Virtual Walk Through Area Caproni U8OPIA
As in compliance with the latest decree CASSINA PROJECTS remains temporarily closed until further notice, our current exhibition Area Caproni U8OPIA will be extended until 9th May.
Cassina Projects is pleased to present Area Caproni U8OPIA, an exhibition conceived by the dialogue between Louisa Clement and Georg Herold. Belonging to different generations, the German artists exhibit together and in Milano for the first time.
Developing through the two floors of the gallery, the exhibition reveals a transient world populated by humanoid figures suggesting new mechanisms to regulate life. Their recent artworks, some of which never exhibited before, engage an interactive questioning in which way encounters between humans, their bodies and life cycles are evolving.
Approaching their work with different media Louisa Clement and Georg Herold open an intensive dialogue creating tension between the dynamics of human’s life we acknowledge and their evolution we pretend to ignore.
Louisa Clement works with photography, video, sculpture and VR (virtual reality) metaphorically analysing the objectification of the human body, through new ways of representing the human figures. In her photographic work the subject is a mannequin as reflection of people's perception identity and as a symbol of the multiple personalities with which people identify themselves.
In the artist’s series Avatar, photographs of brightly hued mannequins’, taken with her iPhone camera, dehumanize the diversity of bodies while the seriality of similar poses anonymizes the human being. Seductively looking, Clement’s work hardly defines the borders between photography and painting, where the dissolution of defined structures is an essential moment of her practice.
The research of new meanings and interpretations of the human body continues in Georg Herold's work representing hyper naturally twisted anthropomorphic figures. Surrealistically oversized humanoid bodies, or portions such as legs or arms, ambiguously transmit controversial emotions of extreme pain or sublime ecstasy. Composed of canvases stretched on planks of wood, bronze, foam or bare wood, the bodies are arrested in the moment of action, as if in an ironic or sexually provocative pose. The narrative of the exhibition develops toward the deconstruction of physicality.
As in the lath-paintings made by roof battens which imagery raise memories of the 8bit graphic computer language, that transform the role of canvas by changing it into a support that outspreads from the frame into the picture, assembled with photographic colored paper, tights and other lower grade materials which he has been working since the 80’s.
The ongoing investigation of humanoid figures and the dynamics of interactions between human beings push its boundaries in the new sculptural work Mold by Louisa Clement. The bronze artwork is a mold of a sex doll belonging to a new generation of luxury sex toys, provided with an artificial intelligence, which allows the doll to learn and memorize the preferences of the users and interacts with them in order to achieve a new level of experience. This process of replacement of a living partner directly relates with the new photographs. Framed with the camera of her smartphone the artist realized that the negative volume of the sculpture becomes positive. Within the artist’s interest of the digitalized social media era, this work becomes a metaphor of Instagram profiles, which are able to fulfill people life.
The interference between physical transformation and digital reaches its highest expression in the video work Circling Head by Louisa Clement, where a video of a mannequin head rotates in loop provoking in the viewer a sense of nihilism and unstoppable disturbance.
Through new ways of representing the human figures, Area Caproni U8OPIA plays with the perception of art leaving the visitors wondering the meaning of physicality and virtual despite virtual wouldn’t exist without physical.
Louisa Clement (b. 1987 in Bonn, Germany) is a contemporary artist currently leaving in Bonn, Germany. She graduated in 2014 at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as master student of Andreas Gursky.
Working with different mediums including photography, video, sculpture and VR (virtual reality) Clemet’s work metaphorically analyzes the objectification of the human body. Through new ways of representing the human figures, the artist questions how personality and connections between people are evolving within the urbanized and highly digitalized society of our times.
In Clement’s series Avatar, Disruptions, Egliedermensch and Heads the subject of the mannequin is photographed with her iPhone’s camera as symbol of the dehumanization of bodies. Seriality and alienation of the figures anonymize the human being, subliminally suggesting the possible, yet likely way the community is evolving into. Seductively looking, Clement’s work hardly defines the boarders between photography and painting, where the dissolution of defined structures is an essential moment of her practice.
The development of Clement’s work overtime, elegantly swings between figuration and abstraction, creating a sharp interference within the connection of the conceptual nature of her work and the visual language how it is expressed. The artist not only investigates social behaviors and the development of the society though her work, she also challenges the concept of photography itself, as a physical medium to represent conceptual works. This idea embraces her series including Fracture, On one’s Way and Portrait.
The juxtaposition of physicality and its vanishment finds its highest expression when the artist contextualizes in the same exhibition her sculptural work along with video work such as Not Lost In You and Circling Head. Very recently the artist is pushing the boundaries of her work thought the investigation of VR (virtual reality) as new media, creating the strongest antithesis between physicality and virtuality, despite virtual (not existing by definition) wouldn’t exist without physical.
Among the figures who inspired Louisa Clement, the poet Heinrich von Kleist, artist Hans Bellmer and photographer Eugène Atget.
In addition to the prestigious Max Ernst Scholarship of the city of Brühl, Clement was subsequently awarded for the sponsorship Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for Fine Arts and for the scholarship of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The artist was also awarded for the Förderpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen and for the prize of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2016, she received the Artistic Residency of the 6th Marrakech Biennial and the 2019 Villa Aurora fellowship for visual art.
Louisa Clement has exhibited in various institutions and museums including Kunst Raum Riehen, Switzerland; Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Cologne, Germany; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; Museum für Photographie in Braunschwei, Germany; Kunsthalle Recklinghausen and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in Germany; Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and Rencontres Photographiques de Toulouse, France; Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her work is included in the collections of Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Atlanta Kulturstiftung, Bad Homburg, Germany; Collection of the City of Brühl, Germany; Collection Ringier, Zurich, Switzerland.
Georg Herold (b. 1947, Jena, Germany) is a recognized contemporary artist characterized for his experimental work with mixed media, installation, and sculpture. He completed his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg during the mid 1970’s. He is currently based in Cologne and has taught at the prestigious Kunstakademie Düsseldorf since 1999.
Herold was part of a wave of revolutionary young artists that emerged in Germany during the last three decades of the twentieth century. While in Hamburg, he was a student of Sigmar Polke, renowned post-war artist whose work responded to advertisement and consumer culture. During this early stage of his artistic formation, Herold also became acquainted with other leading artists of his generation, including Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Günther Förg, and Werner Büttner.
The artist experiments with everyday and ordinary materials generally used for construction, household, clothing, and edible purposes. He engages with various non-traditional mediums such as buttons, mattresses, bricks, baking powder, wood, nails, and socks. “As a matter of principle, I never use materials that speak their own language. That’s why I pick on rough, stupid materials that don’t ask questions.” His use of inexpensive and second-rate materials has led his work to be often compared with that of Arte Povera. Nevertheless, through his notorious series of caviar paintings, the artist explores a contrastingly expensive and highly valued delicacy. By applying a coat of acrylic and lacquer, however, he successfully alters its previous association with wealth and status. Herold aims to offer the viewer an artwork to be read and analyzed freely, without connotations and pretexting references.
Similar to his drawings and paintings, he also employs unconventional materials in his sculptures and installations. Amongst his most notable free-standing work, is his series of large and unnaturally contorted anthropomorphic figures. Varying in color and form, their strangely elongated extremities and dramatic poses are open to interpretation. The artist’s overall oeuvre thus questions our understanding of art and tests our natural tendency to seek meaning within it.
Georg Herold's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in various prominent institutions such as Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn Germany (2017/18), Kunst in Weidingen, Weidingen, Luxembourg (2015), Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2012), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2007), and the Stedelijk Museum voor Atuele Kunst, Gent (2007).