Glexis Novoa

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Lost in Landscape (group exhibition)
Cuarated by Gerardo Mosquera at Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento, Italy. March 21 - August 31, 2014.

Artists: Marina Abramović, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Lara Almárcegui, Analía Amaya, Carlo Alberto Andreasi, Massimo Bartolini, Gabriele Basilico, Bae Bien-U, Bleda y Rosa, Fernando Brito, Luis Camnitzer, Pablo Cardoso, Jordi Colomer, Russell Crotty, Gonzalo Dìaz, Simon Faithfull, Fischli & Weiss, Carlos Garaicoa, Emmet Gowin, Carlo Guaita, Andreas Gursky, Rula Halawani, Todd Hido, Huang Yan, Carlos Irijalba, Takahiro Iwasaki, Isaac Julien, Anselm Kiefer, Iosif Kiraly, Hong Lei, Glenda Leòn, Yao Lu, Cristina Lucas, Armando Lulaj, Rubens Mano, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Richard Mosse, Sohei Nishino, Glexis Novoa, Sherman Ong, Gabriel Orozco, Alain Paiement, Junebum Park, Paul Ramìrez Jonas, Vandy Rattana, Szymon Roginski, Ed Ruscha, Guillermo Santos, George Shaw, Gao Shiqiang, David Stephenson, Davide Tranchina, Carlos Uribe, Agnès Varda, Verne Dawson, Michael Wolf, Catherine Yass, Kang Yong-Suk, Du Zhenjun.

"The traveller knows the little that is his, discovering the much that he has not had and will not have. "
Italo Calvino.

The Mart presents a major exhibition dedicated to contemporary landscape and its many meanings: space, environment, territory, the place in which one lives and which one leaves. The natural landscape and the urban landscape. 
The exhibition, curated by Gerardo Mosquera, tackles the subject through the works of over 60 artists from around the world, many of which never before presented in Italy.

On display will be over 170 photographs, 84 paintings, 10 videos, 4 video-installations, 4 installations, 4 context-specific interventions (Gonzalo Diaz, Takahiro Iwasaki, Glexis Novoa and Cristina Lucas), 1 web-specific project (Simon Faithful) and 1 artist’s book.

What is described at the Mart is certainly no Eden, and nor a new artistic genre, but instead a passionate and heartfelt look at the world, which necessarily reveals its most dramatic and contradictory corners.

In the catalogue, Gerardo Mosquera writes that the significance of the term “landscape” simultaneously defines “both the perception of a given place, and its depiction”, making object and subject, environment and inhabitant inseparable. Today, in the conception of landscape of our time, the degree of subjectivity of perception involves the active protagonists of the transformations of a territory: those structures and individuals who intervene upon it and define its very notion, now broadened to include everything surrounding us, from motorways to forests, cities to rural settings.

It’s mine! Landscape and appropriation
This exhibition looks at landscape not as an artistic genre but rather as a means
for the construction of meaning. Landscape here is not an end but a way of
looking, an approach that reflects and explores the dialogue between distance
and belonging implicit in the idea of landscape. In other words, in the works
assembled here the representation of the natural or urban environment is not an
end in itself: it is a means of constructing a message, of triggering an experience
or pursuing an investigation.

From this perspective – and by no means secondarily – the exhibition addresses
the human inclination to take possession of the environment that is manifested in
any representation of the landscape. If we consider the landscape as a “perceived
environment”, namely the result of the relationship between an environmental
articulation and an individual, this always implies breaking the polarity of
objective-subjective. Although the notion of landscape refers to the existence of a
natural, urban, social or cultural environment, which is felt, known and/or
represented, these actions imply an active reception from subjectivity, culture,
society and even science. Even if we are within the landscape and influencing it,
perceiving it always entails a distance or exteriority of observation, combined
with the sense of belonging that comes from our projection onto it. The landscape
is a spatial, environmental and territorial reality as well as a subjective, cultural
and social one.

This reception is so subjectively active that the origin of the word for landscape in
the Romance languages derives from the Latin word pagus, which refers to the
stake that was driven into the ground to mark one’s own territory. The term in
this case is linked to the identification of the individuals with their environment.
All this positioning leads, to a greater or lesser extent, to the assimilation that
exists in the representation of the environment. Moreover, as has been said, the
individual is often not outside the landscape, but is an active element within it.

The taking of the landscape by means of its representation is a sign of human
intervention on the actual environment, to the point that it has even been said
that there is no longer any such thing as a “natural” nature, a fact that eloquently
demonstrates the impact of the activity of human beings on the ecology of the
planet. But the landscape also responds; it is not passive. This interaction that
occurs in the natural environment corresponds to the interaction between it and
the individual who captures this environment in a landscape represented for
artistic or scientific purposes. There is no such thing as a landscape in essence:
any landscape is in perpetual transformation.

One of the most radical operations carried out on nature is urbanization, which
transforms the natural landscape into a human construction, creating a new
expanding landscape. The spread of the urban concentration has become very
rapid in recent times. From 1975 to 2000 the number of people living in cities
doubled, and it will double again by 2015. It is calculated that by around 2025 the
urban population will be predominant all over the globe: 5 billion people, i.e. two
thirds of the world’s population. So it is not surprising that these days art takes
more interest in the urban landscape than in the natural landscape, a factor that
is reflected in this exhibition, which also shows the extent to which the landscape
is nowadays represented above all in photography-based images.

The exhibition has as its emblem the first complete image of the universe,
produced recently. It is the total landscape, and the most ambitious appropriation
of the environment ever made. This universal landscape challenges the infinite,
infinity and the permanent expansion of the cosmos, captured by means of its
representation in a single summarizing image, in an act of extreme hybris. The
relational and multiple nature of any landscape is here taken to an extreme, as it
is an image configured by a “Gordian” knot of complex interactions of space, time,
heat and light, and highly mediated by the instruments of perception. From this
cosmic landscape, the exhibition displays a diversity of uses of the landscape by
contemporary artists from different latitudes, employing various techniques and
methodologies. The exhibition is not designed to provide a panorama of
contemporary landscape art, but rather to make connections between purposive
works of art within the space of the Museum. Other pieces will be exhibited in
public spaces in Rovereto and Trento. The range of the exhibition goes from the
cosmos all the way to the simple face of an individual transformed into a
landscape: an act of appropriation perhaps even more extreme than the capture
of the universe itself.

Gerardo Mosquera, Curator.