26 March – 3 May, 2014
Peep-Hole presents the first solo show in an Italian institution by the artist Uri Aran.
Uri Aran makes detailed works in which the various components – sculptures, films, music or graphics – create apparently chaotic visual landscapes, which instead reveal the artist’s interest regarding the organizational structures that are intrinsic to any form of representation, social construct or ethical code. Aran develops research around language, seen as verbal or written articulation, as a graphic or formal element, with a particular focus on the relationship between signifier and signified. Made with gathered objects and images found or generated by computer, drawings, photographs, videos and organic materials, his installations are conceived as open “learning systems” in which viewers follow their own path of (perceptive) reading and (interpretative) meaning.
Aran’s works are open storyboards that engage the viewer on a psychological-emotional plane, permitting each observer to create their own narrative rhythm, at times suggested by the musical component. Good examples, in this sense, are the installations with tables, complex devices that reveal a layered relationship between reality and artifice, existential data and citation.
For Peep-Hole, Uri Aran has created Puddles, a site-specific project that calls for direct interaction with visitors through the expedient of play.
The central feature of the project is a monumental sarcophagus like large scale sculpture, Untitled (2014), that references a genre of board games of ancient origin, of which variations exist all over the world.
The structure of Aran’s plateau crosses the entire gallery lengthwise, from the first to the last room, gluing the three spaces of Peep-Hole together and creating a “barricade” that organizes routs of viewing and interaction with the architecture.
The topographical scan of the cavities, imprinted on the surface by a variety of fruit and vegetables whose texture can be at times recognized, creates a landscape internal to the work and in turn the gallery’s landscape generates the social dimension.
In this sculpture/game the formal elements of player-like objects are presented as a starting point for optional organizations, compositions or play. Starting with choice-making that relies on primary organizational tendencies by size, color or shape one can proceed into a more advanced projections of meaning or identifications onto game pieces/objects.
The idea of potential and the magic of discovery runs through the exhibition, paced by the architecture of the large site-specific sculpture, but also by drawings and other sculptural elements in which the pure artistic form coexists with recognizable allusions to a possible narrative, usefulness or again discovery.
Rhythm, a key feature of the practice of Uri Aran, articulates the individual works amidst their insertion in three rooms in which the same video repeats, Untitled (2006). The video, in which the artist is seen hugging and caressing a dog while he cries, suggests the difficulty of verbally and visually translating emotions, if not within established schemes of communication. The projection of emotions onto animals, for example, is beyond language, and illustrates the territory in which stereotypes and generalizations can be made – underlining a blurred field that lies between truths and truism.
The exhibition moves toward the projection of MUD (Multicolored Blue), 2010. The familiar and at the same time disorienting nature of this work is a perfect summary of the mood that permeates the entire exhibition. The mechanism of this video is similar to that of the previous one: it produces an affect, an emotionally charged situation and then analyzes the way it functions. Aran’s video exemplifies the distance between the simplified definitions and representations of moods and the abstract ways in which they are illustrated. The overlay of canned laughter typical of the language of sit-coms and the apparition of two narratively decontextualized “out of place” characters links back to the disorientation produced by uncustomary juxtapositions of objects and the subsequent slippage of meaning that recurs. Aran’s work aims to make the viewer aware of the difficulty of communication inherent to any language – be it verbal or visual – and of the conventions that form the underpinnings of behaviors, determined by the social structure in which they are inserted.
Uri Aran (Jerusalem, 1977) lives and works in New York. He studied at Cooper Union in New York, Bezalel Academy in Israel and Columbia University. His work was recently shown at the 55th Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace, and is now included in the Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum, New York. He had solo shows last year at Kunsthalle Zürich and the South London Gallery.
Peep-Hole @ Fonderia Battaglia
via Stilicone 10 – 20154 Milan
Wednesday – Saturday 2.30 – 7.00 pm or by appointment
Press info Stefania Scarpini email@example.com
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Photo Andrea Rossetti 2014