the state of the art
twelve o’clock, 18 March 2021 – 21:07
The Swiss artist exhibits in the Spazio Nico gallery in Bari: two days of opening, before the new lockdown, and then everything transferred online
of Marilena Di Tursi
Only two days of opening, just before the new lockdown, for the Nico gallery, which promptly converted Kaspar Mller’s Angel exhibition online (until 21 April on spazionico.it). Therefore, the young Bari space directed by the artists Mariantonietta Bagliato and Fabio Santacroce reopens, albeit only virtually, stubbornly against the current crisis in the sector which has instead imposed a definitive interruption of the activity on others. On stage is the Swiss artist (Schaffhausen 1983) who lives and works between Zurich and Berlin, with an installation designed for the space and destination of Bari. On the walls a series of mandalas composed of coral, rhinestones, sparkling and multicolored like the lights used during the celebrations of San Nicola. Ephemeral pieces, attached to the wall and destined to be destroyed or, if purchased, to be necessarily remade in new settings. In the clearly kitsch ornamental version of the mandalas, the two registers that Mller intertwines in his productions unite: references to spirituality conveyed in forms and ways of mass culture.
Kaspar Mller’s works in the Nico Space
A mysticism prepared in ironic combinations of popular and cheap materials, precisely the mandalas, symbols of the universe used by Buddhist monks to circumscribe sacred spaces and encourage meditation. Their realization in ordinary and very common plastic beads is a conceptual operation that can be classified among the many in which the loss of the aura has led to slips in diametrically opposed fields and contexts. However, at the center of Mller’s operation is the feathered angel, a mannequin at human height, which welcomes the viewer and the name of the exhibition. The celestial creature has abandoned its wings and kept its feathers, which ended up completely covering its body and making it a strange and grotesque apparition. In the game of repositioning between high and low, implemented by Mller, even the angel has lost the sacred aura lowered in his attitude as a human being struck by who knows what punishment. One fallen among many, says the artist: The mannequin, as a symbol of the degradation of the cheap-capitalist, has been punished but who are we to judge… The interesting thing for me that it works, however, emanates a transcendental energy.
March 18, 2021 | 21:07