Last year, at the occasion of a retrospective of his worked titled Heavyweight Champion, Martin Kersels declared: “I think about my size a lot, moving through the world being tall and overweight. I sometimes feel like I’m out of sync with the culture. I use that feeling in my work, but I don’t want it to be finger-pointing — like everyone’s so mean to me or, you know, fat people have feelings too.”
Kersels took his plumpness for an absurd and dramatic ride to the gallery Guido Costa Projects in Turin. He squeezed himself into the pants of acrobatic, charismatic, muscle-tastic and 60-something Iggy Pop and re-invented his life as a teenage fans-magnet who trashes the stage and duets with the greatest rockers. The result is both endearing and even more rock ‘n’ roll than Iggy himself.
It’s Sunday, lazy day, so you won’t mind if i simply copy and paste the press blurb, will you? This alluring Fat Iggy wriggles lithely in the blazing furnace of stardom, revealing ingredients and cooking times and reconciling us with the algid beauty of these timeless and faultless human beings. At the centre of the exhibition is the diamond, whose purity and preciousness is born of simple commonplace elements, made unique by both the passage of time and their long journey down into the bowels of the Earth. Symbolically, this creative process is antipodal to the destiny of so many stars, whose decline is a reverse life of that of the diamond: they are transformed from almost superhuman into ordinary beings, from Gods into people.
In Fat Iggy, the imposing (larger than life from any angle) Martin Kersels grinds the myths and stereotypes of stardom into a fine powder.
I can’t think of a more appropriate gallery than Guido Costa Projects to show Fat Iggy, First because they probably have the most refreshing programme of exhibitions in town but also because it looks like everything but your typical white wall gallery. The space is located at the back of a courtyard, paint of a colour impossible to describe is peeling from the walls, it’s never warm in there, nor is it ever brightly lit. I always miss the performances because they would never invite me to the openings (but have i ever asked to be?)… how could i say that? Guido Costa Projects is my type of gallery and each time they open a new exhibition i don’t ask questions, i just go.
Images from the show.
Fat Iggy is on view at at Guido Costa Projects until July 15, 2009.