Thursday, 19 September 2013

Dear Diary... The Shape of Silence

By taking pictures of romantic landscapes that have been tainted with rainbow coloured clouds, Filippo Minelli gives silence a physical shape. When we first look at these works, we presume the clouds are digitally imposed across a photographed landscape. On closer inspection, the  bright puffs of smoke that accost the serene quiet of Minelli's neutrally hued environments, are actually humanly wrought smoke-bombs. These bombs are set off by the artist himself. The visual clash is a self-conscious attempt to stain these environments with political comments. A visual discord that unsettles the viewer, making us aware that something deeper than aesthetic manipulation, is at stake. Smoke-bombs are associated with violence, protest and their ensuing chaos. Minelli's use of the smoke-bomb across European landscapes is a striking alteration of the original setting. This manipulation of nature becomes a defacing of an original context - a form of graffiti. The inherent message: to give presence to invisible thoughts or unheard voices, gives the work a transcendental quality. The image is powerful, stunning and surreal - nature's beauty enhanced as if by magic.

Filippo Minelli has created these works across various locations in Europe since 2009.

Filippo Minelli (b. 1983) is a contemporary artist from Italy who, since the second half of the nineties has worked with subversive forms of art such as Graffiti. Coming out of the nineties, Minelli started to look at more experimental forms of street art and explored actions of urban communication to become a pioneer of the Street Art movement in Italy.  Between the years 2000 and 2004 he produced numerous public performances and urban installations with the aim of subverting the aesthetical order of his hometown, Brescia, Italy by creating a parallel city visible only to discerning eyes. The more he has experimented the more his work has moved further away from what is understood as traditional Graffiti-art and into site-specific interventions. The fact that all of his interventions were realized without former permission or administrative authorisation has enabled him to continue his politically subversive quest through art.

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