AFTER CLUB – RICCARDO BANFI, ANNE DE VRIES, LUCA PUCCI 08.05 - 31.07.2021

AFTER CLUB_COVER

AFTER CLUB – AND IN THE MEANTIME THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, IS A PROJECT BORN AND DEVELOPED OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. AFTER SURFACING IN 2017 FROM AN EARLY DISCUSSION IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROJECT BULC, THE EXHIBITION FINDS ITS FINAL REALISATION ONLY IN 2021. THROUGH A RADICALNESS THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME OUR GENERATION HAS EXPERIENCED, THE VERY CONDITIONS OF CONCEIVING THIS EXHIBITION HAVE CHANGED SINCE 2017. IN THIS RESPECT, AFTER CLUB IS A PROJECT AIMING TO FREEZE THE IMPRESSION OF SUDDEN SILENCE AND SUSPENSION THAT HAS PERMEATED NIGHT LIFE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 2020. A SENSE OF COLLECTIVE FALLING THAT HAS INVESTED THE CLUBBING WORLD – THROUGH THE EXPONENTIALLY FAST SEQUENCE OF SUDDEN CALLING OFF OF EVENTS, COLLECTIVE DISORIENTATION, ONLINE STREAMING EXPLOSION, DIFFUSION OF DIGITAL FESTIVALS AND SOLITARY LIVE SETS. BETWEEN THE FIRST DISCUSSIONS WITH THE ARTISTS FEATURED IN THE EXHIBITION AND ITS ACTUAL REALISATION, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

HENCE, CONCEIVING THE EXHIBITION AT THE TURN OF 2019 AND 2021, CARRIES WITH IT THE EXTRAORDINARY IMPACT OF THE YEAR 2020 ON OUR INTERPRETATION OF ONE OF THE PIVOTAL ELEMENTS OF THE CLUBBING AND RAVE SCENES: THE GATHERING.

AFTER CLUB AIMS TO CRYSTALLISE AND EXTEND SUCH MOMENTS OF TRANSITORY SUSPENSION AND OF SWIFT REDUCTION OF THE CROWD INTO A “SINGULARITY”, A PHASE OF ABRUPT ARREST; AND IT DOES SO BY DEPARTING FROM THE LANGUAGE OF THE CLUBBING WORLD ITSELF.

AS IF THIS TEMPORARY SITUATION WOULD BECOME THE NORM.

WHETHER WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CLUBBING THE “AFTER” IS THE TIME FOLLOWING AND NON-OFFICIALLY EXPANDING THE PARTY – THAT AFTER EXTENDING AND EXALTING THE SECRET COMMUNION OF UNSTOPPABLE NIGHT-GOERS – HERE THE AFTER RATHER BECOMES A REFLECTION ON THE STATUS OF CLUBBING, AS WELL AS ON THE VERY IDEA OF CLUB ITSELF OR OF THE GATHERING FOLLOWING THE 2020 APOCALYPSE. THE ECHO OF SUCH TEMPORARY FREEZING, THUS PERMEATES THE EXHIBITED WORKS AND DEFINES THEIR INTERPRETATION. IN THE SEQUENCE OF ARTWORKS BY RICCARDO BANFI, ANNE DE VRIES AND LUCA PUCCI, SUCH THREAD OF “CLUB AFTER” FINDS A METAPHORICAL AND POETIC EXPRESSION IN BANFI’S PHOTOGRAPHS, A MORE CEREBRAL EXPLORATION OF THE SYMBOLISM OF RAVE-CULTURE IN THE DE VRIES’ WORKS, AND A PERFORMATIVE AND RELATIONAL INTERPRETATION IN PUCCI’S PROJECT, WHERE THE GATHERING IS LINKED TO GROUP DANCES AS A TOOL OF TRANSGENERATIONAL UNITY.

THE EXHIBITION LAUNCHES A SERIES OF PROJECTS HOSTED BY COLLI INDEPENDENT ART GALLERY, THAT WILL CONVERGE INTO BULC, A PRINTED CATALOGUE BY VIAINDUSTRIAE PUBLISHING THAT WILL BE UNVEILED AT THE END OF THE PROGRAMME.

