Fabien Castanier Gallery presents two simultaneous solo exhibitions that will both open November
8 and run until December 6. “POL-ETHICALLY CORRECT” from the Italian artist Fidia Falaschetti will be the artist’s first exhibition in the U.S. And, in the gallery’s project space, Canadian photographer Diana Thorneycroft presents “Canadians and Americans (best friends forever…it’s complicated).”
POL-ETHICALLY CORRECT solo exhibition by Fidia Falaschetti, November 8 – December 6, 2014. Opening Reception Saturday, November 8th 6-9pm.
Falaschetti presents a wide range of multi-media pieces that delve into the concepts of commercialism, consumerism, pop culture and the globalization of mainstream media. For this exhibition, the artist explores the relationship between digital and analog, appropriating materials and elements of the past and transforming them into impactful contemporary objects. As an artist with a commercial and design background, Falaschetti brings something different to the realm of socio-political art. He has witnessed the effects of commercialism and mainstream media and has now taken a step back to critique and analyze the consequences on both consumers and the art world. For example, in the AN-ALFABETO SERIES the artist uses blackboards and various corporate logos to form categories of consumer goods and media. Falaschetti has divided these logos, by board, into specific realms of consumption: digital influence, luxury, food, and media. Each board consists of global companies that have an influence on our daily lives, whether it’s direct consumption of products or merely a glimpse of an advertisement, each one has a hand in our mass intake. The use of vintage blackboards leaves the viewer with a sense of familiarity and nostalgia however the medium is juxtaposed by the heavy message of corporate power.
Fidia Falaschetti creates work that is satirical and playful but also confronts the viewer to think about how and what they consume. This contrast between lighthearted and weighty subject matter is a thread throughout the work shown in “POL-ETHICALLY CORRECT,” forcing the viewer to consume, and most importantly, to reflect.
Concurrently, in the gallery’s project space, will be the solo exhibition by Canadian photographer Diana Thorneycroft.
Project Space: Canadians & Americans (best friends forever… it’s complicated) by Diana Thorneycroft.
November 8 – December 6, 2014 Opening Reception Saturday, November 8th 6-9pm
In the gallery’s project room, Diana Thorneycroft transports us to a surreal dimension, where staged totems of American culture and identity collide with allusions to her native Canada. With the series, “Canadians & Americans (best friends forever… it’s complicated,” Thorneycroft presents chromogenic print photographs and a special installation of these provocative tableaus, each piece dripping with dark humor and a subversive whimsy. Apparent in the artist’s photographs is a dialogue on mass media and popular culture. Specifically she finds herself dissecting the Canadian-United States socio-political dynamic. Employing the use of action figures, toys, and familiar imagery, Thorneycroft unveils a fanciful world full of irony and at times heavy subject matter. Moments of absurdity are cunningly juxtaposed with layers of serene landscapes and backdrops, interspersed with both somber and lighthearted characters. Her photographs depict violence, sexual tension, and the tenuous fraternity between contradictory cultural icons; these elements work collectively to convey a message of satire, all rendered within the artist’s meticulous environments.
From the Artist: After completing three bodies of work that dealt with issues pertinent to Canadians, in 2012 I decided to turn my focus southward, to the United States of America, and produce a suite of digital photographs that explored and exploited this wonderful, aggravating, generous and complex country. To be more specific, I was going to “do to Americans” the same thing I had done to Canadians in my “Group of Seven Awkward Moments” series. As someone who grew up in the 60’s, I was going to subvert the content I had been exposed to as a child/teenager/young adult: the Kennedy assassination, the Apollo space program, the sobering realization that the KKK still exists, the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the NRA.
The template was going to be similar to my earlier work; use famous American landscapes as backdrops and American action figures to provide the narrative. When I began working on “Canadians and Americans (best friends forever… it’s complicated),” I was pleased with the first couple of images I produced, as they related to two American icons familiar to us all: Marilyn Monroe and Clint Eastwood. After that though, much to my surprise, things didn’t go well. I tried making pieces about other iconic personalities like Elvis and Charlie Brown, but they failed. I was perplexed. I believed I knew American culture. Its presence in my daily life is invasive and ubiquitous. After several months of unsuccessful image making I realized I had to bring something of my own identity as a Canadian back into the work about Americans. I needed to address what it’s like living next to a country that barely acknowledges our existence. I needed to insert a subversive Canadian element into the images to act as a foil to the stereotypical American imperialist ego and sense of self-entitlement I was intending to critique. The underlying impetus with this work is to examine the unbalanced power dynamic that exist in relationships. “Canadians and Americans (best friends forever… it’s complicated)” acknowledges that, like it or not, we are best friends forever. In order to make these photographs I had to work within the monolith that is American culture, and at the same time, stand apart from it, critically looking in from the outside.
Fabien Castanier Gallery, 2919 La Cienega Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
Tues-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, 11am-6pm