“Creative action must join hands with reality in every one of its aspects — climate, the people and things that stand around it.”
- EMILIO PRINI
LONDON – ML Fine Art and Rizziero di Sabatino present a two-part exposition on Emilio Prini (1943 – 2016), Italian artist from Stresa associated with Arte Povera.
Staged by Studio for Propositional Cinema, an artist entity inaugurated in Düsseldorf in 2013, the project takes the form of two distinct yet interlocking exhibitions featuring twenty works by Prini in dialogue with ten contemporary artists. Its aim is to represent Emilio Prini’s distinctive creative attitude, while simultaneously presenting his enduring relevance for subsequent generations of artists.
The project addresses important aspects which recur – some directly, others obliquely – in Emilio Prini’s practice throughout his career, especially from 1967 onwards. Its title is a citation of Prini’s 1975 exhibition at Galleria Franco Toselli, Milan, Mostro – Una Esposizione di oggetti non fatti non scelti non presentati da Emilio Prini, which consisted of a vitrine of objects to which the artist claimed total extraneity. In response to Germano Celant’s appeal for a guerrilla art that resisted dialogue with social and cultural systems, Prini created work centred upon experiential immediacy rather than narrative legibility.
NOT MADE NOT CHOSEN NOT PRESENTED is organised in the spirit of Fermi in dogana, Emilio Prini’s only institutional exhibition during his lifetime, and the closest to a retrospective, held in Strasbourg in 1995. Clearly referencing the setting, a former custom house dating to the fourteenth century, the title’s translation – “held at customs” – also alludes to a state of transience, to signal the formal and symbolic impermanence of Prini’s objects. Resisting the historicist drive of most museum surveys, Fermi in dogana featured recreations of historic works and revisitations of pieces previously exhibited and lost or destroyed.
To preserve the elastic character of Prini’s presentational strategies, the present exhibition is framed by two structurally adaptable artistic devices, two movable walls by American artist Christopher Williams (b. 1956) and a text work by Studio for Propositional Cinema. Conceived to facilitate the contamination of Prini’s work by that of the invited artists, they introduce two driving features of Prini’s research: the ontological precariousness of material form and the resulting urgency of reconstruction.
Beginning Friday November 6, many, but not all works by Emilio Prini will be gradually replaced with photographs by Christopher Williams and more works by seven additional artists: Gaylen Gerber, Irena Haiduk, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), Julia Scher, Cally Spooner, Josef Strau, and Franz West. Once completed, the second exhibition will remain on view until December 4.