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MACT/CACT Switzerland opens two concurrent exhibitions that aim to penetrate one another
Christian Vetter o.T., 2012, Acryl und Pigmentdruck auf Papier, 200 x 135 cm.

By: Mario Casanova [translation: Pete Kercher]

BELLINZONA.- These two exhibitions aim to penetrate one another, although they start out from apparently contradictory concepts: the ones that underlie figuring and the dialogue between thinking and representing, a difficult embrace, as it were, between concept and relationship with the practice of reality.

La Bella Scrittura (Writing with Style) and Kopfe Und: Un Altro Modo di Ritrarre Kopfe Und: Another Way of Portraying) both inaugurated on Saturday 29 June 2013, as the curator’s intention is to draw a comparison and interface between two situations being debated constantly, in an era when we are experiencing radical change and the reconstruction of the parameters of a Novecento whose inheritance seems to be suspended in its fragility between on the one hand the loudspeaker of a society that thrived on decomposition into weakness and on the other social resentment. This is a topic that has already been raised on several occasions: the idea of Modernity in contemporary society and its social and political intersections/interactions is now experiencing an identity crisis. Culture and the process of civilisation do not seem to have developed in a parallel proportion, while – on the art scene – the global, universal concept inherited from the enlightenment matrix has mainstreamed knowledge and erudition.

In the attempt to create an active society, unfettered, disproportionate growth and consumerism for all – and at too many levels – have led us, among other things, towards an aesthetic society instead of towards pondering on the need for an aesthetic for society.

La Bella Scrittura dialogues continuously with the other exhibition, displaying works in which representation is constituted primarily by a conceptual content that tends to be detached from the objectivisation of the form. While Donato Amstutz frustrates representation with his extenuating making, Alex Hanimann creates verbal concepts balanced finely between writing and figuring. Christian Vetter intervenes on the subconscious of the image, sometimes reiterating styles, amending them with signs belonging to a personal, heterotypical universe. Ivano Sossella, an Italian artist but with an Anglo-Saxon temperament, gets to grips with a work whose character is more spatial, somehow altering the context of the architectural aesthetics in one of the rooms at the MACT/CACT.

While form is questioned and as a consequence undergoes breakage in the sense of a (re)interpretation of the more conceptual, abstract work in this first phase of the exhibition, the section that opposes it, Kopfe Und: Another Way of Portraying, adopts a harder, more uncompromising approach to figuring with an expressive matrix. There is a larger number of artists here, from different backgrounds: a core of three established artists (Aeppli, Disler and Hockney) is accompanied by younger peers, whose importance comes from their ability to represent the crest of the wave of change towards a society that is only apparently confused, but from many vantage points stronger, freer and more aware.

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