[artinfo] Mr. Pippin at Galleria Arte e Ricambi

Art-Agenda art-agenda at mailer.e-flux.com
Thu Apr 27 03:39:52 CEST 2006


Curated by Alessandra Pace

Presentation of “Omega=1”: one evening only on 
Thursday 27 April, at 5 pm, Sala Morone, in the 
Renaissance convent of San Bernardino, Stradone 
Provolo 28, downtown Verona.

Opening: Cosmological Convolutions, Thursday 27 April at 7 pm.
The exhibition runs until 30 June 2006, at 
Galleria Arte e Ricambi, Via A.Cesari 10, Verona.

Many of us will recall the compositions of office 
appliances that virtually copulate with each 
other, or the sculptures made of metal mechanisms 
inspired by planetary convolutions, and the 
photographs, often obtained by transforming 
objects like toilets and washing machines and 
even spaces such as rooms and corridors into a 
camera obscura. Steven Pippin, British artist who 
participated in Aperto (Venice Biennale, 1993), 
in Campo (curated by Francesco Bonami at the GAM, 
Turin, 1996), and who was candidate for the 
Turner Prize in 1999, now presents his first 
one-person exhibition in Italy entitled 
“Cosmological Convolutions”. For the occasion a 
preview of “Omega=1”, a new machine capable of 
balancing a pencil on its point, will be 
displayed for one afternoon only, on the day of 
the opening, in the Renaissance setting of the 
San Bernardino convent.

Some claim that the real works of art of our time 
are represented by jets, speed trains, Ferraris, 
mobile phones and some industrial plants. Never 
have machines been as beautiful as today, so much 
so that they compete with art. Undoubtedly, the 
last two centuries have witnessed an increased 
importance of technique, and if we think that for 
over a million years, i.e. two hundred times the 
history of civilization, man used simple stone 
tools, then we realize to what extent the 
industrial revolution has had no precedents. 
Steven Pippin seems aware of this. Engineer by 
background, not only is he fascinated by the 
cognitive process of cause and effect, but he 
also is susceptible to a purely aesthetic 
attraction for machines, against which he 
measures himself.

However, his machines are mostly paradoxes or 
aberrations in which elements taken from dominant 
technocratic culture are used in free 
compositions and pushed to absurdity. Some of 
them click like a clockwork but absolve abstruse 
functions. Others, like “Omega=1”, are built with 
the purpose of preventing things from happening. 
In this case, that a pencil erect on its point 
and placed on a surface will not tilt over under 
the force of gravity. With a reaction speed of 20 
milliseconds, the mechanism keeps correcting the 
position of the pencil as it is about to loose 
balance. The result is a piece of Zen engineering 
that hypnotises like a mantra. In another work, 
two open photocopying machines, the exposure 
glass adhering on top of one another, photocopy 
each other and by so doing deliver grey sheets of 
paper that testify both to the impure act and to 
the excess of information, which at times locks 
into the self-reference of a close circuit. With 
this work the artist (whos e signature is Mr. 
Pippin, Optical Disillusions) sheds an irreverent 
aura on the pristine and serious image of the 
office space. A deadpan humour borne out of 
dialectic between extremes is the thread between 
Mr. Pippin’s works.

Steven Pippin (GB - 1960). One-person exhibitions 
(selection): Venice Biennale (1993) in the 
“Aperto” section MOMA, New York and Portikus, 
Frankfurt (1993); “Campo 6”, GAM, Turin (1996); 
MOMA, San Francisco (1998); P.S.1, New York and 
ICA, Philadelfia (1999). Group exhibitions abroad 
include: Musèe d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 
(1995 and 1996), Guggenheim, New York (1999), 
MOMA, New York (2000), Centre George Pompidou, 
Paris (2000 and 2001), Tate Gallery, London 
(2002), touring exhibition organized by the 
Hayward Gallery London (2006). In 1997 he has 
obtained a DAAD residency in Berlin and in 1999 
he was a candidate for the Turner Prize. Works in 
public collections (selection): Tate Gallery 
London; MOMA, New York; Guggenheim Museum, NY; SF 
MoMA San Francisco; Walker Art Centre, 
Minneapolis; FNAC Paris.

Galleria Arte e Ricambi

Via A. Cesari, 10 - 37131
Verona, Italy
Telephone +39 045 529035
Tel-Fax +39 045 840

http://www.artericambi.org> http://www.artericambi.org
artericambi at yahoo.it

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