HA-HA, Punto Sull’Arte, Varese

October, 1 – 4, 2020, Galleria Punto Sull’Arte, Varese (I)

“I’ve often remarked that, just as certain animals piss on their territory so that it stays theirs, many men mark and dirty the things they own by shitting on them, in order to keep them, or shit on other things to make them their own. This stercoraceous or excremental origin of property rights seems to me a cultural source of what we call pollution, which, far from being an accidental result of involuntary acts, reveals deep intentions and a primary motivation.”

Michel Serres, The Natural Contract

JERNEJ FORBICI, after the great success of his 2019 solo show in New York and the important group exhibition “The Tremendous World I have Inside my Head” at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška (KGLU) in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia, now returns to his reference gallery PUNTO SULL’ARTE in Varese, where he will present more than thirty previously unshown paintings, in large and medium-small formats, in the solo show HA-HA. The works are from the series entitled Pile of Garbage which focuses on the always current and controversial theme of pollution and the central role that man plays in it.

Big Pile of Garbage, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 286x196cm

Ha-ha is the surprise result of a new research created simultaneously from the paraphrase of a simple laugh and the reflection of literature which the artist has encountered and dedicated himself to in recent times. If on the one hand ha-ha is a smile, mocking and disturbing nature, which, by reclaiming possession of its space and time, brings into play the entire human and artistic path of the artist, it is also the surprise of being faced with that same ditch (probably today polluted, a strange reddish colour, where colourful plastic flowers emerge) along which stands a wall (now a fascinating huge pile of garbage) which, however, still allows you to look far away, towards the countryside. That territory, garden, exhausted environment, which mankind claims as his own, marking it, fouling it, and which in this exhibition the artist presents to us, portrayed through pollution and rubbish, the result of human action, is rich in profound intentions and a strong primal motivation.

By addressing the issue of abandoned waste, to some extent hidden from our eyes because there are hills in the middle of the plains, walls of every type, or because it is simply not visible, the artist invites us to reflect on the quantity of waste that we produce and how much plastic we are now surrounded by. The series of new mixed media paintings of large and medium format canvases by JERNEJ FORBICI, entitled Pile of Garbage, presented in the new solo show at the PUNTO SULL’ARTE Gallery, speaks to us precisely of this, of abandoned rubbish, which then in time contaminates nature. This last, reacting in its own way, gives rise to mutations and changes, sometimes even drastic and tragic. Here then, the exhibition and above all the series, dedicated to panoramic works, leaves us space to go beyond that wall and confine. Thus the artist creates an extended image, which embraces the horizon in a desire for infinity, in that same nature violated and redefined by mankind.

Daisworld, installation view
Daisworld V, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 96×276 cm
Daisworld IV, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 96×276 cm
Garbage Mastaba, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 196x286cm
Pile of Garbage I, 2019-2020, acrylic and tempera on canvas, 206 x 160 cm
Piles of garbage, 2020, acrylic and oil on canvas, 96x276cm
Past III, 2020, acrylic and oil on paper, 40x50cm