South likes: Benjamin Valenza at Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

South likes: Benjamin Valenza at Komplot, Brussels
Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula
Komplot, Brussels, Belgium
23 April – 14 June, 2014

The show by Benjamin Valenza on view at Komplot constitutes the prosecution of an ongoing research on which the practice of the artist is based. With a multifarious approach, Valenza embraces diverse procedures, including sculpture, music poetry and performance. The exhibition addresses complex themes related to the culture of the Mediterranean, to the issues in defining the vernacular, and to the way we envision the representations of certain cultures. A series of sculptures created and showcased in the exhibition venue highlight a particularly important point of Valenza’s vision. Maintaining that culture appears when it is shared or so to speak when it is exchanged, the objects and the experiences created by Valenza bypass any exotic take on the purity of regional cultures. In order to favour the portability of his discourse, the artist chose a material that is both easy to find and cheap to produce, regardless of geographies and local economies. For this reason he decided to employ a traditional recipe to cast soap sculptures with the help of a group of young artists. The collective work included the actual realisation of the objects as well as the production of a musical score to accompany the work of the group. The portability of this “vehicular factory”, as it is defined by the artist, is in fact central to the show. Halfway between a workshop and an installation, the show is composed by different elements, each one bearing a specific semantic tension. The head of a swordfish, an impossible wooden boat, a piece of rope recreate cultural landscapes that are common to many different regions of the Mediterranean, as seen in Vittorio De Seta’s documentaries or during Valenza’s travel to Palermo in Southern Italy—whereas travelling is indeed a healthy habit rather than an entertainment for tourist. A poem, vacuum sealed in a plastic bag, reaffirms the research for a common character that unifies distinct cultural scenarios: the whole page is the seamless repetition of the words “lingua franca”. For eventually, as Fernand Braudel wrote, “the life and history of the Mediterranean do not stop—as the geographer, the botanist or even the historian might have imagined—at the point where the last olive tree has been left behind”.

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://www.kmplt.be/project.php?id=97

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

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Benjamin Valenza, Circa Circa Fabrica Vehicula, 2014, installation view, Komplot, Brussels

 

 

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