AGOSTO 18, 2017


COMMAND-ALTERNATIVE-ESCAPE is an exhibition project that took place from 6 yo 13 May 2017 at Thetis Garden in Venice. The exhibition was curated by the young students of the School of Curatorial Studies and The title COMMAND-ALTERNATIVE-ESCAPE is literally a keyboard control to force quit a window/application that is not responding well, blocked, or frozen on the surface, thus preventing the user to effectively move forward in their activity . In reality of the exhibition, us as spectators felt the necessity to take control of our personal truths, shift our perspectives each moment we were confronted with an alternative concept, and at the end leave with modified understandings on the topics exhibited.

Talking with the young curators it came out that they were inspired by an ongoing issue: the echo chambers phenomenon. What they were interested to highlight was how, despite the internet having been conceived with the clear intent of democratising information to make it accessible to everyone, it has often led to the opposite effect. The result was the organization of an exhibition that tried to offer the different solutions that human beings adopt front of  the opposition between freedom and security. Curators explained that they had been influenced by Zygmunt Bauman social theories who states that: “Security not in the sense of safety from terrorists, burglars, or pickpockets… but security in the sense of knowing where you are, who you are, on what kind of future you can count [on], what will happen, whether you will preserve your position in society or whether you will be degraded and humiliated — this sort of security…This sort of security for many, many people — a rising number of people — looks at the moment more attractive than more freedom”.
The dichotomy between freedom and security has been investigated since antiquity, each time highlighting, with varying degrees, how one is in opposition to the other, and how the first necessarily compromises the second.

So it seemed like all the artworks showed in COMMAND-ALTERNATIVE-ESCAPE exhibition were like treasures landed in the garden from different dimensions. The viewer, wandering through the garden as if suspended in time and space, ran into the artworks which were like light glimpses in his path, permitting him to acquire knowledge and discover different points of view on a certain theme, in this case the freedom-security issue.

Virgole (Commas), by Enej Gala, represents a series of brass cages modelled by the artist using the technique of hot forging. The cages have no doors: freedom has the potential to become a limit and limits are able to free themselves from the rules of separation. These cages were clung to the trees, as if they were alive and trying to take the shape of what surrounded them.

Enej Gala, Virgole (Commas), 2017

Patrizia Giambi, Door, 2017

Also Door, by Patrizia Giambi, a felt door hanging from three trees, totally embodies the concept of the exhibition. The role of the door, a metaphorical threshold which makes us realize what we know and what we don’t, that permits us to take the decision to open it or not, to discover, to take a risk. The material, then, is a tribute to Joseph Beuys but it is also a symbol of security as the desert nomads usually build their tents with felt, which is resistant and waterproof.

Paul Kneale Event Horizon Series are placed here like ancient signal fires at the point of entry from the Venetian lagoon, they also suggest a futuristic interstellar transit. It consists in threee satellites/radio dishes and instead of antenna they are topped with a floating ring of red neon light.

Paul Kneale, Event Horizon Series, 2017

All the artworks displayed at Thetis were interesting and carefully chosen by the curators in order to well express the concept; other artists involved were Carolina Antich,  Allora & Calzadilla, Jesse Darling, Peter De Cupere, Mihai Iepure-Górski, Kensuke Koike, Tania Kovats, Sahra Motalebi, Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, Kristian Sturi. Moreover, the curators were able to create a dialogue between the “new” artists and the already existing artworks by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Joseph Beuys and Jan Fabre.

Tania Kovats, All The Canals, 2107