25 Jun - 25 Jul 2009
curated by Teresa Macrì
Francesco Arena, Jeremy Deller, Gabriele De Santis, Gülsün Karamustafa, Mike Kelley, Garrett Phelan, Alejandro Vidal, Akram Zaatari and The Joy Division
Above all an empathic flux, emotional community covers both a mental and physical sphere of shared impulses, obsessions, desires, anguish. It is a place of intensity, a symbolic chart; it is an overshadowing presence, a global agora, a diagonal feedback, ideology, hedonism, it is territorial, dematerialised, utopian, fetishist, political, enigmatic, ludic, situational, rule-breaking, conventional. Emotional community progresses along a binary logic that is both forward thinking and slovenly. It can both deconstruct global stereotypes and slip into consumer trends. It works its way into the skin and cells of its subjects, advancing like magma. It lies dormant, like a rhizome.
Jeremy Deller's The Battle of Orgreave underscores the notion of situational identity, by which society and individuals constitute and construct multiple social identities depending on their historical, social or relational context. Deller has chosen to explore the English working class as a community that is standing up for its rights.
From situational identity to politics, Francesco Arena has taken a series of objects picked up here and there - a chair, a cupboard, a broom, a pair of trousers, a door - and cut them at precisely 92 centimetres from ground level in what could be termed a kind of decapitation at the same height of the railing over which the anarchist Pinelli fell to his death on December 15th 1969.
In his work Alejandro Vidal explores the relation between security measures and the culture of fear.The video Tactical Disorder documents a student demonstration as the screen is gradually clouded over by tear gas.
Gabriele De Santis delves into Italy's rave culture, shifting from north to south, from one abandoned space to the next, revealing the mysterious, rule-breaking and contradictory aspects of this community that dissolve into a common aesthetic quest made up of signals, norms, precepts, rules that must be obeyed and singular behavioural codes.
Time as it Was,/ Time in color by Gülsün Karamustafa sheds light on the changes taking place in contemporary Turkey. From a series of magnificent photographs published on a leading Turkish daily in the 1970s the artist reflects on how colour has entered the everyday lives of Turks through television and the media.
Fifteen years ago, when Mike Kelley bought the house he currently lives in from a South American family, he discovered old photographs they had taken as they went about their daily business. Light (Time) Space Modulator is on display at Emotional Community in its third edition, as a juxtaposition of past and present as well as the union of two cultures.
The family community theme underscores also the work of filmmaker Akram Zaatari. In Video in 5 movements we see photographer Hashem el Madani in Egypt and the Lebanon whilst on holiday with family and friends in the 1960s and 1970s.
At what point will common sense prevail, by Garrett Phelan, investigates a subjective and personal assimilation of information together with the ways in which society creates its values and notions of common sense. In his multi-faceted approach to this complex subject matter, Phelan dwells on a variety of disciplines including psychology, politics, ethics and philosophy.
Possibly the most representative of the contemporary concept of collectivism, however, are the widespread and diverse forms of "imagined communities", based on the construction of a cultural and/or political reality that is frequently utopian. These ideological, cognitive, territorial or diasporic communities tend to upset the global political and financial equilibrium through total awareness of the self and unconventional thought. As a symbol of this ultra-generational, collectivisation process, the show is opened by the music of Joy Division.
The exhibition will coincide with the launching of THINK, a new independent zine by Teresa Macrì with the pilot issue devoted to the concept of community.