Harabel Contemporary Art Platform in collaboration with The Embassy of Italy in Tirana presented the exhibition “I VEGGENTI” by Patrick Tuttofuoco and Andrea Anastasio, on 21st of July 2021, curated by Davide Quadrio and Ajola Xoxa, with the support of Arthub and the Capo d’Arte association. The exhibition will be open until 15th September 2021.
This is the first episode of a journey that will culminate in 2022, when the two Italian artists, Patrick Tuttofuoco and Andrea Anastasio, protagonists of the project, will make permanent in a public place in Tirana the results of their complex research carried out between architecture, relational space and history, which sees them exhibit together for the first time a series of works, many of which have been created ad hoc.
Belonging to different generations and different artistic practices, Tuttofuoco and Anastasio have accepted the invitation to work separately but jointly on a site-specific project in Tirana in which the reflection on the complex culture and history of Albania would meet with their artistic sensibilities.
Patrick Tuttofuoco has been working for decades in the public sphere, creating works that connect historical places of the area to contemporary pop culture: monumental installations, engaging architecture, enigmatic and totemic creations that invest the public with witty and colorful emotions.
Andrea Anastasio is an author who works with various media in the fields of design, architecture and visual arts. All his works are characterized by philosophical implications and often have a performative character: Anastasio interferes with the material and the underlying archetypes, always inventing new visual tricks with complex emotional outcomes.
The VEGGENTI exhibition has been strongly desired by the Ambassador of Italy to Albania, Fabrizio Bucci and marks a new chapter in cultural relations between Italy and Albania.
“This project seals a new collaboration in contemporary art between our two countries. A journey of discovery, creativity and sharing carried out in Albania by two great Italian artists. Their works, narrated by the twenty-year experience of Davide Quadrio and realized thanks to the fruitful collaboration with Harabel, I am sure will help to strengthen the value of public art in Tirana and to illustrate in a new way the link between history, mythology and Albanian contemporaneity”, explains Ambassador Bucci.
“Harabel considers “I VEGGENTI” not only as an opportunity to present to the Albanian public the provocative and ironic artistic thought brought by the artists Patrick Tuttofuoco and Andrea Anastasio through an exhibition set up in an ancient villa that served as home to the communist nomenclature before of 1991, but also a fresh and tantalizing intervention in the city that will leave its echo through two public art installations that will be permanently exhibited “, says Ajola Xoxa, one of the founders of Harabel and co-curator of the exhibition.
“Capo d’Arte, a non-profit cultural association in Salento for the dissemination of contemporary art, is proud to promote a project to raise awareness of the excellence of Italian contemporary art abroad, thus allowing us to look out over unknown artistic landscapes and explore different creative worlds in two countries as close as Albania and Italy “, says Francesca Bonomo, founder of Capo d’Arte.
“Coming from Italy and meeting such a rich and layered culture that has so much to give to the other side of the Adriatic Sea was a truly unexpected journey and a discovery that opens up a long-term path of research and collaboration” said Davide Quadrio, co-curator of the exhibition and founder of Arthub.
In the old Villa on Ibrahim Rugova Street which hosts the exhibition, the visitor will find himself on an itinerary that will first lead him to encounter three works by Tuttofuoco and two by Anastasio on the ground floor.
Calypso, Laelia, Cambria, by Tuttofuoco, three ceramic masks with a petal like shape that fix the viewer from the top of a rough metal support, placed like a military squad charged with giving the exhibition the protection of a male element. The three masks were produced thanks to Ceramiche Gatti, technical sponsor of the exhibition.
Time Capsule, also by Tuttofuoco, mirror placed on the wall on which is printed an image of arms and hands intertwined, a gesture of resistance and commonality.
The Path represents one of the new research areas of Patrick Tuttofuoco, not only for the medium (neon) that has always been a part of his creative language, “historicizing” it in a modern-contemporary tradition that had prominent predecessors as Fontana, but particularly for a research on a “humanizing” aspect, and not so abstract, geometrical or so aggressively references to street art. The Path is an illuminating gesture, a poetic welcome to reconnect with humanity: two hands in a conversation resolved in a gesture of companionship.
The Hours by Anastasio, a large Venetian chandelier made by hand in Murano blown glass, transports light from the ceiling to the floor, amplifying the split between function and form and altering the spatial perception of the interior.
Room with a view also by Anastasio, a double blanket that emerges from a white tiled floor, destabilizing the otherwise familiar domestic space. The sculptural references to Carl Andre critically inform the compositional methods of minimalist origin.
On the villa upper floor are the works that most directly reflect the artists’ common research on Albanian history and culture: two works by Anastasio that surround La Veggente, the work of Tuttofuoco.
