Curator: Maria Valeria Biondo
Gallery: des bains London
Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana
Three men stand together on a rocky seashore, one is singing, the other two clapping. They wear red t-shirts, old jeans and white trainers. In the background, what seems like half an hour away, a glimpse of the port city of Callao is littered with cranes, ship to shore cranes, mobile harbour cranes, rubber tyred gantry cranes.
Que Linda is the third instalment of La Mar Brava trilogy by the Peruvian artist Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana. It comprises a set of films shot entirely on colour super 8, taking a hybrid approach to the lives of a group of people living in Callao, Peru. Callao is an afro-centric port city which served as a trade and exchange quarter of enslaved Africans during early European occupation. La Mar Brava is the name of the beach portion of the ocean located near one of the most marginalised sectors in Callao; making the name La Mar Brava or “Rough Sea” resonate with its heavy influx of narcotics via its port, the community of consumers who live on the actual beach, and the strong, unwelcoming, and violent tides. Time seems to stretch endlessly on the languid faces of these three men ``…ya no me ames (don’t love me anymore)…”. It stops. The sunset in La Mar Brava is pink, it waits for you yet it does not want your love “…ya no me ames…”. All three films cast members of the artist’s family as protagonists who participate in developing situations stemming from real and fictional dilemmas reminiscent of what they/we find gripping in telenovelas and Hollywood fantasies. A process of becoming that implies trade and smuggling which, in becoming one piece becomes a separate whole, but retains its state of precarity. The artist invents narratives out of curious facts by mapping, finding that inventive moment from where we can start. From the words of Irit Rogoff “…even erased memories leave behind a rhythm”.["]
Misremembering episodes can go back to memory distortions, where information one learns after an event can interfere with the way they recall it. Luisa Me, a duo of Italian artists based in London, wear tinted glasses. Projecting their own desires by handing those glasses to their audience. The artists know all too well that our experiences, bias and associations shape our expectations, a!ecting the relation between memory and emotions. Their figures look solemn, marmoreal. Yet they are, actually, fragile as cookies left in the oven for too long. These personaggi (characters) often perform rituals and play games emphasising the naivety of their half-fictional worlds. Luisa Me’s practice stands at the intersection of the idealised calmness and silence of jouissance and the realisation that human modern life exists only within the constraints of desire and production.[#] Their paintings become softer throughout the years, as if faded by sunlight.
Nana Wolke Are you ok, bro?, 2021 breaks the gallery in two with its breathtaking, blood-soaked reds, its vibrant greens and blues, and a hint of yellow-orange. Its bizarre perspective alludes to something that might not quite be right, attracting us to look closer into the sandy texture of the painting. Wolke’s practice tests vantage points of recalling by restaging moments that are caught from the corner of her eye. Ultimately, one cannot be too sure of what is happening.
A comforting feeling of zoning-out coats Yulia Iosilzon’s Ochre Sand and Deep Dark Blue Waters and Almost It’s Hugging You, 2021, translating to perfection into her silky canvases. Like translucent curtains in an Italian summer house, the blocks of colour in between her sketched characters are reminiscent of negative spaces behind coral reefs, from where you can see only deep-dark-blue. On the opposite side of the room, Michael Dohr’s Palm Tree with Doughnut or Large Hadron Collider, 2021, looks like a pink icon installed within the sanctum of a temple. Drawing inspiration from the structures of the natural world as well as from the industrialised society that surrounds us, the artist contemplates on the gradual process of influencing and manipulating nature on our path towards a digital and technological society. Where Iosilzon narrates hypnotic transitions that dissolve into mellow canvases, Dohr speculates between an organic past and a technological future through heavy textures and bold symbolism.
 Rogoff I. , Becoming Research Lecture. SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL 2019 – HEREAFTER, 22 February – De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
 The Artist Contemporary Podcast – Luisa Me.
SHIVERS - Computational Arts MFA 2021
Happy to have contributed to this project for the Computational Arts Degree show at @goldsmithsuol
Shivers🐉interactive exhibition map!
The Shivers Map is an interactive tool comprising a series of artist interviews conducted by a group of Goldsmiths MFA Curating students. Designed to guide visitors both physically and virtually through the exhibition, the map comprises audio and written artist interviews, which can be accessed via the link below, or simply scan the QR codes displayed throughout the exhibition.
This project is a collaboration between Computational Arts MA/MFA Degree Show and MFA Curating
Yurika Imaseki @y_u__ri_ka , Clara Rodorigo @c.claramara , Giulia Pollicita @un.po.giu , Irene Thiella @irenethiella, Jingyi Deng @jingyideng , Mami Mizushina, Valeria Biondo @mariavaleriabiondo , and Fiona Irene Graf @frau.mucki .
