstenpunt / Flanders Art Institute, Open Care and FARE.

 

 

(ITA)

 

Yellow prosegue la sua attività di ricerca nel campo della pittura contemporanea e, fedele alla propria mission di costituire e promuovere relazioni e momenti di confronto tra artisti, enti e soggetti diversi, propone nel suo spazio una mostra che è frutto di una nuova collaborazione internazionale.

 

Il Belgio arriva a Varese, con You Can’t, esposizione collettiva di pittura contemporanea, primo step di un lavoro sinergico tra Yellow e Bouquet, fondato da Natacha De Mol e Florian Kiniques. Gli artisti invitati sono i belgi Stephan Balleux, Adelheid De Witte, Benoît Félix, Aïda Kazarian, Kristof Van Heeschvelde e gli italiani Gianluca Di Pasquale e Alessandro Scarabello, attraverso confini generazionali e culturali, per mettere in luce diverse modalità e prospettive del fare pittura oggi.

 

Il titolo della mostra vuole rimarcare una specifica ambiguità: la pittura è attraente perché “proibita” o è “proibita” perché attraente? La mostra ha infatti avuto origine a partire dalla domanda che in qualche modo ha segnato l’apertura dello progetto varesino tre anni fa: “Che spazio è dato oggi alla pittura emergente in Italia?”

 

Bouquet ha dunque voluto dare vita a una mostra di sette artisti impegnati nel campo della pittura, ognuno dei quali inscrive la propria ricerca nell’uso di varie e specifiche strategie di rappresentazione, mettendo in costante discussione le identità della pittura –

 

assenza / proibizione / colpa / immagine / erotismo / paesaggio / trama / seduttiva / giocosa / sola / assurda / contorsionista / linguaggio del corpo / motivo / abbigliamento / commovente / in progressione / …

 

Questa eterogeneità segna l’iniziativa curatoriale di Bouquet, con lo scopo di mettere in luce l’attività artistica di meritevoli individui conosciuti nel proprio studio e organizzando mostre con il loro lavoro.

 

You Can’t gode del supporto di Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Kunstenpunt / Flanders Art Institute, Open Care and FARE.

 

Stephan Balleux, Inscriptus (sorry) #24, overpainted found document, 29x39cm, 2016

 

 

Stephan Balleux, White canvas (with a twist), porcelain, 16×11,4×4,5cm, 2010

Gianluca Di Pasquale, Jungle II, oil on canvas, 40x50cm, 2011

 

 

Adelheid De Witte, Trophy, acrylic Paint on Juggling Pin on Metal Rack, 2017

Adelheid De Witte, Bowling Alley VI, oil on wood, 30x20cm, 2017

 

 

Exhibition view

 

 

Aïda Kazarian, A K 1 6 B 1 5 X 1 0. 2., peinture iridescente (empreintes des auriculaires) sur bois

préparé, 15x10cm, 2016

Stephan Balleux, Inscriptus (she was here) #1, overpainted found document, 24,3×36,3cm, 2016

 

 

Stephan Balleux, Inscriptus (sorry) #24, overpainted found document, 29x39cm, 2016

 

 

Alessandro Scarabello, The Gentleman (The Prelude), oil on canvas, cm 194 x 149cm, 2016

 

 

Kristof Van Heeschvelde, I wonder what you are doing now, oil on canvas, 100x150cm, 2016

 

 

Exhibition view

 

 

Exhibition view

 

 

Exhibition view





Exhibitions
Publications

Publications

YELLOW#1

Catalogue in edition of 300 copies.
108 pag. images + Italian/English texts of all exhibitions curated by Yellow in 2014/2015.

 

Artists: Pierluigi Antonucci, Alessia Armeni, Michael Bartlett, Giovanni Blanco, Lorenza Boisi, Lindsey Bull, Jacopo Casadei, Luca De Angelis, Lorenzo Di Lucido, Elia Gobbi, Sebastiano Impellizzeri, Kate Hiley, Sigrid Holmwood, Michael Lawton, Cathy Lomax, Enzo Marra, Luigi Massari, Jill Mulleady, Vera Portatadino, Marco Salvetti, Patrizia Emma Scialpi, Davide Serpetti, Corinna Spencer, Enrico Tealdi, Michele Tocca, Lucia Veronesi.

