Terre irridente

Press release Blindarte contemporanea is glad to inform the Gian Paolo Striano exhibition at the gallery last until january 31 2012. The Neapolitan artist dedicates this second solo exhibition at the gallery to his home town, and he makes it by quoting the famous expression of the Neapolitan politician Matteo Renato Imbriani, “Unredeemed lands”, coined at the time of Risorgimento’s struggles. In the artist’s opinion, the irredentism, that is the spirit of a people who – willing to assert an historical or ethnic identity – fights for its own freedom from the foreign sovereignty, not only as regards the territory, is a condition which pervades the spirit of the Neapolitan people subject nowadays to an unbearable criminal oppression. It is mainly through the selection and use of certain materials that Gian Paolo Striano builds an exhibition that becomes a journey inside his own land: the Camorrists’ stormed and hidden bunkers, the polluted sea of Naples Bay, the sandy shore of Bagnoli spoiled by Italsider steel plants. These are the symbols of a land that has always been trying to change its own history but is not yet able to find a solution and which remains irreparably unredeemed. The first hall houses a large installation, Undercroft, where four logs of tuff and debris taken from ex unlawful quarries are arranged so that they outline a rectangular room, to represent the places where the criminal bosses spend their miserable life, a self-segregation which is the inevitable consequence of their lust for power. The second hall houses La Luna a Marechiaro, a work where a symbolic marble switch, image of Naples town, points the rhythm of an intense light placed at the level of the reflection of the moon in the sea, pictured by the artist during a summer night in 2011. The flash of light is thus reflected on the large picture which displays the night view of Naples bay, symbolically black, replacing the real light with an artificial light, endlessly reminding vain hopes and actual problems. Also, in the same hall, Dissolution, a painting made on an unusual plastic support mounted on the wall. The artist used a large coil of polyethylene – a material used to store wastes – to paint an apparently reassuring landscape which, at a second glance, turns out to be an expanse of waste bales that mix with the surrounding environment. The painted coil – as it occurs in industrial processes – is linked to another coil which winds up and the painting goes from figurativeness to abstractness, thus representing the disintegration of the territory. Also in Steel shore the artist uses materials directly relating to the issue that he is going to face. In this case, a sheet of polished steel is bent under the weight of quintals of sand taken from Bagnoli sandy shore, unfortunate location of the former Italsider industrial area, like the weight of the disastrous history of the mankind and environment of that heavenly Neapolitan seafront. Gian Paolo Striano (Napoli, 1977) is at his second solo show at Blindarte contemporanea gallery and he is finalist ofl Talent Prize 2011 at Fondazione Roma. He has already exhibited in galleries and museums in Italy and aboard. He had, among the others, solo show at Galleria Spazio Cabinet in Milan and Claudio Bottello arte contemporanea in Turin. He exhibited, among the others, at Macro in Rome and at Madre in Naples, for the show Trasparenze curated by Laura Cherubini, and at 10th Biennial Gornji Milanovac, the cultural centre Gornji Milanovac in Serbia Montenegro. He partecipated and curated himself the show GLAD TO INVITE YOU at Mostra D’Oltremare, Napoli. He is the winner of Pagine bianche d’autore Prize in Campania in 2007-2008. and finalist of the International Prize for young sculptores at Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, in 2006.

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