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EVADING CUSTOMS_MILAN

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“Evading Customs_Milan” is the Italian edition of the project conceived and curated by two young newyorker curators (Peter J.Russo e Lumi Tan), exhibited at London’s Brown Gallery in October 2009.

The exhibition, born in the core of the economic crisis that knocked down the western world two years ago, is now an opportunity of reflection on the need of rethinking about each own artistic practice given some geographic and economic limitations between the creator and the exhibition moment.

At the space of Le Dictateur it will be shown a selection of works, constructed on the basis of instructions given by fifteen artists. Twelve Italian projects, especially made for the exhibition, were selected on the basis of an early invitation to fifty artists living and working outside the Milan area. In addition, three works are selected from London’s catalogue, as to maintain a sort of continuity between the two shows.

The only limitation given was that each work be constructed by the curators, on-site and at minimal expense (with a maximum budget of 25€). This premise is both commonplace - as artists often rely on others to install or produce works in their absence - and practical, since it effectively eliminates the shipping component of this exhibition. All this allowed us to deal with the answers of a series of young Italian artists to the challenge posed by the American curators, feeling the pulse of the national artistic scene, in a still delicate economical phase. It also meant these same artists had the opportunity to make works specific to London, to address concepts of exchange, or to explore ideas that diverged greatly from their usual body of work. The attention, in fact, shifted on the intellectual work, on the necessity of working in abstract, in a planning approach - more than intellectual - forcing to renounce to the direct making of the work.

The exhibition takes root in a number of important art-historical moments, including: George Brecht’s Event Scores, which asked viewers to perform quotidian activities (1958); Sol LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969); Lucy Lippard’s instructive exhibitions, for which she gave directives to one artist, who in-turn instructed another, and so forth (1969-70); Hans-Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing Do It exhibition and book series (1993-); the New York City non-profit Triple Candie’s unauthorized retrospectives of David Hammons and Cady Noland (both in 2006); amongst many others - relative concepts, proffered here by necessity.

Selected artists: Francesco Arena, Riccardo Baruzzi, Stefano Calligaro, Lia Cecchin, Roberto De Pol, Patrizio Di Massimo, Ettore Favini, Paolo Inverni, Alessandra Messali, Matteo Rosa, Davide Savorani, Mirko Smerdel.

Presented again from London’s show are works by: Timothy Hull, Rachel Owens, Caleb Waldorf.

With contributions from: Alis / Filliol, Salvatore Arancio, Michele Bazzana, Riccardo Benassi, Emily Verla Bovino, Ludovica Carbotta, Arianna Carossa, Paolo Cirio, Danilo Correale, Riccardo Giacconi, Giovanni Giaretta, Giorgio Guidi, Giuseppe Lana, Renato Leotta, Federico Maddalozzo.

Curated by Guia Cortassa and Barbara Meneghel.


Brown Gallery. London, England.

Evading Customs, an exhibition of economy and strategy, brings together a selection of works fabricated via instructions from sixteen artists who live and work outside the United Kingdom. Fifty artists were asked to contribute projects, a selection of which were then realized; the only limitation given was that each work be constructed by the curators, gallery staff, or other artists, on-site and at minimal expense. This premise is both commonplace—as artists often rely on others to install or produce works in their absence—and practical, since it effectively eliminates the shipping component of this exhibition. It allowed us to present ambitious works by artists we might not be able to afford to show in the UK otherwise; it also meant these same artists had the opportunity to make works specific to London, to address concepts of exchange, or to explore ideas that diverged greatly from their usual body of work.

The exhibition takes root in a number of important art-historical moments, including: George Brecht’s Event Scores, which asked viewers to perform quotidian activities (1958); Sol LeWittʼs Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969); Lucy Lippard’s instructive exhibitions, for which she gave directives to one artist, who in-turn instructed another, and so forth (1969–70); Hans-Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing Do It exhibition and book series (1993–); the New York City non-profit Triple Candie’s unauthorized retrospectives of David Hammons and Cady Noland (both in 2006); amongst many others—relative concepts, proffered here by necessity.

Artists: José León Cerrillo, Tyler Coburn, Peter Coffin, E.V. Day, Harrell Fletcher, Adam Helms, David Horvitz, Matt Keegan, Tim Kinsella, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Rachel Owens, Kate Shepherd, Matt Sheridan Smith, Allyson Vieira, Erik Wysocan, and Caleb Waldorf

With contributions by: Brian Clifton, Joy Drury Cox, Rico Gatson, Samara Golden, Jonah Groeneboer, Timothy Hull, Jon Kessler, Fawn Krieger, Justin Lieberman, Mike Quinn, Andres Laracuente, Per-Oskar Leu, Sam Moyer, Ruairiadh O’Connell, Ry Rocklen, Asha Schechter, Macrae Semans, Nolan Simon, Colby Bird and Joshua Smith, Brina Thurston, Julia Weist, Hannah Whitaker, and Lisa Williamson

Additional materials by: Dexter Sinister, Serious Issue, Provence, Paperback Magazine, and Landings Journal

Evading Customs is organized by Peter J. Russo and Lumi Tan.