 

Texts: Veronica Liotti, Cathy Lomax, Carlos Seabra, Vera Portatadino, Simona Squadrito

Publisher: Yellow

Graphic design: Chiara Vanini.

 

 


Shipping options

 

 

 

 

 

YELLOW#2

 

Catalogue in edition of 200 copies.
108 pag. images + Italian/English texts of all exhibitions curated by Yellow in 2016/2017.

 

 

Artists: Alessia Armeni, Stephan Balleux, Cesare Biratoni, Lorenza Boisi, Thomas Braida, Lindsey Bull, Jacopo Casadei, Manuele Cerutti, Gianluca Codeghini, Marta Dal Sasso, Valentina D’Amaro, Katja Davar, Luca De Angelis, Adelheid De Witte, Lorenzo Di Lucido, Gianluca Di Pasquale, Benoit Félix, Cosimo Filippini, Archie Franks, Elia Gobbi, Agnese Guido, Adi Haxhiaj, Harald Hofmann, Sebastiano Impellizzeri, Gabriele Jardini, Aida Kazarian, Sue Kennington, Rossano Tiziano Mainieri, Marta Mancini, Francesco Maluta, Gianluca Marinelli, Angelo Mosca, Bruno Muzzolini, Christian Niccoli, Andrea Panarelli, Stefano W. Pasquini, Thomas Pohler, Vera Portatadino, Luca Resta, Marco Salvetti, Claudio Salvi, Alessandro Scarabello, Mario Scudeletti, Natan Sinigaglia, Diego Soldà, Attilio Tono, Kristof van Heeschvelde, Lucia Veronesi.

 

Texts: Alessia Armeni, Daniele Astrologo Abadal, Francesco Bozzi, Claudia Contu, Francesca D’Aria, Natacha De Mol, Archie Franks, Florian Kiniques, Andrea Lacarpia, Veronica Liotti, Rossella Moratto, Veronica Perrucci, Vera Portatadino, Simona Squadrito

 

Publisher: Yellow

Graphic design: Chiara Vanini.

 

 


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ELSEWHERE – ALTROVE

2014, 60 pag. + postcard of Isola Madre on Lake Maggiore by artist Cathy Lomax.

 

 

Images + Italian/English texts of Elswhere-Altrove exhibition by Yellow and Transition Gallery of London and some creative texts inspired by the Lake Maggiore region!

 

Artists and texts: Cesare Biratoni, Archie Franks, Cathy Lomax, Freya Douglas-Morris, Vera Portatadino, Alli Sharma, Sofia Silva

Publisher: Yellow

Graphic Design: Chiara Vanini

 

 

 

 

 





Texts

Texts

ASLEEP

Vera Portatadino in conversation with Lilla Von Puttkamer

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Beatrix, 2018, egg tempera on canvas, courtesy the artist

 

 

Vera Portatadino: Why did you choose to paint?

 

Lilla Von Puttkamer: Painting is for me a special way of thinking. You see the world in colours, emotions, and atmospheres. It is possible to play with dimensions of time and space and make things smaller and bigger.

My pictures are snapshots of my immediate surroundings and tell stories of inexplicable things. The focus is on humans with their passions and entanglements, which manifest themselves in intermediate states and ambiguities. Shadow worlds, projections and memories elude pure logical explanations in a playful way. The pictures invite you to look into a dream mirror, a reflection of the half-conscious and unconscious. States between waking and dreaming, as well as alternation between reality and fiction, glide into each other.

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Asleep, Installation view at Yellow, 2018, courtesy Yellow

 

 

VP: When we met in Berlin, you showed Luca De Angelis and myself some big paintings depicting group of small people in Hungarian traditional dresses and you told us about your origins. Your most recent work still deals with clothes and bodies. I can see how identity is a central theme of yours. Can you tell us more about it?

