The result of the first edition of CALL FOR BUSHWICK, an international juried exhibition curated by Italian art critic Alessandro Berni,”The Beginning of a New Era” pulses with energy at the beat of Napoletan artist Antonella Raio’s hearts’ installation. The piece is composed of three rubber cardiovascular organs armed with a motion sensor which activates their pumping as the viewer gets in close proximity. The triptych stands solemnly at the core of the gallery. Simultaneously, a camera inadvertently captures the viewer’s image that is projected on the wall creating a tension between the intimate nature of the encounter which activated the crescendo of pulses, and its magnified image while reversing the role of the audience from viewer to object to be viewed. The omni present camera documents the evolution of viewers’ reactions that are recorded and projected on a giant screen, reminding us of the current impossibility of escaping the voyeuristic spectacularization of our most intimate biological impulses.
The (per)vasion and surveillance of technology, the acceleration of history, its subsequent socio-environmental changes coupled with reflections on the ongoing (re)defining of identities in a globalized village, are some of the conceptual references evoked in the works of the 21 artists in the show. A common denominator in this current multifaceted globalized identity is an emphasis on narcissism which reverberates with both agony and ecstasy in Koo’s installation of serial pigheaded figures. Crouched on a reflecting surface and seemingly condemned to eternal self contemplation, the installation of fixed duplicated mirrored figurines capitulates with a pile of over sized decapitated red pigs’ heads on the floor beneath them. While avoiding pontificating new ideologically polarized prescriptions, the works in the show function as visual provocations that invite viewers to contribute their own definitions informed by recent epic changes but also by their personal experiences which aggregate themselves to the works adding new layers of content and expanding meaning while stipulating participation and dialogue.