Celibe-2021, also by Anastasio: a Gjirokastra choir sings traditional Albanian songs, songs for weddings or funerals, farewell and nostalgia songs. The choir sings but the sound is muffled, almost inaudible: it is broadcast live on the other side of the Adriatic, at the pier of the port of Bari and in the Salento Greece, near Lecce. The song will, in fact, be broadcast as part of the inaugural installation of CORA, center for the contemporary arts, in Castrignano dei Greci.
Attraverso-2021, by Anastasio, a fragile and transparent curtain derived from the bas-relief created for the facade of the Lieutenancy building in Tirana, a work of the Communist period. The narration of the bas-relief, of a strong propaganda and rhetorical character, is here deconstructed and transferred to a lace curtain. The overlap brings the original monumental opacity into direct dialogue with the domestic aesthetic of the curtain / diaphragm interposed between the outside and the inside. History, its events and their impact on individual destinies are seen from a domestic and ornamental, semi-transparent dimension. Like a memory, intangible but present, the curtain colors the interior of the shapes of the past, lightening their impact, while still reminding them.
As an intercultural project, the exhibition I VEGGENTI stands as a milestone in the relationship between two countries so close yet so distant.
About the artists
*Andrea Anastasio was born in Rome in 1961. He studied philosophy and history of art, graduating from the Ca ‘Foscari University, Venice. He has created projects for Artemide, Memphis, the Design Gallery of Milan, Sawaya & Moroni and Danese, establishing himself as a protagonist of the new Italian design. At the same time he reinterpreted and demystified the culture of industrial design through art, starting a reflection on domestic spaces and the philosophy of living. His research focuses on the manipulation of objects, consumer goods and subjects of domestic context, in order to generate linguistic short circuits and sabotages of meaning. He is interested in the study of poetics and the potential convergence between art and design. In 1992 he moved to India, where he contributed to the cataloging of Indian Islamic architecture for UNESCO and took part in projects for the renovation of traditional artisan techniques. He was an artist in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 2005 and 2008 and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at various Italian and international museums, including: Grand Palais-Paris, France; Jordan; Dallas, USA; Boston, USA; Kogei – Prefectural Museum of Art and Design – Toyama – Japan; Musee des Arts Decoratifs – Montreal, Canada; MANN Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli; MART of Trento and Rovereto; MAXXI Museum of 20th Century Arts, Rome; MIC International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza; Triennale of Milan; Ohio, USA; Shanghai, China. He won the Best Light Award at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2017 and the Best light of the year – USA 2017.
*Patrick Tuttofuoco was born in Milan, 1974. He lives and works in Milan. The practice of Tuttofuoco develops a dialogue between individuals and their ability to transform the environment where they live. He explores the notions of community and social integration in order to combine the immediate sensory charm and the power to trigger deep theoretical responses. Tuttofuoco blends Modernism and Pop and pushes the figuration towards abstraction, using the man as a paradigm of existence, a matrix and a unit of reality measure. From this interpretative process, cognitive infinite versions of the individual and the context in which he lives are produced, and that’s where forms capable of animating the sculptures are generated. Patrick Tuttofuoco participated in the 50th Biennale of Venice (2003), Manifesta 5 (2004), at the 6th Biennale of Shanghai (2006) and at the 10th Havana Biennial (2009). His works have been exhibited in various international institutions, such as the Sandretto Re Foundation Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2006) and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2008). Among the most recent solo and group shows: It’s always been about time, BASE, Florence (2021); L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle, CityLife, Milan (2021); REAL ITALY, MAXXI, Rome (2020); 10×100 Fabbrica d’Arte contemporanea, Giovanardi Spa, Concorezzo, Monza, Italy (2019); Elevatio Corpus, Three Projects for Ghizzano, Ghizzano, Pisa, Italy (2019); Gremio Ermanno Casoli, Serra San Quirico, Ancora, Italy (2019), Maxxi, Rome, Italy (2018); Cracco Gallery, Milan, Italy (2018); MACRO, Rome, Italy (2017); Plasma Plastic Modern Art, Milan, Italy (2017); Mega, Venice, Italy (2017); Federica Schiavo Gallery, Milan, Italy (2016), Turin, Italy (2015); PAC, Milan, Italy (2015), Madrid, Spain (2013); MAMbo, Gallery of Modern Art of Bologna, Bologna, Italy (2013), New York, USA (2012), Toronto, Canada (2012), Herford, Germany (2011), Zurich, Switzerland (2010), London, UK (2009), Kanzawa, Japan (2009), etc.