 

LVP: The pictures you saw with Luca are from the series “Migration”. I was interested in the interaction of groups. You can see how people relate and are in resonance to each other. Some like to stay closer, others need more distance. If we do not understand ourselves as individuals in demarcation to the others, parts of the personality are simply reaction to the environment. I think identity is also something not fixed. We are constantly changing.

 

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Asleep, 2018, Installation view at Yellow, courtesy Yellow

 

 

VP: For the title of your solo show at Yellow you chose “Asleep” to suggest that sleep is actually extremely positive today, in such an efficient society. Do you want to explain why you think so and why you chose to paint people’s clothes abandoned on a chair?

 

LVP: In my new series “Asleep” I wanted to paint portraits of people – mostly women – without showing them. Actually it is about sleep and insomnia. My focus is on the gesture when you get rid of your clothes. You are giving up and loosing control. Sleep is something very fascinating. It is like a little death. The paintings are very sensual  and show the texture and templates off different fabrics. Seeing them you can imagine the character of the person. Some women leave their clothes on the chair for the whole week, others are very accurate and find for every piece its own place. Others like to wear clothes from their friends. 

 

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Adelheid, 2018, egg tempera on paper, 30 x 21 cm, courtesy the artist

 

 

VP: The chair is also a recurrent image in your work. Does it have any particular meaning for you?

 

LVP: I have early works where you can see chairs that act like people, standing in an audience hall. I was interested to shift the view from the stage to the empty chairs waiting for something, expecting. I called them Pause. The objects in my pictures are often like persons and the empty chairs function as the beginning of the story.

 

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Albrecth, 2018, egg tempera on canvas, 130 x 100 cm, courtesy Yellow

 

 

VP: As an artist, what is your perception of Berlin today?

 

LVP: I always loved that Berlin gives you so much space and freedom. At the moment it is changing and prices go up. So niches are disappearing and it is getting more normal and boring. But still I like to come back and cannot imagine to live in another city.

 

Lilla Von Puttkamer, Obdachloser, 2018, egg tempera on paper, 21 x 30 cm, courtesy the artist

 

 

VP: If I ask you about Italian painting, what do you think of?

 

LVP: Italian painting has a big history and it must be not so easy for contemporary artists how to continue. In spring I saw the Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo in Roma, because I was invited to an exhibition in the Accademia d´Ungheria. It was beautiful. So much beauty is also a heavy thing to carry. Talking about Italians, I really like the writer Luigi Pirandello and I used some of his titles for my paintings.

 

The two artists Lilla Von Puttkamer and Vera Portatadino, during the opening at Yellow

 

 

 

NEOBIOTA

Vera Portatadino in conversation with Sigrid Holmwood

Sigrid Holmwood, La nonna, Mayan blue made from woad, indigo, cochineal, titanium white, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico mordant printed with cochineal and madder, 50cm x 32cm.

 

 

Vera Portatadino: I still recall our first meeting in your studio in 2014. I had just founded Yellow then. I took loads of notes that day, because I felt I could share with you the idea that painting has something to do with democracy and politics, despite at that time the majority of people were asking me: “why are you founding a project specifically focused on painting? Painting has nothing to say today”.

 

 

To me painting is a form of resistence, and on the contrary it has a lot to say about reality, especially now that we are driven towards virtual economies, virtual environments, virtual relationships, virtual lives. There is something peculiar about painting that has to do with time, tangibility and contemplation.

 

 

Do you agree? What are the reasons why you began to paint?

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood: Yes, I agree that there is as much reason to paint now as there ever was. Of course, the reason why began painting was the same as it is for most people – because it is something direct that one starts doing as a child without questioning it. However, the reason why one would keep painting, in the face of all the pressure not to do so is another matter.

 

For me, it is precisely painting’s long and complex history that is interesting. Painting allows one to practice a form of Foucauldian archaeology, unearthing how painting has had a role in constructing our contemporary selves. As you say, in its heavy and slow materiality it can also be resistance to accelerated and virtual modes of being today. While I think it has been healthy to question painting’s centrality to art, and to knock it off its pedestal, I also think the idea that painting is not ‘relevant’ simply because it has been around for a long time belies an obsession with being ‘new’ and ‘original’ that demonstrates a thrall to modernity and capitalism. Indeed, I have turned responded to this accusation that painting is old-fashioned and obsolete with some tongue-in-cheek humour by developing the idea of “peasant-painting.”

