I HAVE AN ADDICTION
Curated by Valentina Gervasoni, Stefano Raimondi, Mauro Zanchi
BACO – BASE ARTE CONTEMPORANEA
Via Arena 9, Domus Magna, Città Alta, Bergamo
24 September 2015 – 25 October 2015
BACO – Base Arte Contemporanea is pleased to present I HAVE AN ADDICTION, a site-specific project by the English artist May Hands (Brighton, 1990), which on 24 September will inaugurate the exhibition season in Bergamo at Via Arena, 9. I Have an Addiction was inspired by Hands’s residency in the city and three months of travel between London, Naples and Rome – and their respective city markets – in search of ideas and everyday but also unusual materials she needs to create her works: nylon ribbons, mesh, fabric, fruit and vegetable labels, packing paper and shopping bags. Snatched from their original contexts, these elements are interwoven to narrate an age of consumption and, at the same time, a personal emotional experience, intimate stories that sketch out the geographical maps of people, encounters, habits, consumption and life – more so than art. They are textual objects that crystallize time and keep both past and present experiences intact. In this sense, the objects become pieces of one’s life to preserve and recount.
The exhibition, promoted by MIA – Congregazione della Misericordia Maggiore, is being staged with the contribution of the Municipality of Bergamo and the official support of the Fondazione Credito Bergamasco, and in collaboration with GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and The Blank Contemporary Art.
During Hands’s summer residency in Bergamo there were discussions about which behaviours each person ended up developing as a form of addiction: in other words, the actions transformed from common, simple habits into excessive and pathological research, to the point that one loses any chance of controlling that habit.
Consequently, I Have an Addiction refers to the artist’s uncontrollable instinct to seek, take and reuse marginal urban objects in her artistic practice, such as plastic caps, labels from water bottles, wires, leaves, stones, bags, scraps of fabric and many other materials: a broad array of leftovers, castoffs, the superfluous. They are elements that ordinary vision is no longer able to grasp or cannot value; they go unobserved as avoidable things that have now been accepted and incorporated into the urban context. Choosing which objects to take and which to leave, and how to organize them implies the ability to categorize and memorize, as well as attention to detail, and Hands’s way of looking at things is particularly and unconsciously astute: even when she is out for a walk, Hands might pause to pick up some trifling thing that, restored by art, acquires unexplored power. Every object potentially represents a special occasion, an opportunity: the relationship with objects is almost magical. These are not objets trouvés nor ready-mades, but what we can define as “objects that discover”, objects that trigger an emotional process and a structure of relationships with other objects that, as a whole in their arrangement, form and colour, define the work.
Using this process, during her Bergamo residency the artist created a series of unprecedented works that inevitably interact with the city, the exhibition venue and the concept of painting. Following the solo exhibition by Erik Saglia, A.E. Abstract Existence, the exhibition is the second in a trilogy reflecting on how the concept of painting has been expanded, taken out of its frame, and extended to a more interior and multidisciplinary interpretation.
The exhibition is possible thanks also to the collaboration of Galleria T293 in Rome, which alongside the Bergamo show will host May Hands’s solo exhibition, Freschissimi, from 18 September to 20 October 2015.
Opening: 24 September 2015, h. 7.00 pm
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. / 3 – 6 p.m.