Curated by Giulia Cacciola
Opening: Saturday 12 June, 5.30 pm
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Until Saturday 10 July
In Emiliano Bazzanella’s works we find ourselves face to face with the engulfing flow of his philosophical research, but it is as if his reasoning found a way to materialise, to take on a concrete form outside the possible chaotic flow of consciousness.
The reflection developed by Emiliano for this project touches on various areas of reasoning and finds a main reference in the technique of frying. In Frying, the artist connects at least three different aspects of society and contemporary art, which are unconsciously and conceptually linked: the aesthetic-formal aspect, gastronomy and ecology.
At the basis of Emiliano’s project one can very easily see ironic quotations, referring to many 20th century works of art, which have become the starting point and evolution of today’s aesthetic taste. Starting from these historical examples, the artist triggers a reflection on society, which is now based almost entirely on frenzied consumerism and necessarily involves aesthetic and artistic phenomena as well.
The whole exhibition revolves around the dichotomy between frying – as a representation of gastronomy – and art. It is well known that most foods, when breaded and fried, turn out to be pleasant and tasty, so much so that frying is one of the most popular culinary techniques in the world.
So, by way of parallelism, making commonly used plastic materials that are fried can mean creating works that are aesthetically and formally accessible and conceptually edible. Emiliano has therefore reasoned about what can be universally recognised as appetizing and, by distorting the meaning of the term, has created an explicitly and deliberately provocative illusion.
Like every moment of our lives, nowadays food is contaminated by notions of design, or often becomes performance, and has been transformed into a real experience.
The plate is an aesthetic composition of textures and colours, the result of an almost obsessive search for new materials and emotions never felt before. So it happens that a primary need for every living being is gradually being transformed into a work of art in its own right.
It is therefore easy for the artist to turn everything upside down and use culinary techniques to bring about a technical and visual renewal of art, making it more attractive.
The frying of the objects has led to an unprecedented materiality, it has moulded the materials by deforming them, making them sinuous, thicker, more consistent and with new colours that cannot be reproduced in any other way. The quantity of ingredients and the baking time determine the appearance of the final work, which, depending on the amount of flour or eggs, may appear more or less crunchy or more or less golden. Emiliano thus applies different techniques – like a painter searching for the right shade of colour and intensity – in which cooking is subjugated to purely aesthetic purposes.
Frying, however, represents only the golden, material and ephemeral wrapping of very specific materials that the artist chooses – not by chance – for their nature, the fulcrum of the third suggestion of the project. Frying is above all plastic frying: mobile phones, smartphones, surgical masks and water bottles, all everyday goods made from non-biodegradable materials, obtained by chemical synthesis. However, it is not a question of yet another aesthetic reuse of exhausted objects, but rather of recreating – particularly with the Rain Landscape installation – a disturbing future scenario of a planet in which ashes have replaced grass, surgical masks or mobile phones have replaced flowers and plastic bottles have replaced rain. It is at this point that the real question of non-aesthetic food arises: what will we eat in the future?
Emiliano has come up with a provocative, paradoxical but equally lapidary answer: if there is nothing else, the only alternative will be fried plastic.
In the circularity of the artist’s reasoning, there is also a final reflection, the key to understanding the entire project. The fried objects, protected by their appetizing wrapping, are nothing other than the symbols of contemporary society, as well as paradoxically symbols that guarantee us a sense of security. Michel Foucault used to say: today we live within a safety apparatus in which fear and the feeling that risk is always increasing dominate.
In this existential condition, poised between extreme aesthetic research and distancing, man continues to consume and produce in an insane vicious circle.
Emiliano Bazzanella then asks himself: you, contemporary man, who are so afraid and seek a security, which in its extreme coincides with death (who is safer than the dead man?), do you not realise that because of this nagging of yours and the excessive quantity of plastic that derives from it, you will suffocate in the world of which you were so afraid?