SPONSORED BY DEPTFORD X9 Brookmill Rd, Saint John's, SE8 4HL, London
Curated by Maria Valeria Biondo and Clara Rodorigo.
Artists: Malcolm Bradley, Sophie Cunningham, Anne Mccloy, Georgia Noble, Sara Rainoldi, Uchercie Tang, Ahren Warner, Nana Wolke, Diana Zrnic.
In the windows of Deptford X, ACCESS presents works by nine emerging artists working across sculpture, installation, painting and photography. Bright colours and bizarre shapes suggest creative chaos reminiscent of distant circumstances.
Due to the pandemic, many exhibition spaces and local businesses have been forced to close temporarily or indefinitely over the past year. Working on ACCESS has allowed students from MFA Fine Art and Curating to develop a project together with a collaborative and proactive approach, in a dialogue with Goldsmiths’ host community and the local businesses representing the heart of Lewisham. Coinciding with the reopening of shops and businesses, we hope that this project will represent a small chance to return to inhabiting public space with a renewed awareness toward the realities that animate it.
Deptford X, London’s longest–running visual arts festival, was founded in 1998. Based in Deptford, SE, the visual arts charity is well known for its engagement both with artists and the local community within the borough of Lewisham and beyond.
Sophie Cunningham, 28-Day Sculptures, 2021
ACCESS Wednesday April 14 & Tuesday April 20
Curated by Maria Valeria Biondo.
Organised by Georgia Noble.
Access Evening Screening is a one–off event divided in two parts; from two locations between New Cross and Deptford.
Part I: Occupy 20:00—21:00
Taking place at the intersection between Pagnell Street and New Cross Road, SE14 6FD, London.
From internet–sourced montages to complex systems of ecologies and distortions of video game footage, this series of works explore intimacy, grief and anxiety within the human and non-human accelerated reality.
Online or Offline—What does it mean to “occupy” space?
Works and artists:
Eagle & Hesitant Vehicles, Nicola Arthen; I Want To Give You Devotion, Oliver Crowther; Today a Year Ago (Moments), Alles Past Lavoro; Screensaver 1, Georgia Noble; Supernova, Maddy Plimmer; working conditions, Juliette Pénélope Pépin; Outer sphere of fire, Jean-François Krebs with: Claudia Wikse Barrow, Mario Musella, Amandine George, Christopher McClain; Exercises with Fire II, Olivia du Vergier; In Her Shadow, Maddy Plimmer; Screensaver 2, Georgia Noble; worldwideweb.iNews 00A - so fash, dieinternet.org; The Power of Believing (excerpt from flow), Alles Past Lavoro.
Part II: Trespass 21:30—22:30
Deptford Station, St Paul’s House, 3 Market Yard, Deptford, SE8 4BX, London
Working across different processes and intents—from photogrammetry software to edited graphics and visuals—these works confront us with the dislocating sense of trespassing.
Often tricked by our own eyes we are penetrated and re-combined in the brain.
Works and artists:
Like a Star, Maddy Plimmer; Screensaver 3, Georgia Noble; Salt Ruptures No.3, Nikolai Azariah; Nostalgia 2.0, Gabriele Zemaityte (*as seen on Icarus_Blue on 28th of February, 3D space and navigation, Vytautas (Niedvaras); Easter Spit-Roast, Eleni Zervou; Simulation – Episode 1 (Version 3), Max Petts; Screensaver 4, Georgia Noble; A Reason to Celebrate, Maddy Plimmer; FORM FREE THINK OK, Anne McCloy; carpark connection, Molly Haviland; Becoming Moss, Sam Risley; Place for Leaving, Gabriele Zemaityte.
Quartetfor Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London.
Curated by Maria Valeria Biondo.
4 Solo Shows, 4 Weeks, 4 Artists.
With diverse practices spanning across the UK, Italy, and France these exhibition gives an insight into the unique experiences each artist had in the past year.
... Katia Kesic’s introspective work explores ideas of identity and belonging, taking inspiration from the mundane. For the artist, the ordinary is not always what it seems, and her daily appointments and the conversations she overhears have become invaluable inspirations for her work.
Kesic’s artistic practice is meditative and vulnerable. It explores the sexual politics of artistic labour and the fear that comes from being a female today. She confronts the status quo through the lenses of care.
Katia Kesic, Blue Water, 2021
The works presented, which are abundantly decorated from head to toe, are a lush, baroque-like tableau that combines still life – skeletal, taxidermied – with the dreamy, petrified gaze of the living.
