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Irene Fenara. Distant eyes

Opening: 21.02.2019, 19:00
Duration: 22.02 - 24.02
Curator: Christiane Rekade

In collaboration with ArtVerona / Level0 and UNA Galleria.


KUNST MERAN MERANO ARTE will be closed from 14 January to 15 March for the renovation of the alarm and video surveillance system.

During this period, while the museum will be “unattended” and not open to the public, it will nevertheless for a few days be possible to access its spaces and go looking, among the empty rooms, for the projects by Irene Fenara (born 1990, lives in Bologna).

In her research, this young artist proposes a reflection on the status of the image in instruments – in this case video surveillance systems – that are unusual in art.

In several of her-works she takes images from the continuous flow of footage from these devices, which would otherwise automatically delete them every 24 hours, introducing them into the CCTV networks via the internet. Apart from these appropriations—a sort of “theft” that actually saves some of these images from their planned oblivion – Farade also introduces certain disturbing elements into the stream, creating a further form of short circuit in an impersonal, mechanical system: she intervenes on the viewpoint, for example, diverting the camera’s gaze upwards for a brief moment or two, thus distracting it from the object it is supposed to be monitoring; or she uses her physical presence to break into this image production system, extrapolating a series of self-portraits by looking directly at the lens.

Fenara thus makes gestures of defiance and resistance, not just by subverting an automated mechanism that would not seem to allow for any form of intentionality, but also by initiating a reflection on the dynamics of power and subordination, as well as on the relationships triggered between the observer and the observed.

The crisis affecting the usual models of vision is also a feature of this exhibition project at KUNST MERAN MERANO ARTE: visitors can access the museum and explore the rooms while work is ongoing, temporary, atypical – during the very renovation of the video surveillance system that forms an integral part of the security system of our artistic heritage, but further relates to the increasingly widespread tools used for monitoring our surroundings – and go looking for this work.

Irene Fenara was selected by artistic director Christiane Rekade as part of the Level0 project promoted by ArtVerona - where the artist was represented by UNA Galleria - a format that involves 14 directors of the main galleries and museums of contemporary art who have been asked to choose and add to their programme one of the artists present at the fair.

Irene Fenara, Self Portrait from Surveillance Camera, 2018, digital print on Hahnemühle paper, 58x80cm cm, courtesy the artist and UNA
Irene Fenara, MEGAGALATTICO, 2017, video installazione, dimensioni ambiente, installation view Family Matters Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio Bologna
Irene Fenara, 21st Century Bird Watching, 2017, digital video, 7'00'', courtesy the artist and UNA
Irene Fenara, Struggle for Life, 2016, digital video, 19’52’’, courtesy the artist and UNA