 

The word ‘peasant’ in English is pejorative, implying that someone is unsophisticated or backward – maybe painting is the peasantry of art-media today, something that is supposedly relegated to the past but actually persists around the world today. After all, there are still many peasants globally. With this in mind, I take inspiration from La Via Campesina – The International Peasants Movement, which activates the word ‘peasant’ in order to make a political point and counter the ways of being that lie behind industrial productivist farming.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood, Yellow queue, indigo, Mayan blue made from woad, ochre, titanium white, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico dyed and mordant printed with dyer’s broom, madder, and logwood, 52cm x 125cm.

 

 

VP: Neobiota, the title of the show, alludes to a species (animal or vegetal) that migrating to a new region for various reasons – may they be spontaneous or due to human intervention – here it finds the conditions to reproduce itself and to continue its cycle of life. Similarly this has happened to the plants imported to Europe from America and to the Italian immigrants who travelled to the U.S. in the XIX ,and that you have depicted in this new body of works on show at Yellow. Your solo show Neobiota is also happening in one of the hottest sceneries for contemporary migration today. It is interesting how you are connecting all these elements together. I would like to hear more about the reasons behind this choice.

 

 

SH: Yes, you have correctly interpreted the choice of title! Since I have been working with the concept of ‘the peasant’ I have been very aware of how peasant culture was used to build nationalisms in the past in Europe – ultimately with terrible consequences in the last century. Yet, as this nation-building process was under way in the 19th century and 20th centuries, this was precisely when the poor peasants of Europe were migrating in the largest numbers. Both of my mother’s grandfather’s went to America as landless rural migrants, only they were able to return to Sweden with enough money saved to buy land and change the family fortune somewhat. It is important for us Europeans who are relatively well off in the world remember that we were once emigrant nations. And the reason why European peasants had to emigrate in the past was often due to inequality and social injustice at home, rather than war. Southern Europe has shouldered much of the burden of the refugee crisis, while only Sweden and Germany have stepped up. Quite frankly I’m disgusted at those European countries refusing to share the responsibility (and even more disgusted at Brexit).

 

 

Additionally, I what interests me about the term Neobiota is that it tries to avoid the value judgement implicit in terms such as native/non-native/invasive, which are generally used for plants but sound very problematic when used for people. So I think is worth remembering that many of the ingredients used in national dishes in Europe, originally come from the Americas, as well as many important natural dyestuffs for pigments and textiles that i have used. Some European plants – such as woad – have conversely become ‘invasive’ in America.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood, Woad, 2018, Mayan blue made from woad, indigo, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico dyed and mordant printed with madder, 65cm x 48cm.

 

 

VP: As you explained earlier, you developed the role of the peasant-painter and doing so you studied and rediscovered historical recipes and methods to make pigments, paints, paper and fabric. A kind of Slow-Paint Movement akin to the Slow Food Movement. What materials did you use for the works on display at Yellow and how important and why, this aspect is for practice?

 

 

SH: All the paintings are on cotton fabric which I have dyed and printed using plant and insect dyes. The technique is similar to the method developed in India, for making fabric which was called calico in English. This fabric became so popular in the 17th century in the UK that it threatened the British textile industry. As a result, the importation of calico was banned unless it was for re-export to the colonies. Eventually, the British textile manufacturers stole the technique and were able to compete with the Indian calicos.

 

 

The pigments used are all from plants, insects, or earths – apart from the fluorescent pigment. It is there as injection of ‘impurity’ …something like an ‘invasive species.’

 

 

Making my own materials in this way, is a way to expand painting beyond the studio, and beyond the white cube, to connect it with the way its materials circulate in the world. Every pigment has a history and a story.

 

 

Installation view of the show Neobiota at Yellow. Photo by Cosimo Filippini.