In this interview, Kesic talks about the yoga mat and the positive impact it has brought to her life. This object represents a starting point from where care can develop and orient live amid disorder and uncertainty.
Inside Nana Wolke’s studio, Deptford (London)
... Tiny Threat (2021), Too Fast For Love (2021) and Showgirls (2021). The works are instantly striking due to their unique approach to figuration and their use of hunting red light.
The unusually low perspective situates the viewer at the point of view of a domestic animal. The metaphoric and popular connotations, as well as ambivalence of social constructs - domestic against wild - are called into question.
Who is really the prey here? What are we looking at? Is this a sensual promise, or a trap?
Wolke is interested in what is caught by the corner of the eye - what happens when nobody should be watching. She is currently “testing” the thin line in between plastic realities. Images that get deep-etched into our consciousness, and re-elaborated by our brains - ‘authentic pretensions’. Those generic fictions grasped from (cinematic) screens that get assimilated, shared, and fed to us as memories.
Matete Martini, La Società degli Adulti, 2021
Matete Martini’s work is an ongoing exploration of queer, human and non-human relationships, increasingly influenced by photographic processes and an obsession for art occupation.
Drawing from the epic poem VII Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where Medea, daughter of divine descent, arrives in Corinth and immediately we are made aware that the people of the city have transformed from mushrooms into humans; this series of paintings and textile works take natural elements as a starting point to traverse intersectionality.
In Pubertà (Puberty), human bodies spring from fungi (Metamorphoses, 7.391) and impersonate rituals of initiation into adulthood. Curiosity, sexual tension, consummation, attention seeking and insecurity, leak into every work to the point of sensual pleasure.
Sasha Ferré, Biofilm (pink), 2020.
“all that is not information, not redundancy, not form and not restraints - is noise, the only possible source of new patterns” (Negarestani, 2008).
Ferré’s work appears as a constant infiltration of absolute exteriority into the inside. Whereby the process or system opens itself up to the outside and that which is not instantly graspable. When the outcome seems to be focused on abstraction, it is just permeated by noise. The process is one of a complex cyclical nature;
Barbara Alegre, Adam, 2019
Sotto Sale Projects peresents a series of works on paper by Barbara Alegre.
Throughout the pandemic, Barbara’s experience has sadly been defined by the mourning that comes from the loss of loved ones.
These selections of gouache, watercolour and oil paintings stand for signification and oscillate between image, subject and object. Her interest in Romanticism and contemporary everyday life, embodies a stereotyped sense of love, faith and death, that reinforces a certain absurdity and comedy inside a reflective and quiet thinking.
Barbara’s ambivalent body of work is full of intimacy, beauty, and more than a pinch of pain. The use of text is subtle, embossed and almost phantasmagorical, but pleasantly experienced through visual touch. Like an inner bubble of speech or a thought. Like a song stuck to the head that becomes a pop lyric added to an image. A poetic resolution of nostalgia and mainstream culture.
About the artist: Barbara Alegre
Barbara Alegre is a Spanish visual artist currently working and living in Barcelona.She studied a Bachelor of Arts at Chelsea College of Art & Design, UCL, in 2004 and recently a Masters Degree in Painting at Royal College of Art.
Barbara’s work is attentive to ‘life forming questions’ which are probably accompanied with loneliness. Questions on time, memory and expiration, on the search of the origin, ontology, genealogy and identity, or on parenthood and the transmission of values.
Her practice contemplates different materials and approaches depending on the subject matter and the project. Therefore, figuration, conceptualisation, abstraction, text, painting, sculpture, photography are all - possible -resulting outputs.
The work supports the idea of art being a shelter or safe place. Somewhere to return and reflect. Where quietness, intimacy, contemplation and delicacy aim to bring protection and freedom. A motherly act of care and embrace.
Matete Martini, Roses, 2020
Matete, urged on by the wish of re-analysing her relationship with the photographic medium, shares with us a tale made of cavities, explosions, solitude, love scenes and sexual encounters. The subjects of her compositions, herbs and fungi, become the medium of these experiments.
Merging autobiographical and fictive elements, the results are self-reflective compositions. Yet the use of image manipulation, essential in her artistic process, as well as the choice of keeping the human body present, expose her predilection for third party perspective.
As seen in -Margarita, 2020- the process of layering becomes more and more complex. One level of layering being the photographic and graphic manipulation process and the otherbeing the human figure - drawn directly on the canvas. This process exposes different dimensions: the digital, the analog and the recorded.
