In 2014 Siliqoon, a nascent Milan-based art label and creative consulting agency, invited several artists, among them Alessandro Agudio, Daniel Keller, Andrea Magnani and Timur Si-Qin, to take part in a residency program together with several artisanal companies working across different media. This collaboration illustrates the latest movement in visual arts: the ethos of today seems to be its extension into the realm of corporate world, and vice versa.
The result of Siliqoon’s proposal materialized this spring, when a group exhibition entitled Pure Disclosure opened its doors at the independent art space Marsèlleria permanent exhibition, in Milan. The exhibition proposes a careful study on the conditions dictated by our belief in human progress, together with an anticipatory celebration of those still to emerge: forecasting trends and technological needs seems like a necessity both for art and business world. In the exhibition, Daniel Keller (1986, Detroit), borrows aesthetic codes, predominantly those belonging to the world of fashion with his work Seasted figures (Polypool) (2015): two mannequins create the center for this piece, wearing customized design clothing with wigs. A supplementary texture is created through the use of organic and live material, such as Spirulina Platensis, Mussel shells and beach debris. Moreover, the artist has used waved tag clouds in the mannequins’ clothing, thus adding a web-related dimension and showing his interest in HTML language. These elements constitute together opposing, yet complimentary patterns: on the one hand, by imitating the language borrowed from the world of fashion with its exclusive design, on the other hand, by using highly organic textures.
As Keller, Timur Si-Qin (1984, Berlin) suggests no real distinction between nature and culture, reducing them into a neomaterialistic system of values. Si-Qin’s work Display (Peace) (2015) epitomizes our attachment to pictorial clichés, when suggesting a panoramic view of the Alps. Leds and plexiglass construct the framework for the piece: this serene and glossy visual presentation is completed by an original Peace logo, already known from his previous work Premier Machinic Funerary. Next to this, as if set on an altar, his work Untitled (2015) made of 3D print, is to be found: this work is a reminiscent both of a bunch of flowers and that of a fragile archeological item. The form leans towards an organic shape, while its technique stands for a digital replica. Si-Qin’s work traces the quest for ancestry and evolution-based desires, at the same time mirroring them to the causality patterns in our contemporary image culture.
Alessandro Agudio’s (1982 Milan) work FOREVER – Dead in the Bathroom (2015) explores the realms of identity and lifestyle construction, and respectively, what happens when these elements are removed from their initial contexts. Agudio has re-processed his personal memories: the visual stimuli referring to the context in which he grew up, that of the 70’s and 80’s Northern Italian middle class, can be observed in his work. A highly plastic abstraction is suggested, with a scentless seduction made of pastel colors, detailed design pieces and house music in loop. Lastly, the work of Andrea Magnani (1983, Faenza) elaborates a combination of patiently crafted usable objects and plausible concepts. His intervention in the exhibition space creates complex and tactile facades with the works In the Vast Infinity of Life, All is Perfect, Whole and Complete, all dating from 2015. The oeuvres take the consumer logic to its extremity: despite their reminiscence of everyday gadgets, one would rather contextualize them in a laboratory framework. Magnani’s work proposes frozen interventions in the exhibition space, with colors reminding us of clinical laboratory settings, while techniques such as silk-screen printings on ice pack gels traces the importance of craftsmanship.
Pure Disclosure tests the potential of hyper commercial aesthetic: the exhibition’s visual stimulus creates the urgency for highly abstract ideas, such as well-being and high performance. Interestingly enough, despite the well-imitated commercial language and the close collaboration with corporate world, the entity reveals to be an embodiment of post-capitalist production. The realm of the design-driven language of our domestic environments is studied in an ironic way, by proposing a hybrid study of of corporeal communication strategies.
The exhibited works produced in collaboration with: Aida Bertozzi, Bikun, BIOTEX, Euromec di Archenti Mauro, Fabric Division, Lualma Anodica, Martino Tremolada designer, Myver, Nuove Residency, OMGB, Pubbligraf, Serilegno and Studio Pedrini.
Siliqoon’s next project Qway, a quarterly online report on global future trends, will be online soon with its first volume.
Sini Rinne-Kanto is a Paris-based art editor.