 

 

VP: You have also made performances and workshops as part of your practice, in which you made visible the process behind the pigment-making while many artists are jealous of their “secrets” in terms of methods, processes and materials. Would you be happy to inspire other artists to conceive their role as a possible alternative to standard capitalistic ways of consumption and production? Handmade processes in painting could also be a valuable ecological choice.

 

 

SH: Yes, I am happy to share the recipes – after all, I only got them by researching the work of others in history, as well as experimenting. I’d also be happy for more people to make their own paint, or at least to think ecologically about the ingredients. I am against the idea of privatising knowledge (such as bio-tech firms patenting traditional medicines of non-western cultures), and sharing can be one way to subvert these attempts. I also design my performances to be a bit of test… like the test of an apprentice for the guild. I don’t hand out notes and make it easy for the viewers. They have to pay attention, and make their own notes. In this way I feel that only those that really have the passion will listen and absorb the knowledge.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood performing at Yellow, making yellow pigment out of Genista cultivated in Italy by Yellow. Photo by Cosimo Filippini.

 

 

VP:  There is a certain sense of humor that lies in your work. For example, I think about the paintings “Dancing Left to Right” and “Dancing Right to Left”, that you showed last year at Annely Juda Fine Art, for your solo show “The Peasants are Revolting!”. There is a mix of grace, power, energy and clumsiness too. They dance but they march. I think as well of their noses which are exaggeratedly big and funny, while there something serious going on too. Another detail that caught my attention, is the way you painted the cheeks of the Italian immigrants in the works you are showing at Yellow. Bold fluorescent circles, just like the ones stereotyped by children in some of their portraits or the red ones worn by clowns. Do you consciously seek for some subtle sense of humor in your work?

 

 

SH: Yes, there is a profound link between the figure of the peasant and the figure of the clown that goes back to Comedia del’Arte.  I am also inspired by the writing of Bakhtin on the Carnivalesque. In the carnivalesque humour is political and seeks to destroy hierarchies and bring down everyone to the same base materiality. We are all human, that piss, shit, and make love – including immigrants looking for a neobiota.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood, Family with luggage, 2018, Mayan blue made from woad, indigo, cochineal, ochre, titanium white, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico mordant printed with cochineal, madder, and logwood, 70cm x 52cm. Photo by Cosimo Filippini

 

 

To see all the images of the show Neobiota, click here

 

 

NEOBIOTA. Sigrid Holmwood in conversazione con Vera Portatadino

Rubia, 2018, Madder, Mayan blue made from woad, indigo, schiet yellow, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico dyed and mordant printed with madder, 35cm x 62cm.

 

 

Vera Portatadino: Mi ricordo ancora il nostro il nostro primo incontro nel tuo studio, a Londra, nel 2014. Allora avevo appena fondato Yellow. Ho preso tanti appunti quel giorno, perché sentivo che condividevo con te l’idea che la pittura abbia qualcosa a che fare con la democrazia e la politica, nonostante, in quel periodo, la maggior parte delle persone mi chiedesse: “Perché stai fondando un progetto finalizzato alla ricerca pittorica? La pittura non ha niente da dire oggi”.

 

 

Per me la pittura in un certo senso è una forma di resistenza e contrariamente ha tanto da dire sulla realtà, particolarmente adesso, che procediamo verso economie virtuali, ambienti virtuali, relazioni virtuali, vite virtuali. C’è qualcosa di peculiare nella pittura, che ha da fare con il tempo, la tangibilità e la contemplazione.

 

 

Sei d’accordo? Quali sono le ragioni per cui hai iniziato a dipingere?

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood: Sì, sono d’accordo. Oggi dipingere ha senso più che mai. Ovviamente, la ragione per cui ho iniziato a dipingere è la stessa della maggior parte delle persone – perché è qualcosa di diretto che uno inizia a fare da bambino, senza chiederselo. Però, la ragione per cui uno continua a dipingere, con tutta la pressione circostante a non farlo, è un’altra cosa.

