La Terrasse

curated by Bryce Grates

Interstate Projects, New York

May 17 – June 23, 2019

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Press Release

While observing the nights sky, our ancestors started to gather stars into constellations. They began to aggregate the inexplicable into meaningful patterns. In the same way as today, we observe the complex reality that surrounds us, often resulting in a creative act capable of organizing it, not only to explain it, but in order to handle it. This meaning-making attitude has pushed us to design objects, laws, languages, cities or architectures, sometimes out of necessity, other times out of desire.

In La Terrasse, Magnani’s areas of research converge into an environment where this process is staged, reproducing a complex and generative tension between each object on view. This environment has been meticulously constructed by Magnani, with every object participating in a visual and sensual balancing act. The viewer is haunted by a distilled reality, surrounded by familiar objects they would find in a subterranean bar.


Situated on a table is a cash register, which takes on a role based on the Greek myth The Oracle of Delphi. According to the myth, The Oracle would give cryptic predictions and guidance to both the city-states and individuals. Upon approaching the oracle cash register, it produces a prediction in the form of a receipt - the numbers presented as your total bill can be decoded using La Smorfia, a Neapolitan tradition used to analyze dreams using numbers ranging from 1 through 90.

La Terrasse negotiates what makes an authentic ambiance or object attractive to it’s viewer. Magnani seeks to make sense of these overlapping realities by creating his own. Whether that be drawings, “fake readymades”, or reimagined everyday objects, every work aids in creating a multifaceted layered narrative. Occasionally, the space will be activated and turned into a real bar, which further erodes the boundary between reality and representation. Depending on the moment in which the work is encountered, the viewers’ accepted reality of the exhibition will shift, giving rise to a paradox. The moment the work is encountered, it enters a stage where everything and nothing is authentic.

Project Native Informant, London
Ordet, Milan
Centre Pompidou, Paris
When I was a weird little kid in suburbia obsessed with horror of all kinds, my grandfather (who isn’t alive anymore) built me a haunted house. I could pretend I was a ghost or a bat or a werewolf crying blood over a cardboard tombstone. Sadie Coles HQ, London
Swan Station, Italy
Istituto Svizzero, Milan
Swiss Pavilion by Simon Würsten Marin
NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona