Artrust will reopen the doors of its exhibition spaces in via Pedemonte di Sopra 1 in Melano (CH) starting next May 10th, with a new exhibition entitled “America Flag Videogame” dedicated to the artist Yuri Catania. The exhibition will take place at the same time as the open air project curated by the artist and promoted by CasaGalleria MonteGeneroso entitled “The Cats of Rovio”, which includes a series of urban interventions on the homes of the small Ticino town where Yuri Catania now resides.
On show is a single large installation – “American Flag IV: VIDEOGAME” – consisting of 90 images taken inside a well-known video game: a large photo album, straddling the line between virtual and real, which takes on the features of an American flag.
“American Flag IV: VIDEOGAME” is in fact an interactive installation, which offers the viewer the possibility of repositioning the images as he/she pleases. It is like a game, allowing the viewer to become part of the creative process of the artwork itself, regenerating it each time into something new and unrepeatable.
VISIT THE EXHIBITION
10 may– 16 july
From Monday to Friday
From 10 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 18
Saturday from 14 to 18
At Artrust, via Pedemonte di Sopra 1, 6818 Melano
As an avid videogame player, over time I became disinterested in the game’s violent and criminal purpose and started to wander the virtual environments of the city of Los Angeles on foot or on a ‘borrowed’ bicycle. – says the artist, Yuri Catania – So, for more than four years I started a project as a “street photographer” inside the videogame, to tell the story of a virtual world so well made that it was able to bring back the same feelings and emotions of the places I am familiar with and that I usually photograph in Los Angeles and the Moave desert. It’s something that, as a photographer and a technology lover, fascinates and attracts me, but on the other hand it also raises questions and concerns about the implications that this now perfect overlap between the real and the virtual can have on our lives
I GATTI DI ROVIO
The exhibition will take place at the same time as the open air project curated by the artist and promoted by CasaGalleria MonteGeneroso entitled “The Cats of Rovio”, which includes a series of urban interventions on the homes of the small Ticino town where Yuri Catania now resides.
“The Cats of Rovio” is an artistic project by Yuri Catania. This is an open air exhibition consisting of about 60 giant posters of various sizes hanging in the historic centre of Rovio, with the intention of creating a cultural phenomenon and territorial promotion that involves young people and families from all over Ticino and beyond. A visual journey where the protagonist is Rovio with its inhabitants and its historical architecture, which will also involve the neighbouring municipalities that have joined the project by “donating” walls: Arogno, Maroggia and Melano.
The works will be true artist’s portraits: photographs that the artist will take personally on a set set up in the church square in Rovio and around the village in sessions open to the public. As the title indicates, the protagonists of the portraits will be the Cats of Rovio with reference to the felines but also to its inhabitants, the Roviensi, known as “cats”. In particular, Yuri Catania is interested in portraying the elderly, those who by experience represent and characterize our territory as they constitute its memory and history.
The portraits will then be printed and applied directly to the walls with biodegradable glue as is done for the ‘classic’ posters, using the collage-decoupage technique or – to use the terminology of current Street Art – the paste-up technique, brought to the fore by world-famous artists such as Obey (Shepard Fairey) and JR.
Yuri Catania was born in 1975 in Milan. He graduated from the Candiani Art School and attended a two-year course in Industrial Design at the Milan Polytechnic. He began his career as an illustrator of children’s books, but soon photography became his most important way of expression and working tool. He established himself as a fashion photographer in the commercial and editorial fields. He opened a photo production company in New York and travelled the world for more than 15 years, dedicating himself to fashion as a photographer and video director.
At the same time, however, he pursued an artistic project that stemmed from a more intimate impulse, the expression of a subtle positive and melancholic thought that distinguishes his vision of the world. This is how “No Fashion Places” was born, in open contrast to the work she does on commission and in which she manifests her freer and more unconditioned thinking.
The turning point came in 2013 when curator Rene Julien Praz noticed his work and invited him to exhibit first at the Palais de Tokyo and then at the Perrotin Gallery in 2015 in two “Art Is Hope” groups. He moved to live in Switzerland where he sought a more favourable environment to focus on his art.
Within a few years, he opened CasaGalleria in Rovio, at the foot of Monte Generoso, in a wonderful natural environment where he has been living and setting up his creative atelier. Since 2010 he has been working on the photographic project No Fashion Places of America, travelling in a caravan across the United States in the footsteps of Robert Frank and inspired by the readings of William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote and Jessica Bruder.
He published his first book “No Fashion Places of America” in 2016. More recently, Catania feels the need to return to experimenting with film photography through the use of medium format. As a child of an era straddling the two worlds of analogue and digital, he has revolutionised his systems to work more slowly, taking a portion of his new projects to the darkroom. The manual development process thus becomes an integral part of the message he wants to tell.
His evolution also led him to use photography for more complex projects inspired by the street art of artists such as JR and the work of Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. This gave rise to new experiments and forms of language in his photography, which was constantly “invaded” and “dirtied” by the use of lettering made up of phrases, slogans or pieces of poetry that he had composed, which acted directly as captions and thus became a short circuit between image and contemporary art.