 

Per me, è precisamente la lunga e complessa storia della pittura che è interessante. La pittura consente di praticare una forma di “archeologia di Foucault”, rivelando come abbia avuto un ruolo nella costruzione del sé contemporaneo. Come dici tu, nella sua materialità lenta e ponderosa, può anche essere una forma di resistenza alle modalità accelerate e virtuali di oggi. Sebbene pensi che sia stato salutare mettere in discussione la centralità del ruolo della pittura nell’arte, buttandola giù dal piedistallo, penso inoltre che l’idea che la pittura non sia “rilevante” semplicemente perché è in circolazione da molto tempo, smascheri un’ossessione del “nuovo” e dell’“originale”, che dimostra un asservimento alla modernità e al capitalismo. Infatti, ho personalmente risposto a questa insinuazione che la pittura sia obsoleta con ironia e senso dell’umorismo, sviluppando l’idea di “Pittura Contadina”.

 

La parola “contadina” in inglese è peggiorativa e implica qualcosa di non sofisticato e retrogrado. Forse la pittura è il “contadino” dei linguaggi artistici di oggi, qualcosa che presumibilmente è relegato nel passato, ma che in realtà persiste nel mondo di oggi. Dopotutto, nel complesso, ci sono ancora tanti contadini. Con questo in mente, prendo ispirazione dalla Via Campesia – The International Peasants Movement, che attiva la parola “contadino” come statement politico, contrastando i modi di essere che si sviluppano all’ombra del produttivismo dell’agricoltura industrializzata.

 

 

Installation view of the show Neobiota at Yellow. Photo by Cosimo Filippini.

 

 

VP: Neobiota, il titolo della mostra, allude a una specie (animale o vegetale) che migrando in una nuova regione per varie ragioni, spontanee o dovute all’intervento dell’uomo, qui trova le condizioni per riprodursi e continuare il proprio ciclo di vita. Allo stesso modo, questo è successo alle piante importate in Europa dall’America e agli immigranti Italiani che hanno viaggiato negli Stati Uniti nel XIX e che tu hai raffigurato in questa nuova serie di lavori in mostra di Yellow. La tua mostra personale Neobiota accade in uno dei più caldi scenari per l’immigrazione contemporanea. È interessante come i tuo lavoro colleghi tutti questi elementi tra di loro. Raccontaci qualcosa di più sulle ragioni di questa scelta.

 

 

SH: Si, hai correttamente interpretato la scelta del titolo! Da quando lavoro con il concetto di “contadino”, sono diventata consapevole di come la stessa cultura contadina sia stata usata per costruire e fomentare i nazionalismi nel passato in Europa, con le terribili conseguenze di cui il secolo scorso è stato testimone. Eppure, precisamente nel momento in cui il processo di costruzione delle nazioni era in corso, durante il XIX e XX secolo, i poveri contadini Europei migravano nel loro numero maggiore. Entrambi i nonni di mia madre andarono in America, come migranti rurali senza possedimenti, sennonché furono in grado di ritornare in Svezia con abbastanza soldi per comprare della terra e cambiare le sorti della famiglia. È importante per noi Europei, che siamo relativamente benestanti rispetto al resto del mondo, ricordarci che nel passato eravamo nazioni di migranti. Le ragioni per cui i contadini Europei dovettero emigrare, furono soprattutto la disuguaglianza e l’ingiustizia sociale nel proprio Paese, piuttosto che la guerra.

 

 

L’Europa meridionale recentemente ha portato il peso maggiore della crisi migratoria attuale, soltanto la Svezia e la Germania si sono fatte avanti. Francamente sono disgustata dai Paesi Europei che si rifiutano di condividere la responsabilità (e sono ancora più disgustata dalla Brexit). Inoltre, quello che trovo interessante del termine Neobiota, è che prova a evitare il giudizio del valore implicito in termini come nativo/non-nativo/invasivo , che sono generalmente utilizzati per le piante, ma risultano problematici quando usati per persone.

