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'Nothing More Than Feelings' by Davide La Montagna at Gallery of Fantastic Art, Turin

In the end, for this show, we camped out in a project room inside a museum, making us look even more swanky than the institution that was hosting us. And that's what we wanted: to muddy the waters between independent space and museum, between art and the fantastic. To inhabit that place of surrender. 

We imagined a terrain of friction between we of the contemporary lure and they of the retro-futuristic bustle. And friction is desire. It is a genuine way to take each other, to meet with not so much restraint. In the middle lies the public, a bit bewildered by the bizarre juxtaposition: creaking, but rich and festive. 

At the center, who if not Davide La Montagna, an artist capable of dissolving your gaze in his world made of the unconscious and the metaphysical, childhood and relics. A dense, intuitive, telepathic dimension in which literature and manga, sculpture and object trouvé, poetry and camp delusions dwell. 

Davide was engaged to comment, within the project room at the museum, on the grand exhibition about japanese anime Sailor Moon that thousands of fans of the institution requested by poll. That Sailor Moon, besides being a pop phenomenon of the 90s, was also the first tv animated series - and censored for this reason - to house gender fluid characters as well as some rather racy friendships between girls. Now it is true that we melt for Steven Universe by Cartoon Network singing in his pink flip-flops, of course we do. 

So, as we were saying, Davide launched from the queer and ultra-worldly air of the magical Sailor, lowered the tone and turned off the lights. And then he turned them back on to the greatness of the cosmos, which is too boundless to be consolatory, and to the fleetingness of feelings and bonds, which are as perishable as they are necessary. Just like caressing a nihilist, transmuting (ontological) bad luck into romanticism.

Tuck your head into his sweaters, bring the brushes to your cheekbones and poisoned cutlery to your mouth. Do you feel the caresses? Come closer to the walls sprinkled with glitter, while fairies dance on the windowsills filled with glasses of milk. Leave the museum, leave the project room, leave the windows. Leave yourself and aim for the stars. It is in places like these that art and science fiction have always led us. Especially now, when future times are not only posthuman: they are really posthumous.

Davide La Montagna (Rivoli, 1992) is a visual artist who lives and works in Turin, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. His main exhibitions have been “Cloud, Meteor and Star, are Men Seen From Afar” at CAR DRDE in Bologna, “Black Mirror” at MAM Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art gallery in Vienna and Salzburg and “Teatrum Botanicum – Emerging Talents” at PAV in Turin. In 2018 his solo show “Lascio il nulla a nessuno” was presented at Almanac, a non-profit space in London and Turin. 
In 2019 he was a finalist at the eighth edition of the Francesco Fabbri Prize for Contemporary Arts and selected to participate in Q-Rated at Hangar Bicocca in Milan, a workshop promoted by the Quadriennale di Roma.

La Montagna's research develops from the idea of love, its influence and implications in the concepts of gender, sexuality, identity, dedication, death and disappearance. Through the use of perishable materials or objects found at flea markets and second-hand stores, he examines what Francis Scott Fitzgerald defined as the difference between the sentimental and the romantic, between those who believe things will last, and those who opt for impermanence. 
The artist tends to prefer the processes of deterioration and disappearance both by capturing them in the forms of fetishism, care, recovery, and by intercepting them as a result of natural events. He is fascinated by everything that separates the visible from the invisible, as well as the relationship between sculpture, poetry, imagination and feelings, themes that he investigates through the use of natural, volatile and perishable materials or objects that have housed a previous life. That’s how embracing this economy of language La Montagna celebrates the material as an elusive rite of passage, distilling from every object a trace, a clue, a trail.

19.9.20 — 10.1.21

Curated by Sergey Kantsedal and Ilenia Berra

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