Emilio Vavarella_rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) “Errors, Limits and Malfunctions” @Modern Art Base Shanghai

posted on January 19th 2021 in with 0 Comments

22 January 2021 @ 16:46 – 28 February 2021 @ 17:46

Emilio Vavarella, “rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) – Errors, Limits and Malfunctions”
22/01 > 28/02/2021

A project by Emilio Vavarella
Curated and produced by Ramdom

Modern Art Base, Building 2, 10 Middle Jianguo Road, Huangpu, Shanghai.


The project rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) by artist Emilio Vavarella, winner of the 6th Edition of Italian Council (program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), is now landing in Shanghai, China, with the exhibition “Errors, Limits and Malfunctions”, curated by Ramdom and Arthub.

The exhibition revolves around Vavarella’s rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) project. Thetitle of the project refers to the first line of text resulting from the genotyping of Vavarella’s DNA. The work is based on the translation of his genetic code in a large fabric, through the labour of his mother, using one of the first modern computational machines: the Jacquard loom. The result is a monumental work composed of a fabric, a loom and a video, that is part of the permanent collection of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

The exhibition in Shanghai represents the second chapter of a trilogy of exhibitions: the first chapter, “Ideas, Hypotheses, Assumptions and Objects” (July-September 2020, Gagliano del Capo, Italy) focused on the open, performative, and rhizomatic production process of the project. The second chapter, titled “Errors, Limits and Malfunctions”, bridges Vavarella’s artistic research in his rs548049170_1_69869_TT project with a wider reflection on his artistic methodology and, more specifically, on Vavarella’s approach to technological errors and the intrinsic limits of technology.

The theme of the limit of technology has deep roots in the history of 20th Century Art, and in particular in the history of technology and technological power, providing an aesthetic line of inquiries that can be retrieved in seminal works by Vavarella, which will be exhibited for the first time in China. The list of works in the exhibition includes the series of 44 photos from his The Sicilian Family (2012) series; the photographic installation THE GOOGLE TRILOGY – 3. The Driver and the Cameras (2013) and his art film Animal cinema (2017). Thus, the show moves from these early works up to the monumental more than eighty meters-long (and sixty centimeters-wide) grayscale fabric of rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me). Finally, the exhibition includes Vavarella’s new art film Genesis (2021), that revolves around his mother working in a textile laboratory to recreate Vavarella’s DNA as a textile. A new series of smaller format textile-based works, titled DNA Samples (2021) will be also shown for the first time. Finally, a video screen on a plasma monitor will broadcast, in a loop, the artist’s genomic sequence, along a curatorial selection of historical documents related to the history of the Jacquard loom, bridging the Italian and Chinese textile traditions.

The book rs548049170_1_69869_TT will be also made available during the exhition. Published by MOUSSE and edited by Emilio Vavarella, Claudio Zecchi, and Paolo Mele, it highlights and extends the scope of the project through the contributions of fifteen thinkers and ­­­practitioners from the fields of art, philosophy, bioengineering, media theory, and the history of science and technology, among which: Lorenzo Balbi, George M. Church, Francesco Giaquinto, Ellen Harlizius-Klück, Sabine Himmelsbach, Stephen Monteiro, Carla Petrocelli, Davide Quadrio, Eugene Thacker, Ed Regis, Devin Wangert and Ursula Wolz.

The third chapter of this trilogy of exhibitions will reveal the final form of rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me): a large-scale modified Jacquard loom that hosts a video and a textile. The work will be unveiled in Spring 2021 in Bologna (Italy) as part of Art City.


Institutional partners:
MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (Italy); The Film Study Center (Harvard); Arthub (Shanghai); Gallleriapiù (Italy)

With the support of:
Modern Art Base (Shanghai) and Consolato Generale d’Italia, Shanghai

Technical partner:
Tessitura Giaquinto (Gagliano del Capo, LE)

Media partner:
ATP Diary