01 Poster of Share, But it's not fair

Paola Pivi: Share, But it’s not fair made its debut at  Rockbund Art Museum on July 7th. It is the first major solo show in China of the acclaimed international artist Paola Pivi with her latest outstanding installations and new productions. It will last until September 9th. Born in Italy in 1971, the artist Paola Pivi works and lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She has been very productive in the international contemporary art scene since 1995, her paintings, installations, performances, photographs, and videos have all been inspired by an art of creating upside down situations.

The artist produces works that comes from pre-existing ordinary materials and living creatures but the way she puts them together to create very extraordinary situations, unusual and enigmatic environments: paintings blooming into amazing colored pearls, sculptures, ribbons standing as powerful minimalist installations, zebras photographed in the snow, food or cosmetic colored liquids forming monochromatic paintings and sculptures.

Paola Pivi likes to generate ambiguous and contradictory feelings like lightness and weight, smoothness and violence, warmth and cold, seriousness and absurdity, singularity and mutiple. As is often the case in Paola Pivi’s exhibitions, narration is not straightforward. The first impression of strong visual surprise gives way to an analysis that leads the viewer into an atypical, absurd, bizarre and extravagant world. The artist likes to create improbable situations, to be experienced and experimented with. Anything becomes possible.

Paola Pivi’s solo show at Rockbund Art Museum will comprise three impressive installations, one large outdoor drawing on a billboard, and a selection of photographs, pearl paintings and lamps, which offer original and critical views on formatted topics about our contemporary world. Critical thought in Pivi’s work does not come out from a direct sociological or political attitude but is powerfully activated through the permanent question of how a picture has the power to subvert what we name reality – society, gender, cultural identity – into an alienated space for representation. So the artist does not pretend to represent or comment on the existing world, she really wants to subvert the world into anomalistic situations which could open up to more critical approaches about our daily representations and to our potential for more powerful and creative visions. In this way, she cleverly captivates the eyes and the cultural backgrounds of any Asian or Western spectator by putting into question any pretentiousness of Truth about our general representations of the contemporary world.

To exhibit Paola Pivi’s work into an Asian and Chinese art context is also particularly relevant because her images are always asking for more demanding articulation between images and social content. In an art context where the majority of the artists are rushing into social topics, Pivi’s strategy is radically different: it is the intrusion of an anomalistic image into the social sphere which will overturn reality into new representations and will offer the visitor an experience in a creative critical thought.

Paola Pivi’s works are the outcome of weird yet extremely precise, cogent ordering of things: representations are striking in terms not only of their shape, color and lighting, but above all by their capacity to assert themselves as lightning-like intrusions into reality – with no narrative gambit, no symbolic justification, and no metaphorical or allegorical convolutions. In other words, the art of Paola Pivi systematically gambles on images with the power to be more real than any other reality. Or to put it another way: the image is fantasy within reality.

About the exhibition

Duration: 7 July – 9 September 2012

Venue: Rockbund Art Museum, No.20 Huqiu Road, Shanghai, China

Artist: Paola Pivi

Curator: Larys Frogier

Courtesy of the artist and Rockbund Art Museum, for further information please visit www.rockbundartmuseum.org.

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