Museion, Bozen/Bolzano

39100 Bolzano

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press release

Museion in Bolzano is devoting a double event to Pawel Althamer (born Warsaw, 1967), the artist's first appearance in a public institution in Italy, with the solo show Polyethylene curated by Letizia Ragaglia and the performance project Common Task, Bolzano (2012), curated by Andrea Viliani.

Polyethylene: science fiction meets Baroque A crowd of pale sculptures, part zombies, part creatures from an unknown civilization—positioned singly or in groups—is set to take over the exhibition space on Museion's fourth floor. The result of a "collective creative process," the figures were created for the exhibition Almech at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Pawel Althamer's work has always explored the roots of classic sculpture, subverting its principles. During the Berlin exhibition the artist and his staff created plaster casts of the faces of volunteers involved in the project. The masks—highly realistic, but also totem-like and surreal—were grafted onto bodies of "synthetic white flesh," aka polyethylene. Channeling everything from classical to Baroque sculpture, the funerary art of the Middle Ages, comic strip aesthetics, and sci-fi films, the sculptures are of great emotional impact, evoking multiple associations. Each of them embodies both a single story and infinite stories, and together they form a social sculpture which extends beyond the confines of the museum. With the Pawel Althamer show Museion continues its exploration of the different languages of contemporary sculpture, and its reflections on the permeability of the museum venue.

In parallel to the exhibition in Museion, the Sammlung Goetz in Munich, Germany will be hosting solo show devoted to Pawel Althamer. The performance Common Task forges a connection between the two shows.

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Pawel Althamer