The performative exhibition deals with the tension between the periphery and the center, investigating the role of mainstream culture and it's voracious appropriation of peripheric groups. During 2 weeks in Milano I interviewed people from the outskirts about their geographical and cultural position within the city and took their portraits. These were then exposed in a very central gallery with a totally different public. Emblematic elements of different class cultures were mixed in this situation: The portraits were turned into hipster posters available for purchase. In the middle of the gallery we put a long buffet table with very low quality food items (White bread, Coca Cola, mayonnaise, cheap cheese, etc) inviting the visitors to eat together under a sign saying " Eat and shut up". The whole scene was accompanied by light ristorante-style classical music. The people who I photographed were invited as well and mingled among the other visitors, mostly without being recognized.
POLA POLANSKI GOLD DIGGER
curated by CURRENT
The image of the ideal world we have in mind could be extremely confusing and perhaps even unknown to ourselves.
On the one hand, we should be aware of the inadequacy of traditional mass media in recreating a lasting and plausible synthesis of our expectations: the marketing tools of the old "big business" model are more and more difficult to keep up with the multiplicity of styles and currents that are autonomously shaped in contemporary society through the many channels of communication. Myriads of subcultures and unpredictable behavior are born, die and evolve quickly, some of which become the "fashion" of the moment. The proliferation of channels for cultural production is accompanied by the generative power of multiculturalism established in urban centers whose wealth perspective serves as a reference for migratory flows.
If the consumer profile remains central to economic discourse, this profile becomes increasingly difficult to grasp in a simplified form (the average man). And often the socio-economic profiles of groups of individuals evolve faster than the systems buildt to study them.
The ideal world of advertisements of the past - but many examples still survive today - became something really laughable: the strangeness of situations and models, the clumsiness of behavior, the fear of daring to experiment offer us the representation of a world that we ourselves, as consumers, struggle to imagine. Not only the traditional communication tools are more and more unable to paint our ideal, but also for ourselves it's increasingly difficult to understand what we really want.
The confusion in the references becomes evident in the comparison between the city center and its suburbs. The latters, by their very nature, exist in a condition of threshold in the creation of a cultural image. Many aesthetic currents are born on the margins of society, to be subsequently adapted and implemented by the upper class (think about music and all contemporary musical styles from Jazz to Hip-hop); in the same way the procedure can be reversed, if the subcultures try to imitate, with their own smaller means, the image of well-being of the upper districts.
This paradoxical mechanism reproduces itself in the current state of independent art spaces which, although often living on the margins of the art system (especially if understood as an economic system), often follow the aesthetic model of the gallery, giving life to bizarre chimeras of low-cost exhibitions, but with the appeal or formality of prestigious commercial spaces. And undeniably this situation of threshold is a fertile field for interesting experiments.
GOLD DIGGER stages both scenes described in an exhibition format that subverts the need to imitate the gallery, duplicating its nature (the commercial aspect and the formality of the inaugural buffet) - but on the other hand the aim of the exhibition is precisely the attempt to create a mixed image, in which the faces of the suburbs of Milan become icons through a mechanism of transformation between the meme, Pop-Art and the ADV aesthetics.