Palazzo Ziino, Via Dante 53
Palazzo Ziino, Via Dante 53
Istituto Svizzero is pleased to present—in collaboration with Palazzo Ziino and the Accademia di Belle Arti Fine Arts di Palermo— “fianc* a fianc*”, first solo exhibition in Italy of artist duo Rico Scagliola (*1985, Uster) and Michael Meier (*1982, Chur).
Primarily known for their video and photographic work, the young Swiss artists’ photographs have been published, in particular, by Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich¹; their works have recently been shown in a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland.
At Palazzo Ziino, Palermo, the Institute presents a series of recently produced films. The rooms of the building invite the public to visually approach the artists’ different researches and to comprehend, in a natural way, their perception of common space. The duo filters scenes of common life into public space in order to reveal the strange complexity of our social body.
Being together with other people at a concert, a parade, a commemoration, consists, among other things, in integrating an identity —which is not simply linked to the event itself but also to the scenario—to the city, to the place, to the common imagination. This is the central theme of the five films presented and produced in the last three years. Bearing this topic in mind, the installation follows the same paradigms: all the technical cables are visible and, moreover, in different colours, transforming the entire exhibition area into a separate installation itself.
In Together (2017), some teenagers are performing on a tagada, a classic fun fair attraction, similar to a carousel. This large and restless flying saucer is a common place for meeting up and search out competition, especially among teenagers.
In Characters with Unknown Power (2018), on the contrary, we find ourselves faced with melancholic scenes of children in which the adults’ desire for them to participate and have fun in the carnival is clearly distinguished.
The video Body of Response (2019), shows in slow motion a crowd attending the outdoor projection of an opera. The human mass is traversed by such a slow shock that it almost resembles a still image.
Cruise Control (2019), addresses male stereotypes in a playful way. The nautical scene is as naïve, as well as straightforward and questing.
Forte nella diversità / Fabulously antifascist (2019) is a film produced for this exhibition and plays on the differences between the pride parade in Zurich and Palermo.
After filming these two similar events in the aforementioned cities, the artists question the notion of identity, demonstrating that nothing is clearly subscribed and determined.
The city of Palermo is perhaps the ideal place to reflect on the relationship that each one of us projects on our own identity, in relation to the urban spaces we cross. As a matter of fact, no city in Europe has ever been so different in its identity as Palermo has been in the course of history.
This exhibition is part of “VISUAL STARTUP – Progetti del contemporaneo/ Contemporary Projects”.
¹Scagliola Rico, Meier Michael, Neue Menschen, 2011, Edition Patrick Frey, Zürich
¹Scagliola Rico, Meier Michael, Years Later…, 2017, Edition Patrick Frey, Zürich
Rico Scagliola (b. 1985) and Michael Meier (b. 1982) both live and work in Zurich. In 2010 they graduated from the University of the Arts Zurich with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts.
They teamed up in 2008 and mainly work in video, photography, language and installation.
Scagliola and Meier’s work is centered on the exploration of the aesthetic self-concepts of individuals or specific groups of people and how these are correlating with the self-perception of a larger social collective. Their latest body of work was presented in a solo exhibition at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen in Autumn 2017. At the same time their second book titled years later… was published by Edition Patrick Frey. In 2018 they were among the winners of the Swiss Art Awards.
Via Dante Alighieri, 53, 90141 Palermo