Arseny Zhilyaev “Lingua Madre” at C+N Gallery CANEPANERI, Milan

By Last Updated: March 30, 2024Views: 38

Curated by Alessandra Franetovich, this new undertaking continues Zhilyaev’s investigation into the politics of language (and/or the language of politics), alongside its illustration within the potential exhibition historical past and the media. Inside the framework of “Lingua Madre,” works are gathered in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They attraction to this tragic occasion from an anti-war perspective, as expressed by the artist, who, regardless of relocating to Italy after 2014, was formed by the milieu of the aggressor.

Nei giorni della guerra (Within the Days of Conflict) might be exhibited for the primary time in Italy, along with new productions corresponding to Dietro la nebbia di guerra c’è sempre il dolore (Behind the Fog of Conflict There Is All the time Ache, 2022–24), Senza titolo or Wiedermal als Tragödie (Untitled or As soon as Once more as Tragedy, 2024), and Lingua Madre (Mom Tongue, 2022–24). The latter, from which the present derives its title, includes a set of flags created with canvases bearing embroidered phrases taken from audio recordings of phone calls between Russian troopers and their households, with white paint utilized over them. Dietro la nebbia di guerra c’è sempre il dolore presents an archive of newspapers and journal pages courting from 24.02.2022 onwards, during which the artist once more makes use of white paint to obscure the definition of the texts, rendering them virtually illegible. Nei giorni della guerra was first introduced as a solo exhibition upon the invitation of Zdenka Badovinac on the Museum of Modern Artwork in Zagreb in 2023. On this interactive set up, the artist analysed the connection between the present scenario in Russia and its repressed previous, addressing the legacy of Stalinism, the suppression of freedoms within the nation, and imperialism in direction of different nations. The evaluation was carried out via the lens of a pictorial work by the socialist realist artist Gelij Koržev (1925–2012). Lastly, the neon piece Senza titolo or Wiedermal als Tragödie connects present-day conflicts to previous occasions by altering Karl Marx’s notorious quote on the repetition of historical past as tragedy and farce (a rephrasing of an earlier commentary from Hegel on the legacy of Napoleon). Via this reference, Zhilyaev alludes to the present state of affairs, emphasising tragedy as an endlessly recurring disaster.

The crucial scope of “Lingua Madre” opens potentialities for questioning the function of latest artwork within the context of the continuing battle in Europe. Revealing hidden narratives of Soviet (artwork) historical past and the potential of avant-garde museology, the artist reminds us of the fragility of humankind, its previous, and its future.

at C+N Gallery CANEPANERI, Milan
till April 15, 2024

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