Matete’s visceral fascination with natural elements originates from the still life and everyday life situations. It is, in fact, within a context of an intimate dinner that some of these works were conceived.
“After a dinner with Margarita”...“I had to photograph them (the natural elements)”, “I had to find a way to incorporate them into my practice”.
This comes as no surprise when considering her previous work. For example, in -Cassandra, 2020- the movement in the canvas is almost chirurgic, the process of repetition and the analysis of the frames comes back to represent motion.
Folding the Visible
Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London
Jemma Appleby’s works focus on the dialogue between architecture and landscape, coming back to the question of time. By reflecting on concepts such as repetition and solitude, she finds abstraction within figuration.
By grinding charcoal and applying it on paper with bare hands, the artist reveals technically astonishing, relatable memories on paper. This selection of drawings focuses on the artist’s relationship with the reflection, both as reflecting surface and method of innovation. Starting from Environment #8, Appleby stands in front of a mirror, and reflects personal environments on it.
Inspired by Hutong Bubble 218 by MAD Architects, a network of metallic bubbles to be cultivated in Beijing’s historic neighbourhoods, the artist screens in a natural landscape into one of these bubbles. Everything appears distorted, yet extremely static.A feeling of calmness is resumed in Appleby’s work by the repetition of the same architectural forms. The knowledge and experience within this repetition makes it possible to make an act of abstraction by taking the objects into a pitch black environment. Here, only reflections of lost landscapes remain visible. And now, the only way to remember is by reflecting on the outside. Time makes the slightest change result in phenomenological moments which twist the already sublime environment into moments of questioning. The joy of having to think results in innovation and freedom.
From the pure reflection within the organic architecture of the Hutong Bubble, we are taken to the swirling movement of the Holon Series and the upward projection of the Jubilee Series.These two different dynamic movements enable multiple readings of reality and human perception within the same context. They are given an introspective feeling by focusing between the natural world and its reflection on architectural facades. Distortion unmasks fictions.
LACUNA - SOTTO SALE PROJECTS
London, 8-11 November 2019
Curated by Maria Valeria Biondo.
Interiors by Riccardo Rizzetto.
Sotto Sale Projects presents LACUNA, -“I wouldn’t see anything at all, but then I’d see it in joyful fragments”-. A group exhibition featuring the work of Yulia Iosilzon, Matete Martini, Barbara Alegre. Trascending the traditional understanding of fiction, three artists explore the fragility of individualism thinking of new possibilities where “We can do lots of things”.
Diverse mediums (sculpture, painting, sound and video) are squeezed together to reflect upon pro-consumerist social behaviours and art occupation as personal fulfilment.
Matete Martini’s paintings, saturated with associations to Italian futurism and pittura metafisica carry criticism towards toxic masculinity.
Meaning is subverted in Iosilzon’s work through persistent duality between text and subtext, clarity and opaqueness. Often painted directly on silk or thin cotton or linen, the artist’s approach is thoughtfully communicated through materials that point to weightlessness and delicacy. Yet these surfaces, which suggest the “looming, conscious fragility” of narrative thread, reconfigure themselves as a ploy to create distance, with the artist likening her choice of medium to a “mosquito net”, at once offering transparency and impenetrability.
Alegre’s works raise questions of memory, parenthood, genealogy, identity, origin, presence-absence, human concerns, universal and standardised social decisions. Humans have always been interested in measuring time in order to understand fate and exert some control over it- yet they are always concerned with wasting this time by occupaying it.
Barbara Alegre, Now Scream 9, 2019
Yulia Iosilzon x Sotto Sale Market
Sotto Sale Market’s first story in the form of design objects and homewear. The aim of Sotto Sale Market is to give visibility and financial support to art practices of unrepresented emerging artists. Through the sale of smaller works, mementos, relics, drawings, rare fashion pieces and other curiosities, we want to replicate a moment in joyful moments of human experience.
These limited edition throws are the product of time and isolation. The desire of keeping that beautiful memory close to one’s heart.
During the past year, Yulia has travelled with her mind into her favourite place. Forte dei Marmi, in Italy, represents a lot for her; JOY, family, escape and a second home. The impossibility of leaving London and the desire to transfer these memories into an art-object gave birth to this project.
Made from an ethically-sourced blend of premium cashmere and wool manufactured in a small warehouse in Italy, the throws depict two of the artist’s favourite paintings from her own archive.
10% of the proceeds go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, an animal charity established in 1860.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is one of the few animal rescued centres that run a non-selective intake policy, meaning that they accept any breed of animal, at any age, including dogs or cats with serious medical problems.