RICCARDO BANFI
LET’S DANCE 2016 / HAND (RIOT) 2017

A SOPHISTICATED INTERPRETER OF NIGHTLIFE, BANFI MADE IT THE FOCUS OF HIS PHOTOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATION FROM 2010 UNTIL ABOUT 2017. IF THE 2015 PROJECT TNX REPRESENTS THE CULMINATION OF SUCH RESEARCH, HIS INTEREST IN CLUBBING HAS GRADUALLY WANED THROUGH THE MULTIPLE TRAJECTORIES OF A VISUAL UNIVERSE THAT HAS EXPERIENCED HYBRID AESTHETIC DIMENSIONS VIA THE PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIUM: FROM A RENEWED ATTENTION FOR AND EXPERIMENTATION WITH THE DIGITAL (SEE THE SERIES SURPLUS, 2015-2017) TO A PERIOD SPENT IN LOS ANGELES, FROM WHICH HIS LATEST COLLECTION SUNSHINE NOIR ORIGINATES. THE TWO WORKS ON SHOW LET’S DANCE, 2016, AND HAND (RIOT), 2017, REVEAL ELEMENTS IN LINE WITH HIS INVESTIGATION ON CLUBBING – HAND IS PART OF THE PROJECT RIOT ON MYKKI BLANCO – AND THE POETIC TONES OF HIS SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH. BANFI’S PRODUCTION IS RICH AND GUIDED BY THE EXPLORATORY NATURE OF THE ARTIST’S GAZE IN IDENTIFYING ANONYMOUS MOMENTS OR UNEXPECTED EPIPHANIES, POTENTIALLY HIDDEN IN EVERY PLACE. POETIC VISUAL METAPHORS THAT, WHILE DOCUMENTING THE ARTIST’S SPACES OF ACTION, DEFINE A UNIQUE, VARIED, FIGURATIVE AND ABSTRACT, AS WELL AS BIOGRAPHICAL AND DOCUMENTARY REPRESENTATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD.

IF RIOT SYMBOLICALLY STANDS FOR THE “BUILD UP” PREPARING FOR A “DROP” THAT IS DOOMED NOT TO HAPPEN, LET’S DANCE HOLDS THE EMBRYO OF A RESOLUTION: IN THE WHEEL OF A PIGEON’S WINGS AND IN THE HAND, THE FLUIDITY OF TWO DISTINCT MOVEMENTS CAN BE SEEN RESPECTIVELY AS THE ECHO OF THE SETBACK AND A RENEWED MOMENTUM.

BANFI’S PRESENTATION IS COMPLETED BY THE VIDEO 2012: A REMINISCENCE FINALISED ON THE OCCASION OF AFTER CLUB FOR ITS DIGITAL PLATFORM. AS BANFI STATES, 2012: A REMINISCENCE INDULGES IN A RE-ENACTMENT OF PAST EVENTS, STARTING FROM ARCHIVE FOOTAGE OF A NIGHT OF PARTYING AND REFLECTING ON THE THEME OF CLUBBING DURING A “STATE OF EXCEPTION”. THE VIDEO OFFERS PERSPECTIVES ON LEISURE TIME, RITUALITY AND BELONGING TO A CULTURE, WHILE QUESTIONING THE ROLES OF INDIVIDUALS WITHIN THE NIGHTLIFE COMMUNITY AND THEIR INTERACTIONS. IN A YEAR IN WHICH IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO LIVE IT, BANFI HAS NOT CEASED TO INVESTIGATE THE THEME OF THE NIGHT, AS A THEORETICAL PLACE, EVEN BEFORE IT IS EXPERIENTIAL, OFFERING A MORE CONCEPTUAL ENTRY POINT TO THE DIVERSE RESEARCH APPROACHES FEATURED IN THE SHOW. “NOITE (NÃO-OITO), NUIT (NON-HUIT), NIGHT (NO-EIGHT), NACHT (NEIN-ACHT); NOTTE; NOCHE”. IN THIS QUOTATION RECENTLY DISCOVERED BY THE ARTIST ON THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD NIGHT AND ITS MYSTERY, AN ALMOST NUMERICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE WORKS OF ANNE DE VRIES AND LUCA PUCCI CAN BE FOUND, DISCLOSING TWO DISTINCT DIMENSIONS – ONE NOCTURNAL, THE OTHER DIURNAL – BOTH OVERLOOKED, AS IT WILL BE SEEN, BY A SORT OF NUMEROLOGY AND INTERNAL RHYTHM.

