I am happy to announce my new solo show at the Fabio Paris Art Gallery in Brescia, Italy, curated by Domenico Quaranta. It is a small but very nice gallery that also hosts artists like UBERMORGEN.COM, Eva e Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG and my friends Nullsleep and Tonylight - so I am in realy good company.
This is the invitational text Domenico wrote for the opening of the exhibition (the longer catalogue text will follow soon):
Fabio Paris Art Gallery is proud to present Order and Progress, the first Italian solo show by the Dutch artist Rosa Menkman (Arnhem, The Netherlands 1983), curated by Domenico Quaranta. The title of the show, inspired by the Brazilian flag (Menkman developed one of the works on show in Brazil, during a residency at the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound), is an ironic and cynical reference to the ideology behind all technological developments: an ideology that the artist combats with her obsessive exploration of the aesthetic, poetic and cultural consequences of the error.
Menkman's work focuses on visual artifacts created by accidents in digital media. The visuals she makes are the results of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of noise. Although many people perceive these accidents as negative experiences, Rosa emphasizes their positive consequences, and explores their semantic and metaphorical implications at the same time. All this becomes clear watching the works selected for the show, starting from The Vernacular of File Formats (2010). Conceived to illustrate an essay discussing how the incident, if normalized and implemented in software, can easily turn into a banal graphic effect, losing its extraordinary, revelatory potential, this series of prints has its starting point in a black and white video where a heavily made-up Menkman is seen combing her hair (an explicit reference to Marina Abramovic's Art Must Be Beautiful). Manipulated with different kinds of glitches peculiar to different image file formats, the image reveals its dramatic nature, deteriorating under the attack of sudden cuts, grainy effects, erratic blocks of pixels, stripes and lurid colours. The face of the artist is also the subject of the two videos Dear Mr Compression (2009) and The Collapse of PAL (2010).
The latter was developed as an audiovisual performance for television, using PAL, the analogue broadcasting signal behind the history of television in Europe, before it finally became obsolete. In different ways, these works highlight the personal and dramatic side of artworks that, at first glance, can appear to focus solely on linguistic and formal issues.
The last work on show is a software programme written by the artist which produces glitches that can be transcoded from one file format to another, allowing the user to explore the possibilities explored in The Vernacular of File Formats.
Domenico Quaranta, December 2011.