Yesterday i went to see Paola Pivi‘s My Religion is Kindness. Thank You See You In the Future. The exhibition is organized by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi. As far as i’m concerned, Trussardi is associated with extremely insipid ads of perfumes in women’s glossies. But the Fondazione Trussardi, now that’s another story. Two years ago, they commissioned Maurizio Cattelan’s installation of plastic kids hanged on Piazza XXIV Maggio in Milan. Back in 2003, they invited Elmgreen & Dragset in town and the artists installed a white car and its caravan at the center of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, cracking the floor and destroying its precious marbles.
Untitled and Short Cut
The Fondazione constantly searches for overlooked places in Milan that can be reshaped through contemporary art, this time they selected the Old Warehouse of the Porta Genova Station. Nothing new in taking over an old industrial place but it never fails to please the crowd (thus me.)
Arriving at the Old Warehouse
The world of Paola Pivi has often been described as topsy-turvy. It is ruled by the laws of irony and absurdity. Her Donkey has toured the art websites and her Little Orange Men make me want to jump on the bed.
The most surprising piece of her exhibition at the Old Warehouse is called Interesting and it’s simply a collection of white animals living together (apart from two little fish in their tank and an owl in a cage) as in a countryside circus. Horses, ducks, cows, dogs, chicken, parrots, doves, Japanese round-fish and a llama (everybody went mad for the llama) transform the Old Warehouse into an albino Noah’s ark. Gathering white animals in a warehouse might not seem like much but the ever-changing tableau was incredibly compelling, eerie and beautiful.
The spectacular Fiat G91 at the back of the menagerie made my day. Not because it was upside down (after all Pivi had done it several times before, with a Camion or a Helicopter) but because it was splendidly restored and because i had no idea that Fiat used to make and brand airplanes. First presented at the Venice Biennial in 1999, Untitled (airplane) announces a blissful apocalypse in which objects come to life reshaping the order of things: a menacing war aircraft is flipped on its back and, while challenging physical and engineering rules, stages a radical overturn of our daily life.
Last piece in the exhibition, Guitar Guitar is a gigantic archive of thousands and thousands of brand new objects of any dimension, from dolls to trucks, each presented as identical twins. A vision of consumerist society gone mad.
Runs until December 10th, 2006.
My images on flickr.