ANNE DE VRIES

FREEZONE 23 2020 / T.A.Z. 2018

THE WORLD OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC, ‘FREE TEKNO’ AND ‘HARDSTYLE’ IS RECURRENT IN THE WORK OF ARTIST ANNE DE VRIES, IN CONJUNCTION WITH A BROADER REFLECTION ON CONTEMPORARY NOTIONS OF “TRANSCENDENCE” AND THE “MIND-BODY DUALITY”, AS WELL AS ON THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND PROGRESS, METAPHYSICAL THEORY AND “MASS EXPERIENCE”, PARTICULARLY WITH REFERENCE TO LEGENDARY FESTIVAL AND TRANCE RAVE REUNIONS. AMONG THE WORKS THE ARTIST HAS PRODUCED IN SUCH DIRECTION AND HAVE HAD PARTICULAR RESONANCE, THE INSTALLATION CRITICAL MASS: PURE IMMANENCE, REALISED IN THE OCCASION OF THE 9TH BERLIN BIENNALE IN 2016, CAN BE MENTIONED. DE VRIES’ RESEARCH IS INTERESTED IN THE LINGUISTIC AROUND MUSIC, CORRELATIONS BETWEEN TITLES, LYRICS IN RELATION TO ELECTRONIC (FUTURISTIC) MUSIC, FOR WHICH HE TURNED A WIDE RANGE OF PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES INTO LYRICS FOR DANCE TRACKS.

CONCEIVED FOR HIS 2019 SOLO SHOW TITLED TRANCE IN AMSTERDAM – RETURNS AND PRESENTED IN ITALY FOR THE FIRST TIME, FREEZONE 23 AND T.A.Z. DEPART FROM RAVE CULTURE ICONOGRAPHY AND HINT RESPECTIVELY AT A MIX OF SOURCES: HAKIM BEY’S TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE, “ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHY” AND “POETIC TERRORISM”, AS WELL AS RUDOLF STEINER’S PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM, BOTH TRENDS THAT CROSSED THE ANARCHIST MINDED ‘FREE TEKNO’ AND ‘TRIBE’ CIRCLES IN THE ‘90S. IN THE USE OF STRIPES A PARALLEL WITH THE AESTHETICS OF DANIEL BUREN CAN BE FOUND: A TRIBUTE TO THE FORMAL TROPES OF AN ARTIST THAT HAS MADE OF THE ELEMENT OF THE STRIPE THE BANNER OF AN AESTHETIC CREDO AND A POLITICAL TOOL OF INSTITUTIONAL CRITIQUE, BY FAVOURING THE PRESENTATION OF HIS WORK IN PUBLIC SPACES.

FREEZONE 23 AND T.A.Z. ARISE FROM DE VRIES’ ARTICULATED INTEREST IN THE WORLD OF FREE TEKNO, OF WHICH THE ARTIST CAPTURES THE COUNTER-CULTURAL AND ANARCHIC ORIGIN AND, AT THE SAME TIME, THE PROCESS OF GRADUAL ANAESTHETISATION OF SUCH “HARD” MATRIX, UNTANGLED IN THE TEXT “TRANSFORMATION THROUGH DEPOLITICIZATION” PUBLISHED ON FLASH ART INTERNATIONAL IN 2016. A PROCESS SUBTLY REPLICATED ALSO IN THE “STRIPED LANDSCAPE” OF FREEZONE23, WHICH REMAINS POISED BETWEEN A TRIBUTE TO THE ERA OF COUNTERCULTURE, EVOKED IN THE TITLE AND IN THE KIEREWIET LOGOS – FROM AN UNDERGROUND SELF-ORGANIZING DUTCH SOUND SYSTEM, THAT IS OPPOSING THE FOR-PROFIT CLUB AND FESTIVAL TECHNO UNIVERSE.

LUCA PUCCI
AGENZIA DANCING DAYS

BETWEEN 2010 AND 2015 LUCA PUCCI HAS PRODUCED AGENZIA DANCING DAYS, A PROJECT IN COLLABORATION WITH EMANUELE DE DONNO ARISING FROM AN INVESTIGATION ON GROUP DANCES. IT IS A PERFORMATIVE PROJECT, MOVED BY AN AIM TO GATHER AND CREATE A COLLECTIVITY THROUGH THE ARTISTIC MEDIUM THAT HERE BECOMES A “CATALYST FOR COMMUNITY”. A PROJECT THAT COULD BE SEEN AS AKIN TO RELATIONAL ARTS, AGENZIA DANCING DAYS SEES IN THE GALLERY ITS CONCRETE REALISATION THROUGH THE SLICK AESTHETICS OF A WHITE LP, DOCUMENTING THE ARTIST’S JOURNEY BETWEEN DIVERSE PLACES, FROM UMBRIA TO POLAND, FROM RAVENNA TO WARSAW.

