Appropriazione Indebita/ Widerrechtliche Aneignung

The common denominator of the selected works is, as the title of the exhibition already indicates, the process of appropriation, that the artists approach in order to be able to confront themes, which are rooted deeply in the history of art, such as identity and self representation. The escape of the I, the confrontation and identification with what is “the other” becomes a device to create situations of imbalance between reality and the absurd which allows a critical and privileged view. This tendency has its origins in the early twentieth century, in an atmosphere that crossed all cultures of that era, starting with the theories of Freud and Jung, the Metamorphosis of Kafka and the works of Duchamp/Rrose Sélavy, until today, where the artists of this exhibition continue on the very course that confronts personal identity and its representation with the most desperate contemporary issues which inescapably lead to an estate of crisis. Stefano Giuriati (1966, Vicenza/Italy. Lives and works in Munich) and Aldo Giannotti (1977, Genova/Italy. Lives and works in Vienna) show Carabinieri – Stazione Mobile – the result of a performance made in Munich. Wearing a soldiers’ uniform, they transform the character of the Carabiniere (a type of Italian police) in a way that makes us question the concepts of our own homeland and also the concepts of the national borderline inside the European Union. The analysis of national and cultural identity continues in the works of San Keller’s (1971 Berna/Switzerland. Lives and works in Zurich) The Great Lightening was made in New York for the PS1 Contemporary Art Centre. The video of the exhibition shows the artist dragging along an authentic sandstone from his hometown, which on its arrival in New York had exactly the same weight as the artist himself, until it completely disintegrates into crumbs. The artist Daniela Comani (1965 Bologna/Italy. Lives and works in Berlin) focuses the relationship between the individual and the collective story, by presenting a book and an audio installation called Sono stata io. diario 1900-1999. It containsa list of news of the twentieth century read out by a self-narrator-come-creator, victim or witness of these facts and collected in form of a highly personal and private diary. Kathrin Guenter (1971 Lüchow, Dannenberg/Germany. Lives and works in Berlin) adopts the language of press scandals in the photographic series Star Shots, in which she depicts herself in typical poses of the public and private life of international celebrities. Thanks to digital manipulation, the artist shows herself as a star and paparazzo, observing and being observed, playing with mass media methods. Even more extreme, in terms of the usage of media languages, is the work of Evil Knievel (1973, Munich/Germany. Lives and works in Munich) who, by creating his very own and real star system, seduces the critics and admirers to become fans of this atypical artist/stuntman. In the photographic series Upstate and in the performance I love America, Knievel redesigns the limits of his own profession, and consequently also the role and the perception of an American hero. The self representation assumes some very ironic aspects that are reminiscent of Dada in the installation of Jeroen Kooijmans (1967 Schijndel/Holand. Lives and works in Amsterdam). In fact, Jeroeoeoen is an audio sculpture in which the artist reveals himself to the audience through a manipulated sound of passing cars. Instead of the characteristic “Vrooooooom”, the sound turns out to be an ironical “Jeroeoeoen” with a dreamlike undertone, which lifts the artist into an imbalanced dimension between presence and absence.