Borrowing from Italo Calvino, Chochola establishes a “reflective” relationship with the world, facing it with the lightness of a self- portrait-sculpture that, rising tall in the center of the room, speaks indirectly of himself and the powerful dichotomy between hero and enemy, artist and system. The result is a Perseus who protects himself with his large circular shield from a luminous Medusa with an 80cm diameter; a logo halfway between a pop icon and a neon installation radiates a psychedelic glow from the ceiling: a contemporary Iliad that takes on new signifiers and tells of more earthly deeds, of an art system that cynically exalts and forgets at the same time.
Christian Jankowski instead chooses to deal with an era closer to us, the nineteenth century, through a series of famous self-portraits by Van Gogh that Jankowski reproduces in pictorial copies, overturning their primary sense.
“The past carries with it a secret index that it defers to redemption. Does not a breath of the air that blew around those before us touch us now? Is there not, in the voices that we listen to, an echo of now muted voices? [...] If so, then there is a mysterious encounter between the generations that have been and our own. Then, we were awaited on earth. Then to us, as to every generation that was before us, a weak Messianic force was given, to which the past has the right.”
As with the words of Walter Benjamin, Jankoswki's works define themselves as bearers of this message of synthesis, thanks to the comparison that emerges between the famous self-portraits and two photographic images taken from the series "We are innocent when we sleep," disturbing and tragicomic portraits with a grotesque essence. A transition for their witness between the search for beauty, its innovation and the current destruction of the image.
A multifaceted iconographic dialogue in constant evolution but firmly built on the formula of the relationship and of the interdependence between true or imagined "couples".
Photos by Filippo Armellin