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latifa echakhch

underneath

Kaufmann Repetto Milan

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[ Comunicato Stampa ]
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kaufmann repetto is pleased to announce Underneath, Latifa Echakhch’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery.

Echakhch’s latest series of circular canvases sees the artist working with fre- sco, a medium that she has been utilizing over the past year. Echakhch persi- stently subverts the emblematic associations of objects and cultural mementos; here the circle may be revisited in varied conceptual capacities, be it an art historical reference to tondo painting or a broad symbol of perfection.

The sky also reappears as a thematic throughout Echakhch’s practice and is approached each time with diverse outcomes. In her work realized for the Duchamp Prize at the Centre Pompidou in 2014, Echakhch installed a series of sculptural, suspended clouds mimicking the makeshift, one-sided nature of a stage set, simultaneously commenting upon the idealistic and falsified nature of the clouds’ promise. In her more recent monumental installation produced for The Power Plant in Toronto in 2016, Echakhch presented a crumbling fresco of a picturesque sky bringing viewers attention to the dramatic beauty that becomes of destruction.

In her new series of works, Echakhch references trompe l’oeil ceiling murals of skies that became popular in the late 15th century with the work of artists like Andrea Mantegna and Melozzo da Forlì. These illusionistic ceiling paintings, generally in fresco, employed a perspective specifically known as “di sotto in sù” (meaning “from below, upward” in Italian). In Underneath, the sky is also distorted as if experienced through a peephole, its infinite terrain is forced to the edges of the canvas by an imaginary centrifugal force. The fresco is disfigured, partially scratched off in almost barbed-wire-like gestures, unveiling the copper and the chisel-marked canvas underneath its surface. Underneath leaves viewers with the uncanny sensation that something powerful outside of our knowledge and control has just happened. This tension is exacerbated by Echakhch’s intentional attempt to mimic the effects and degradation of time.

Echakhch utilizes absence as a constructive element within her work, conceiving of lack as a place of creation. As is often depicted in her practice, a destructive performative act reveals its own productive and liberating potential. The collapse of the sky and the subsequent disorientation coalesce to beg a conscious rereading of reality, one far from stereotype and selective history.

 

Latifa Echakhch (b. 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco) lives in Martigny, Switzerland. Solo exhibitions have been held at venues including La Manoir de la Ville de Martigny, France (2017); The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2016); Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria (2015); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); MAC, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (2013); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2012); Kunsthaus, Zurich (2012); MACBA, Barcelo- na (2010); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009); amd Tate Modern, London (2008). Her work has been part of numerous group exhibitions at the 15th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2017); Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt/Main (2017); Villa Medici, Rome (2017);Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2016); Museo Riso, Palermo (2015); Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2014); Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (2013); MoMA PS1, New York (2013); Kunsthalle Basel (2010), Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow (2010); Jerusalem Foundation (2008); and National Gallery of Art, Tirana (2005). She has participated in the Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); the 10th Biennale de Lyon (2009) and the Manifesta 7 in Bolzano, Italy (2008). She won the 2015 Zurich Art Prize and the 2013 Marcel Duchamp Prize.

 

 

kaufmann repetto è lieta di annunciare Underneath, la quarta mostra personale di Latifa Echakhch in galleria.

La nuova serie di tele circolari vede l’artista confrontarsi con l’affresco, medium che ha utilizzato in varie occasioni nel corso dell’ultimo anno. Nel suo lavoro Echakhch riflette costantemente sulle associazioni tra oggetti e memorie culturali, rompendone il legame; qui la forma circolare delle tele si presta a numerose interpretazioni, dal rimando storico-artistico al tondo, al cerchio inteso come simbolo di perfezione.

Il cielo, tematica ricorrente nel lavoro di Echakhch, è anch’esso approcciato ogni volta con esiti differenti. Nell’installazione realizzata nel 2014 per il Premio Duchamp al Centre Pompidou, l’artista ha sospeso nello spazio una serie di nuvole simili a quinte, imitando la natura estemporanea e unilaterale di un set teatrale e, allo stesso tempo, commentando sul fallimento della loro stessa natura idealistica. Nella più recente istallazione al Power Plant di Toronto nel 2016, Echakhch ha realizzato un affresco monumentale in cui il cielo, frantumato, invita lo spettatore a cogliere la struggente bellezza che può nascere a seguito di un evento distruttivo.

Nella sua ultima serie di lavori, Echakhch evoca i soffitti dipinti con trompe l’oeil resi popolari nel 1400 da Andrea Mantegna e Melozzo da Forlì. Questi dipinti illusionistici, generalmente realizzati ad affresco, impiegano una prospettiva nota come “di sotto in sù”. In Underneath il cielo appare distorto come attraverso una lente fish-eye, respinto verso i margini della tela per effetto di una forza centrifuga immaginaria . L’affresco è sfigurato, parzialmente grattato via da un gesto violento, scoprendo la tela sottostante segnata dai colpi dello scalpello. Lo spettatore è lasciato così con la scomoda sensazione che qualcosa di incomprensibile e al di là del proprio controllo sia appena accaduto. Questa tensione è esacerbata dal tentativo di Latifa Echakhch di imitare e accelerare la degradazione causata dal tempo.

Nel suo lavoro Echakhch utilizza l’assenza come elemento costruttivo, concependo il vuoto come spazio di creazione. Come spesso accade nelle opere dell’artista, un gesto performativo e quasi deturpatore nasconde in sé un potenziale positivo e liberatorio. La caduta del cielo come orizzonte collettivo e lo spaesamento che questo comporta sono, infatti, una condizione necessaria per una rilettura consapevole della realtà, lontana dagli stereotipi e dai falsi storici.

 

Latifa Echakhch (b. 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco) lives in Martigny, Switzerland. Solo exhibitions have been held at venues including La Manoir de la Ville de Martigny, France (2017); The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada (2016); Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria (2015); Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); MAC, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (2013); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Portikus, Frankfurt am Main (2012); Kunsthaus, Zurich (2012); MACBA, Barcelo- na (2010); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009); amd Tate Modern, London (2008). Her work has been part of numerous group exhibitions at the 15th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (2017); Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt/Main (2017); Villa Medici, Rome (2017);Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2016); Museo Riso, Palermo (2015); Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2014); Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (2013); MoMA PS1, New York (2013); Kunsthalle Basel (2010), Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow (2010); Jerusalem Foundation (2008); and National Gallery of Art, Tirana (2005). She has participated in the Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); the 10th Biennale de Lyon (2009) and the Manifesta 7 in Bolzano, Italy (2008). She won the 2015 Zurich Art Prize and the 2013 Marcel Duchamp Prize.