AS DESCRIBED IN THE “TRAVEL NOTES” COLLECTED BY THE ARTIST IN THE SEVERAL SITES WHERE THE PROJECT HAS OCCURRED, AGENZIA DANCING DAYS FINDS ITS ORIGIN IN THE DANCITY FESTIVAL: AN ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL ONCE TAKING PLACE IN FOLIGNO. FROM SUCH CONTEXT SPRUNG THE INTENTION TO BRING A GROUP OF “YOUNG SENIORS” CLOSER TO THE CLUBBING WORLD. “ON THAT EVENING, THE STRENGTH TO MOBILISE AND SHOW TO THOSE WHO WERE DANCING THAT THERE WAS ALSO A DIFFERENT POSSIBILITY OF DANCING, THROUGH GROUP DANCES, WAS VERY CLEAR”. AVAILABLE IN THE GALLERY FOR VISITORS, THE LIST OF TRAVEL NOTES OFFER A PRECISE GUIDE TO THE PROJECT’S VARIOUS STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT.

AN ARTIST WHO GOES BEYOND THE CANONICAL SYSTEMS, PROFILES AND CONTEXTS OF CONTEMPORARY ART, PUCCI’S DISCREET RESEARCH DEVELOPS ON TWO LEVELS: LARGE SCALE PROJECTS INVOLVING BROAD COMMUNITIES IN EVEN PICARESQUE ENTERPRISES, AND A FINAL SOBER, DRY AND PRECISE FORMALISATION, ULTIMATELY, A CONCEPTUAL ONE. AS WHITE AS THE DANCE FLOORS WHERE THE “POLISH DANCING DANCERS” PERFORMED THEIR MOVES WITH THE ARTIST, THE RECORD IS NOT JUST A SONIC MEMORY, BUT ALSO A HUMAN RECOLLECTION OF THE PROJECT’S ITINERARY. TWO SIDES, A AND DD, EACH CONTAINING 18 ONE-MINUTE TRACKS. ONE MINUTE CORRESPONDS TO 33 RPM, TRANSLATING ON THE RECORD THE PRODUCTION PROTOCOL OF THE PERFORMANCE. SIDE A COLLECTS THE RECORDINGS OF 18 GROUP DANCES HELD IN WARSAW; THE DD SIDE COLLECTS 18 TRACKS LINKED TO EIGHTEEN PERFORMANCES IN DIVERSE SITES.

THE SEQUENCE SELECTED FOR THE EXHIBITION (TRACK 9 TO 13, DD SIDE) INCLUDES THE DIVERSE SOUND AND PERFORMATIVE REGISTERS OF THE PROJECT, THE HANDS CLAPPING TYPICAL OF GROUP DANCES, MAZURKAS, THE PRACTICE AND REPETITION OF PUCCI’S STEPS WITH THE GROUP, CLASSIC BALERA SOUNDS AND A BIZARRE – AS IN THIS CASE IT IS DIFFICULT TO RECONCILE IT WITH THE CONTEXT – TECHNO CODA. THE ECHOES OF THE RECORDING AND THE RUMBLE OF THE ROOMS, OF THE STEPS, OF THE GESTURES, CONFERS TO THE AUDIO A STRANGE DIMENSION OF BOTH PRESENCE AND ABSENCE. PUCCI’S PROCESS SEEMS NOWADAYS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE, FOR IT SOUNDS VERNACULAR AND DISTANT AT THE SAME TIME, THE MEMORY OF AN IDEA OF UNION, DURING “DANCING DAYS” OVER WHICH THE SHADOW OF THE LAST YEAR INEVITABLY LOOMS.

17 MARCH 2020

DEAR GIULIA,

PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR NOT GETTING BACK TO YOU SOONER.

I WAS QUITE SICK, AND BY THE TIME I RECOVERED THE WHOLE WORLD HAD CHANGED.

SAME FOR YOUR PLANS I SUPPOSE?

I HOPE YOU ARE HEALTHY AND SAFE.

ANNE

AFTER CLUB

AS IF THIS TEMPORARY SITUATION WOULD BECOME THE NORM.
A SUSPENDED SCENARIO, IN WHICH, OF CLUBS, ONLY PROPS AND MEMORIES REMAIN.

GIULIA BINI


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