West, The Hague presents Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost
Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost
Until 10 April 2010
2515 LR, The Hague
Tel +31 (0)70 392 53 59
Ce que tu vois est ce que tu es. With this statement the Italian-Belgian artist duo Denicolai & Provoost launches a playful muddle about the role of the artwork, the influence of its surroundings, authenticity and its existence as incidental remains of an original idea. This exhibition is second in a serial of solo exhibtions organized by West and dedicated to promising young artists from outside the Dutch borders.
Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost withdraw art from each form of ivory-tower context. They are aspiring art which enables a feedback to the economic and social reality in our society. They make use of multimedia instruments inside the esthetic and political intimacy of their artistic method.
‘The earthworm’ (2001) as a sharp and naive metaphor for the artist and the people in general is thus a reoccurring image in their work. He ‘swallows his context, digests and shits to survive and evolve in his environment…’ Life can be that easy.
That fact that reality is much more complex becomes clear watching their video ‘To be here (happy)’ (2005). In this road-movie a cactus plays the leading part. The artists want to repatriate the houseplant in its native land California and to reconstruct the image of the desert as a cultural black hole like it has been imported via western movies on location, at Death Valley. During the time of recording, the cactus must be replaced by an artificial cactus, whereby the film project remains, however, legal but gets lost in absurdity at the same time.
Posters for a performance or old drawings from Denicolai’s academy time which are adapted by the duo form another part of their work. They are a contribution to the discussion about the completed and unique (art)work and the myth of the ‘self-sustaining’ creation. With different interventions Denicolai & Provoost examine continuously the question of the esthetics of a deduced product. The art of Denicolai & Provoost may be lacking in clearness and logic but in exchange the artists offer very intimate insights into their world of experience and are questioning the routine of watching art.
To the audience that is involved in the work of Denicolai & Provoost, a miraculous and rich world of social involvement and personal dedication will open up; a world that persuades by sensitive straightforwardness.
The work ‘Bad translations are cheaper’ (2208) is a key work and is the basis for a performance during the opening of the exhibition at West. What was initially documentation of an earlier performance now produces puzzle material for new work and is kept alive by the artists in this way.
How dynamic the work of Denicolai & Provoost is, became clear from a second performance on the opening evening, in which the artists give life to stones from the canal in front of the gallery. Beside this, the powerful, multilayer video ‘ABC’ is shown, which makes multiculturalism open for discussion in several manners.
Especially for this exhibition, a multiple was made with the title ‘Let’s have a look’ in a small edition.
Simona Denicolai (1972) & Ivo Provoost (1974) exhibited previously at Galerie Aliceday, Tatjana Pieters, BeLa Editions, SMAK, Netwerk and WIELS in Belgium, at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, at Galerie West, The Hague and Galerie Sparwasser, Berlin, at Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna and Hangar in Barcelona. They were part of the Biennale of Pancevo in 2004, the Biennale of Bucharest in 2006 and the Biennale of Lyon in 2007. This year their work will be shown on the Biennale of Rennes, in the EACC, Castellon, Spain, at the CNEAI in Paris, in the Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg, at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg and on the eArts Festival in Shanghai during the World Exhibition. Their work can be found in several private and public collections in France and Belgium.
Artist talk: 2 pm in the gallery on Sunday 28 March 2010.
*Literal translation: Denaturalize, baby!
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 noon – 6 pm or by appointment
Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost
Uitburgeren, Baby!, performance 2010
Courtesy the artists and West, The Hague, The Netherlands