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Carlo Galli: Cozy Mesh

13 July 2020 > 30 July 2020 Kindly invited to visit "Cozy Mesh"exhibition by Carlo Galli, on Monday, 13th July from 6:30 pm till 9:30 pm, at the Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova.

By hosting an Italian artist, Carlo Galli, KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association begins a new programme series called Art Challenge. Artistic residences in Studio Asylum shall foster the contact between the hosted artists and the ACC Metelkova Mesto throb, whereas the idea of connecting with Metelkova's artistic scene gives meaning to the challenge; the emphasis is on the transference of skills, knowledge, ideas, and contemplations of the participants. During the stay in Ljubljana, the artists shall conceptualise exhibitions, which will be additionally realised in the Alkatraz Gallery and Night Window Display Gallery Pešaki. The art challenge will include a contribution to the project Wholesome Art Piece Metelkova, which has been focusing on artistic interventions into the public space of ACC Metelkova Mesto and its close surroundings already since 2004. In this way, with their artistic interventions, the hosted artists will be presented with the opportunity to join numerous other artists who, with over one hundred fifty projects, fundamentally contributed to the recognisability of ACC Metelkova Mesto’s visual image.

Carlo Galli's contribution will be realised in the form of a 6x6 metres big urban tapestry made of PVC safety net, composed by means of gluing with electrical gun. It will depict Titus Lartius (501 BC), an ancient Roman consul, whom Romans, in the time of a crisis, trusted with temporary unlimited power – the title of a dictator. The portrait represents a critical answer to the actual moves of the authorities, who exploited the occurrence of the pandemic for spreading hate speech, pressures on the media and journalists, limiting freedom (of speech), and encroachment on human rights. More than 500 years BC, the mandate of the dictator was limited to a 6-month service, therefore the work, at this point, opens the question about the duration of contemporary regimes, meanwhile subtly addressing – although not answering – timeless questions: What is the relationship between safety and freedom? Are we doomed to the history repeating itself?

With the choice of the artistic material – a lively orange safety net – the artist, in a unique way, asks how long people’s right to free movement will continue to be encroached. Moreover, the materials the artist uses in his practice often put the questions of contact and border into the foreground; in fact, their wider bordering and limiting consumable use plays the biggest role. Thus, in the Alkatraz Gallery, the artist used PVC warning tape, which is ordinarily employed for protection or security of an area or property by dividing the space; in one area, the movement is limited and confined to the framework of a specific regime, whilst the other area is positioned outside of the first, in the space where general rules of social life are established. Yet, the space is not the only thing that the tape divides – it also prevents contacts among people who are on different sides of the divide. By means of its function and visual image, meanwhile, the tape brings distinctive emotional charge, transmitting the message ‘Danger! Attention! Stop!’ and demanding a careful and focused posture. The feelings of anxiety and the state of jeopardy, actualised by the presence of the warning tape, are the artist’s starting point for the process of transforming obstacles into the point of contact, which happens with the help of the exhibiting process. What Galli does is design a kind of trampoline, intended for play and relaxation, out of the object evoking negative emotions. In his artwork, latent restraint order changes into an invitation for contact and carefree fun, enabled precisely by the material that only a while ago defined strict rules and limitations.

Carlo Galli, who tends to situate his artworks into urban environments, so that they are in an immediate contact with the social tissue, uses the exhibition as a mechanism for triggering a contemplation on seemingly opposite concepts of danger and relaxation. He connects and merges the concepts with the help of the visitor’s wholesome bodily dive into the extensive red-white installation. The viewers thus have the opportunity to evaluate the justification of the usage of concepts of risk and danger with their own skin.

By altering the purpose of the warning tape, the author – in a humorous way – re-contextualises our perception of borders: the space of danger is transformed into a safe area of contact, meditation, and relaxation. Furthermore, in the actual situation, the installation functions as a visual allegory, exploring complexity (as well as simplicity) and danger (as well as safety) of the contact between an individual and their environment. In this way, the artist aims to transcend consequences of actual limitations that predominantly affected those segments of living which are based on public life – with a special focus on the area of art, indeed.

Production: KUD Mreža Arts and Culture Association (Alkatraz Gallery and Gesamtkunstwerk Metelkova)
Curators: Nataša Serec, Sebastian, Krawczyk, Ana Grobler, Miha Turk, Ana Mrovlje
Partner: Ljubljana Street Art festival / Intitute for Urban Questions
Special thanks to: Sandi Abram, Uroš Gustinčič (Modri kot), Miha Erjavec (1107)
Funding: The Ministry of Culture, Slovenia, City Municipality of Ljubljana
Photo by: Dušana Baltić

A visual artist, Carlo Galli (1981, Pietrasanta, Italy), graduated from sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara. He lives and works in Milan, where he currently teaches fine arts. In his work, he focuses on a three-dimensional space between intervention and meditation. In the previous five years, he has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Berlin, Cape Town, Las Palmas, Havana, Vienna, and in Italy. He is the nominee of the first Henroux Award for sculpture in Pietrasanta (Italy, 2001). In 2015, he was artist-in residence in New York (Alternate Access New York) and in 2014, in the artistic laboratory AdohcPAD, Vienna.

Photos by: Nada Žgank.