Into the Wild
Duration: 10 February - 08 April 2018
Artist: Gina Folly, Linda Jasmin Mayer, Alek O., Stefano Pedrini, Luca Trevisani
Curator: Christiane Rekade
The group show Into the Wild investigates the ideas and the imagination of nature we have nowadays. Following industrialization and the consequent urbanization and work rationalization processes our society has increasingly distanced itself from nature. It is thus not surprising that – starting from the XIX century – a strong interest for cultivated parks, greenhouses, and zoological gardens was born. Also the origin of the most famous botanical promenade in Meran dates back to this period: the promenade was opened in 1929, its name taken from its initiator and founder, Franz Tappeiner (1816-1902), doctor and botanist.
In the post-digital present nature is more familiar to us in screensavers than in the real environment. Nature is reborn as a place of longing. Retreating into nature becomes an alternative to our complex, technology-driven present. Alongside excerpts from Franz Tappeiner’s herbarium, which today is to be found in the Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck, the exhibition gathers four contemporary positions together that engage in different ways with the perception and conception of nature and the dichotomy of artificiality and nature today.
Gina Folly (*1983 in Zurich) addresses almost absurd relationships produced by contemporary efforts to live a life in a harmony of body, spirit and environmental awareness. Nature thus appears to us as a lifestyle-product. Artificiality and art are among the observations to be made in the age of power yoga and bioactive nutrients.
In her works Alek O. (*1981 in Buenos Aires), begins with already existing objects and materials that she transforms into artworks. For example in the location-specific installation ‘L’impero delle luci’ (2017), in which she works with collected and dried leaves.
For his ephemeral sculptures and installations Luca Trevisani (*1979 in Verona) takes forms and material from the world of plants and animals – and reflects poetically/formally on their origin and their contemporary meaning. In his film ‘Sudan’ he portrays the last remaining male white rhino that lives in a rhino sanctuary in Kenya watched over by paramilitary units, but which is too old to reproduce. White rhinos are above all hunted for their horn, which is said to be an aphrodisiac.
Stefano Pedrini’s (*1980 in Sondrio) paintings are dense accumulations of signs – graphical representations of elements symbolising nature. He for example fills the canvas almost mechanically with palms or leaves that are defined only by a few brush strokes, and thus creates a dense ornamental structure.
The Merano-based artist Linda Jasmin Mayer (*1986) vividly shows in her video installation ‘Parallel World’ how an expedition in the wilderness, in this case the Artic, also means an expedition into the self and how nature and landscape mirror one’s own mental state.
Into the Wild borrows its title from the 2007 American feature film of the same name by Sean Penn, which tells the (true) story of a student from a well-off family, who journeyed alone in the Alaskan wilderness in order to face the challenges of leading a simple life far from civilisation.
In collaboration with artVerona/ Level Zero 2017
The exhibition participation of Gina Folly is supported by Pro Helvetia.