Massimo De Carlo gallery is delighted to open its 2015-2016 season with the exhibition Prosopopoeia by the Austrian artist collective Gelitin. Through this show Gelitin challenges the dangers of being fixated on one sole idea, asking themselves: why have one idea when you can have ten?
Upon entering the first room of the exhibition it is clear what Gelitin mean when they described Prosopopoeia as a ‘dissociative show’. Each idea that the artists have is translated in the vocabulary of art through the use of different mediums and the result is that each work in the exhibition becomes a visible but yet metaphoric trait of an uncanny entity with a multiple personality disorder.
The gallery becomes here a rocambolesque carnival under continuous stimulation: visual and physical, between the gazes of eerie characters such as a dark papier-machè snout or the bleak eyes of the white pseudo alien busts and the all in-between. The large-scale colourful paintings that hang on the walls are a selection of works made in 2014 and 2015.
Gelitin takes on the gallery space with a double-dome game, revising the narratives of human form, of life, of objectification and utilisation. In the front window are three white vases and a toilet (modelled on the gallery toilet) smeared in brown and white straining marks that resurrect the immediacy of association with bodily fluids.
At the centre of the room are the Golems, ceramic fardels crafted via tension and pressure. This series of anthropomorphic figures whose name is reminiscent of the mythological creatures are interconnected with the video I Love My Job 3 shown in the lower ground floor of the gallery. In I Love My Job 3 the artists create the Golems by taking part in an oneiric ritual that seems to unhinge their primordial spirits: they immerge themselves in clay and model it using their own bodies as a medium, shifting between sacred and profane, harshness and hilarity. The process of making the Golems, manipulating the clay without the usual tools such as their hands, becomes an ode to the subconscious and the spontaneous.
As put by the artists themselves : “Prosopopoeia questions the meaning of being one and at the same time being four and then again fourhundred , when fourhundredandone steps in and says “really? Gelitin is like a salad, it grows on a field of possibilities, it has leaves. Each member of Gelitin grows over and into eachother like a salad. Sometimes the folds are very complex, sometimes simple manifolds. Gelitin meet through work. The works crumble out like earth between the leaves. The salad sometimes is blue, sometimes green, sometimes yellow, and sometimes rotten. There is not one story told but many. The salad is back into play but ripped apart and tossed around”.