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Survey comprising works by Lara Favaretto from the past 15 years on view at Sharjah Art Foundation
Lara Favaretto, Platone (Platoon), 2005, ongoing – Installation view at Bait Al Serkal, Sharjah. Courtesy the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Compressed air tanks, pressure regulators, electrical boxes, party whistles, plastic tubing. Dimensions variable.

SHARJAH, UAE.- Sharjah Art Foundation presents Lara Favaretto: Just Knocked Out, a survey comprising works by the artist from the past 15 years along with a new site-specific installation. The exhibition also features the first presentation of the extensive archive of images that the artist has collected as source material and inspiration. Organised by MoMA PS1 Curator Peter Eleey, and co-organised by MoMA PS1 and Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition is on view at Bait Al Serkal, Arts Area, from December 15, 2012–February 6, 2013. It was previously on view at MoMA PS1 in New York from May 3–September 10, 2012, where the artist created a site-specific installation that extended through all the galleries.

For the Sharjah exhibition, Favaretto presents a new site-specific work titled ICHI (2012), comprising 118 iron scaffolding pipes from Sharjah, one of which is completely encased in red wool thread; the work was created with a Syrian weaver in Sharjah. The new work evokes many of the aspects of the building in which it is displayed, such as the buildingʼs construction and institutional structure. This exhibition also includes an additional work titled Black 6C that was not included in New York, which consists of a found painting wrapped in black wool.

The playful, celebratory visual language of Favarettoʼs art can be misleading. Despite her workʼs evident humour, a tragic undercurrent runs throughout the artistʼs practice. Numerous pieces are subjected to forces of decay, consumption, and obsolescence, and gradually decompose or exhaust themselves. Though Favaretto represents the eventuality of loss, she also resists it, reusing discarded construction materials, recuperating old paintings and lost luggage, and recycling elements from previous installations as new works.

In both her installations and individual works, Favaretto repeatedly reminds us of the choices we make, and of those that are made for us. Balanced between aspiration and failure, she enacts a conflicted kind of freedom, an illusion of autonomy and control where finally neither may exist. Much of Favarettoʼs work alludes to the casualties of modern life, often referring to the body and the natural environment through mechanical and industrial forms that change and degrade. A platoon of compressed air tanks randomly empties itself, blowing silent party favours in a weak salute; fans constantly recompose a landscape of confetti. These animist machines celebrate their absurdity, taking on lives of their own.

Lara Favaretto was included in the 9th Sharjah Biennial in 2009, where she showed a large-scale site specific installation entitled Simple Couples (2009) and Solo Se Sei Il Mago (Only if you are a Magician) (2006).

Italian artist Lara Favaretto (b. 1973, Treviso, Italy) provokes and engages her audiences with work that is both playful and celebratory while paradoxically evoking the inevitability of failure and decay.

She is a graduate of Kingston University, London, UK (1997) and Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy (1999). As part of an advanced course in Visual Art at the latter, she spent 1998 as Hamilton Fulton Visiting Professor at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, Italy. In 2008 she was artist-in-residence at the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, Boston, USA, the Hayward Gallery, London, UK, and the Proa Foundation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has received numerous awards including the Querini Stampalia Prize for Young Italian Artists (2001), a scholarship for Studio Program, MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2002 – 2003) and a scholarship for the Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy (2004). In 2005 she won the Venice Biennale Young Italian Art Prize. Favaretto currently lives in Turin, Italy.

Favaretto has worked with a range of media throughout her career including performance, sculpture, installation and video. She has exhibited her work widely in solo exhibitions including, Lara Favaretto: Just Knocked Out, MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2012), Absolutely no Donations, Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland (2009), and The Poor are Mad, Castello di Rivoli Museo dʼArte Contemporanea, Rivoli, Italy (2005). She has participated in group presentations such as, When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA (2012), Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012), The Residue of Memory, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, USA (2012), Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2011), Hey, Weʼre Closed!, Hayward Gallery, London (2010), The Traveling Show, Fondación /Colección Jumex, Mexico (2010), SI Sindrome Italiana, Le Magasin - Centre National d'Art
Contemporain de Grenoble, France (2010), Venice Biennale, Italy (2009), Civica 1989– 2009 Celebration, Institution, Critique, Fondazione Galleria Civica di Trento, Italy (2009), Sharjah Biennial 9, UAE (2009), Revolutions - Forms That Turn, Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2008), Où? - Scènes du Sud: Espagne, Italie, Portugal, Carré dʼArt de Nîmes, France ( 2007), Une seconde, Une Année, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2006), Globos Sonda / Trial Balloons, MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon, Spain (2006), Ecstasy: Recent Experiments in Altered Perception, MOCA – The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA (2005).

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