Sunday, July 28, 2013

BEAUTY: Installation--Giuseppe Licari

Italian-born Giuseppe Licari now lives and works in Rotterdam creating charming installations that are often focused on nature and our relationship with it. Licari says, "Nature has always been a big passion and the relation of nature and man-made environments is something I often try to confront in my work. He elaborates in his artist statement on his website:
"I focus on the space surrounding us and I often use a whiff of universal irony, trying to convey a message in a way that it is easily accessible. I do this partly because I intend to give to the audience an active role in my work; performances, workshops, installations and public art are ways of dealing with the audience through a social experience. People are invited to participate, but simultaneously, they create different levels of relations and
contribute to the artwork itself."

In his piece Humus, Licari installed tree roots in a ceiling and lit them dramatically with halogen spot lights, casting shadows on the gallery floor. This mysterious, subterranean piece makes us reflect on areas of nature that we normally do not see and thus do not contemplate...there is a world of life underground that we do not know about. How many other worlds are we not usually aware of? How many other perspectives are we missing?

For Public Room, Licari installed a public park inside a gallery space, inverting the idea of indoor/ outdoor and public/ private. Attendees are invited to spend time in the space doing whatever one does in a public park setting: read a book, have a picnic, visit with friends...

Although this piece is not specifically focused on nature, it does focus on the nature of community and cooperation. Serial Swing requires at least three people to operate but it works best with five. Participants must coordinate their efforts to swing, bonding over a fun activity...

And The Sky In A Room was inspired by a series of forest fires in 2007 which destroyed a big part of southern Europe. For this piece, Licari says "A sick tree was cut down by the municipality of Rotterdam, cut in smaller pieces, archived and re-built inside the exhibition space." In this way, a small piece of nature was saved and preserved. It brings to mind images of museums in the far future where people one day will go to see what a "tree" looked like.

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