a project by Carlo Zanni

Marsèlleria, Milan / Italy

April 4, 2014

a project by Carlo Zanni

April 7–25, 2014

Via Paullo 12/A


With the designers Raw-Edges, Ilaria Innocenti, Giorgia Zanellato, and the producer Mirko Rizzi

During the Salone del Mobile 2014, Marsèlleria presents OROBORO, an exhibition that puts Carlo Zanni‘s works in dialogue with a selection of design items created by designers Raw-Edges, Ilaria Innocenti and Giorgia Zanellato and by producer Mirko Rizzi spanning the three floors of Marsèlleria. The exhibition unfolds as a journey towards three key concepts: birth, life, and death of the individual; identity formation and development in relation to others; political tension and participation. Oroboro, the snake that eats its own tail, symbolizes the cyclical nature of things and, in alchemy, it stands for an infinite process.

The dialectical relation between Carlo Zanni‘s digitally produced works and the design pieces provides a meeting ground where “immaterial” artworks and handmade objects coexist. The exhibition layout is designed so as to convey an innovative approach to collecting video art through the artist’s works: the use of multiple channels of distribution allows for low-priced, potentially limitless editions with no artist’s signature suitable for a wider circulation and accessible by a larger public.

The ViBo (Video Book) enjoys all these features. It is a case resembling both a book and a digipak holding a screen where videos and digital works are shown, such as Self-Portrait With Dog (2008), Iterating My Way Into Oblivion (2010), Self-Portrait With Friends (the lazy bums) (2012), The Sandman (2013). The ViBos are mounted on Adobe, desk accessories created by Ilaria Innocenti and moulded after the handmade process of clay brick making.

Works and objects selected by the artist are exhibited on eight tables realized by Mirko Rizzi in keeping with Enzo Mari‘s rules of Autoprogettazione (Self-design). Standing on Plaid Bench, a structure designed by Raw-Edges, is Carlo Zanni’s latest installation Atlas (2014), consisting of a number of white paper sheets flecked with black dots. Each dots indicates a US military base located in Italy so that connecting the dots generates a portrait of the country different from its geographical shape.

Giorgia Zanellato‘s Balloon lantern lights up Zanni’s tictactoe (loser), a work based on the free distribution of email spam the artist received by curator Dan Cameron that aims to expose the flaws of email protection systems under hacking attacks. Designed by Ilaria Innocenti, the room divider Armando e Lia becomes a screen for projecting the video my country is a Living Room (2010), a “surrealist” poetry composed with the automatic text editing tool Google Scribe (no longer available): all Google’s suggestions were accepted after typing one word or just a few letters.

Committed to the logic of open-source, self-production 2.0, copyleft and to the idea that contemporary art and design elude system of mass production and distribution, Zanni presents the video Koh-i-N∞r featuring an unreleased piece of music by Moby, commercially licensed from the revolutionary project mobygratis that offers over 150 tracks for free. If the material is used on a for-profit project, part of the proceeds will go to the Humane Society, an animal protection organization.

The exhibition is accompanied by a critical text by Laura Barreca.

Carlo Zanni
Carlo Zanni was born in La Spezia (Italy) in 1975. Since the early 2000s his practice involves the use of Internet data to create time-based social consciousness experiences investigating our life. Zanni’s practice finds its roots in Sol Lewitt’s artist statement, “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art,” which he translates into a contemporary adaptation, “The idea becomes the code that renders the art.” Carlo Zanni has shown worldwide in galleries and museums including Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum, New York; Tent, Rotterdam; MAXXI, Rome; MoMA PS1, New York; Borusan Center, Istanbul; ACAF Space, Alexandria; Performa 09, New York; ICA, London; Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh; and Science Museum, London. He founded PeopleFromMars.org to experiment new distribution models for video art and new media projects.

Press kit and images in high and low res available here.

Federica Cimatti: T +39 02 67077082 / T +39 333 4346146 / f.cimatti [​at​] altofragile.it
Giulia Mainetti: T +39 02 36522680 / T +39 347 0557639 / g.mainetti [​at​] altofragile.it