 

 

Penso anche che valga la pena ricordarsi che la maggior parte degli ingredienti utilizzati nei piatti nazionali in Europa, originariamente provengono dalle Americhe , proprio come tanti importanti pigmenti e tessuti naturali che abitualmente uso. Alcune piante Europee –come il guado- al contrario sono diventate “invasive” in America.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood, 2018, Woman and three children indigo, cochineal, ochre, titanium white, and fluorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico mordant printed with madder and logwood, – 55cm x 50cm.

 

 

VP: Come hai spiegato prima, hai elaborato e sviluppato il concetto di pittore-contadino e, facendo questo, hai studiato e scoperto ricette storiche e metodi antichi per fare i pigmenti , la pittura, la carta e vari materiali. Una sorta di Slow-Painting, similarmente all’idea di Slow-Food. Quali materiali hai usato per i lavori esposti a Yellow, e quanto è importante e perché questo aspetto per la tua pratica?

 

 

SH: Tutti i quadri sono fatti su un tessuto di cotone, che ho tinto e stampato usando dei coloranti fatti di piante e insetti. La tecnica è simile al metodo sviluppato in India per produrre un tessuto chiamato “calico”, in Inglese. Questo tessuto divenne così famoso nel XVII secolo nel Regno Unito, che preoccupò moltissimo le industrie di tessuto Britaniche. Di conseguenza, l’importazione di calico fu bannata, meno che si trattasse di riesportazione verso colonie. Alla fine, i produttori tessili Britannici copiarono le tecniche, e divennero in grado di competere con i “calico” Indiani.

 

 

I pigmenti usati per le opere in mostra sono tutti fatti di piante, insetti, o terre, a parte i pigmenti fluorescenti, che agiscono come un’iniezione di “impurità”, come una specie invasiva.

 

 

Produrre, a mano, i miei stessi materiali è un modo per espandere la pittura oltre lo studio, e oltre il “white-cube”, per collegarla con le modalità attraverso cui i suoi materiali circolano nel mondo.

 

 

Ogni pigmento ha una sua storia.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood, Cochinilla , 2018, Cochineal, yellow ochre, titanium White, and  uorescent pigment in egg tempera, on calico dyed and mordant printed with cochineal, 55cm x 45cm.

 

 

VP: Hai anche messo in scena delle performance e dei laboratori, come parte della tua pratica, in cui hai mostrato il processo dietro la creazione dei pigmenti, quando al contrario molti artisti sono gelosi dei loro “segreti” in termini di metodi, processi e materiali. Saresti contenta di inspirare altri artisti a concepire una possibile alternativa alle modalità di consumo e produzione figlie di una società capitalistica? Recuperare i processi artigianali in pittura potrebbe stimolare una certa coscienza ecologica e politica.

 

 

SH: Si, sono contenta di condividere le ricette –dopotutto le ho fatte mie, studiando l’opera e gli scritti di altri e sperimentando.  Sarei molto felice se più di persone facessero i loro propri colori, o se pensassero più ecologicamente all’uso degli ingredienti. Sono contro l’idea di privatizzare la conoscenza (come fanno le aziende bio-tech, che brevettano le medicine tradizionali di culture non occidentali) e condividere può essere un modo per sovvertire questi tentativi. Inoltre progetto le mie performance di modo che siano anche un test. Non fornisco appunti e non semplifico per gli spettatori. Essi devono fare attenzione e prendere appunti. In questo modo penso che solo le persone veramente interessate e appassionate, ascolteranno e faranno proprio il sapere.

 

 

Sigrid Holmwood performing at Yellow, making yellow pigment out of Genista cultivated in Italy by Yellow. Photo by Cosimo Filippini.

 

 

VP: C’è un certo senso di umorismo nei tuoi lavori. Per esempio penso ai quadri come “Dancing Left to Right” e “Dancing Right to Left”, che hai messo in mostra l’anno scorso da Anneley Juda Fine Art, per la tua mostra personale “The Peasants are Revolting”. C’è un misto di grazia, potere, energia e anche goffaggine. Ballano, ma marciano. Penso anche ai nasi che sono esageratamente buffi, mentre c’è qualcosa di serio che sta succedendo. Un altro dettaglio che ha catturato la mia attenzione, è il modo in cui hai dipinto le guance degli immigranti italiani, nei lavori che mostri a Yellow. Audaci cerchi fluorescenti, proprio come nei ritratti dei bambini o sulle facce dei clown. Cerchi coscientemente un certo senso dell’umorismo nei tuoi lavori?

