exhibitionAlessio BolzoniTHERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, YOU SEE21.06—06.07.202456 Conduit Street

21.06—06.07.2024 Wednesday—Saturday
56 Conduit Street

V.O Curations is pleased to present ALESSIO BOLZONI: THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, YOU SEE. On entering the first gallery, we encounter four diptychs installed across the space, each pair a juxtaposition of two grainy, larger-than-life size images of walking legs from diverse periods and places. An ongoing series entitled Accumulo, each diptych consists of one reappropriated black and white reproduction and the other in colour. The black and white image on the left finds their origin from 50s and 60s photographs that the artist has acquired and collected over many years. The colour image on the right, sourced from newspaper reproductions published in the recent years, mirrors the gait captured in the black and white image. Observing these gritty pictures carefully selected from a personal archive, the viewer is both amused and bemused to witness the returning reflection of a distant past moment in each diptych. Has the inundation of images today gone beyond a certain point that repetition is inevitable? Bolzoni’s work probes at today’s excessive production of imagery and the consequence of unintended repetitions. His work’s inquiry into this matter has a self-critical edge as he participates as a contributor to this excess. The flip side of this critical awareness is, however, finding solace in the returning images despite the many decades in-between. The viewer is walking by and through these works whilst unintentionally striking the same poses with our own lower half of the body. The ‘old’ legs, the ‘recent’ legs and the ‘now’ legs are brought together into one space to face their doppelgangers from other time dimensions. Is everything we witness a memory of the past and equally the precognition of what is to come? Could what flashes before our eyes be mirages of the bygone times and simultaneously the dream of the future? Perhaps it’s the familiarity we feel towards the returning similar images, such as these walking legs engaged in brisk walks through the city streets, that keeps us afloat. Perhaps it’s the rhythm created through repetition, like the footsteps of the daily commuters, that carries us forward. It could be the echos of the past that makes the uncertainty of the future just about bearable. Bolzoni’s work hints at the comfort of familiarity quietly countering the anxious frenzy of image excess.

In the same space, Bolzoni debuts a new series entitled eBay that also appropriates photographic images of the past. This series consists of 10 intimately sized collages made with original black-and-white photographs purchased on eBay. The only given information on the original photographs is that they are from the US and roughly taken around mid-1950s. Bolzoni stiches together fragments of memories belonging to strangers from before his time. Composed in a linear form, reminiscent of film strips with consecutive images, each work animates a bleary moment constructed from an accumulation of visual flashes. Perhaps Bolzoni is attempting to retrieve a lost souvenir by lacing it into an imagined narrative, and the viewer gets to peer into someone’s intimate memories through the artist’s narrative filter.

In the next room, there are 8 works from the series Abuse II - The Uncanny on view. First shown as billboard projects all over Milan in 2020, the anonymous figures in contorted postures are suspended mid-motion against the clinical, white backdrop. It looks as though they are attempting to levitate themselves, peeling off the floor to escape the gravitational weight bearing down on them. Bolzoni directs the figures to play the role of performers precariously balancing on the fine line between fearful anxiety and tantalising excitement, subsequently capturing the very moment agony turns to ecstasy. We are once again brought to the fine line between two supposedly opposing emotions.

Installed on the floor and leaning against the wall opposite the figures are various sizes of UV printed aluminium panels. These works strewn across the room feel like fragments of memories of the two series Abuse II - The Uncanny and Accumulo. The grainy monochromatic abstract images remind us of the granular texture in the blown-up newspaper reproductions of legs. The crisp photographs of articles of clothing seem to document what’s left behind after the struggling bodies have been freed from the weight. The shape of its wearer, the bodily scent and the journeys it has taken over the years are imprinted into each article, silently narrating a story. In fact, these photographs, from the fanzine project Event that accompanied Abuse II - The Uncanny series, are of used objects that the Syrian Refugees were selling on the street. The ensemble, in a way, is a constellation of, at times, hazy and, at other times, clear memories of the two preceding projects. Even within the exhibition, the earlier images return, bringing the viewer back to the starting point, as memories transport one to the past moment that gave birth to those evocations.

Private view: Friday 21st June, 6PM - 8PM at 56 Conduit Street.

Alessio Bolzoni (b. 1979, Italy) lives and works in London. His selected exhibitions include: 'Accumulo', Cibrian, San Sebastian, Spain (2023); 'I Speak A Language That Is Not Mine', 14point1 Gallery, Paris, France (2022); 'Abuse', HAA London, UK (2021); 'Action Reaction', Billboard Project, Milano, Italy (2020).

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