 

 

SH: Si, c’è un collegamento profondo tra le figure dei contadini e i clown, che si rifà alla Commedia dell’Arte. Traggo ispirazione anche dagli scritti di Bakhin sul Carnivalesque. L’umorismo carnevalesco cerca di distruggere le gerarchie e portare tutti allo stesso livello. Siamo tutti umani, che pisciano, cagano e fanno l’amore – compreso gli immigrati che cercano una “neobiota”.

 

 

Traduzione italiana di Sofya Bograd

 

 

 

More articles about Yellow:

 

 

— SPAZI 2017 at Edicola Radetzky on ATP Diary.

Read the article here.

 

— Rapporto “Io sono cultura 2016” realizzato da Fondazione Symbola e Unioncamere, un lavoro che annualmente fa il punto sullo stato dell’industria culturale e creativa nel nostro Paese. Il rapporto è stato presentato giovedì 23 giugno 2016 presso il MiBact, alla presenza del ministro Dario Franceschini.

Read the paper here.

 

— Valentina D’Amaro, Viridis variazioni in verde su ATP Diary.

Read the article here.

 

— Valentina D’Amaro, Why I paint. Interview for Phaidon, after the release of Vitamin P3 New Perspectives in Painting.

Read the article here.

 

— Flash Art. Recensione Diorama del Nuovo Mondo, personale di Marco Salvetti.

Read the article here.

 

— ATP Diary. Vera Portatadino in conversazione con Lucia Veronesi.

Read the article here.

 

— Paint! http://www.paintdiary.com/exhibit/jacopo-casadei-at-yellow-varese

 

— Intervista a Vera Portatadino, by Simona Squadrito per la rubrica Hideout di That’s Contemporary.

Read the article here

 

— Beauty and Sadness. Lindsey Bull solo show. Reviewed by Rossella Moratto for ATP Diary.

Read the article here.

 

— Controcanto. Palinodie e Contaminazioni. Review by Dario Giovanni Alì, published on Exhibart.

Read the article here.

 

— Trenta per Venticinque. A conversation with Michael Lawton. Vera Portatadino, published on ATP Diary, January 2015.

Read the article here.

 

— Da riss(e) a Zentrum. Tre mostre. by Rossella Moratto, published on ATP Diary, November 2014.

Read the article here.

 

— Nuovo artist-run space, a Varese. Nasce Yellow, con la guida di Vera Portatadino, tutto dedicato alla pittura. Un altro tassello della piattaforma Zentrum. Helga Marsala, published on Artribune, November 2014.

Read the article here.

 

— Varesereport. Nasce Yellow a Varese.

Read the article here.

 

— L’Altrove è in ogni dove. Una mostra a Varese. review di Sofia Silva, published on Artribune, October 2014.

Read the article here.

 

— ELSEWHERE – ALTROVE. Review by Andrea Lacarpia published on Cerchio Magazine, September 2014.

Read the article here.

 





About / Contact
Yellow

About

Yellow is a vibrant scenario for painting.

 

It’s a research project and a non-profit space focused on contemporary painting, where Italian and international artists are invited to meet, interact, experiment, present and discuss their own work.

 

Contributors: Luca De Angelis, Lorenzo Di Lucido, Veronica Perrucci, Vera Portatadino, Marco Salvetti, Sofia Silva, Lucia Veronesi.

 

Founded in 2014 by artist Vera Portatadino, Yellow is part of Zentrum – a platform for contemporary art based in Varese – together with Surplace, Riss(e) and Anonima Kunsthalle.



Contacts

MAIL:

yellowartistrunspace@gmail.com

 

OPENING HOURS:

Announced public openings and by appointment

 

EXHIBITIONS:

c/o Zentrum

via San Pedrino 4, Varese,

Italy

 

MAILBOX / REGISTERED OFFICE

via Motta d’Oro 10,

Comerio VA

Italy



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