Endenovo: “New artistic blood” from the Decameron to Alexanderplatz Featured

Contemporary art and sculpture by a group of artists working in Berlin

by 11 March 2010

“With rigorous coherence to the next representation of man, measured by providential forces in his capacity for good and bad and to the unfolding of a mercenary epic (Boccaccio), we elect an extraordinary yet providential event that – precisely (during the journey of his life) – at the beginning of our life’s journey – has solicited and exalted the virtues and the evils and has put to the test the bourgeoisie structures on which stands the civilisation of our Italy”. (V. Branca, Introduction to the “Decameron”).

The “poetic statement” chosen by the Endenovo group of artists to introduce themselves to the world leaves no room for doubt: it is necessary to find an isolated place, as was Boccaccio’s Verona in the Decameron or, ideally, as is present-day Berlin – where the group has chosen to live and experiment – to enable us to think in unprecedented ways and give ourselves a personal future befitting a young artist (none of the group is over 30).

But, as suggested by the temporal overlap of the quote, we need to square things up with the past we inherit, to expend thought and sweat to understand it, re-representing it as a toxic present that promises nothing good.

And so, the moving Google Earth satellite map from which Giulia Manfredi recreates an impossible world is rather unsettling: bizarrely symmetrical, it proposes cities that take the form of living creatures, emitting pseudopods or macromullets, monstrous in their anthropomorphism. This contemporary digital canvas art indicates that our cities are turning against us or are about to live their own life despite us.

Following the same thought mechanisms of the dream or of madness, the artist’s imagination takes the “daylight remains” with which she is faced to extreme consequences: curious about the thought of symmetry, Manfredi takes up anew the representation of the mind in the midst of its creativity.

Resulting in cerebral hemispheres like Rorschach inkblots, in which we see two gigantic miotic eyes looking at us in amazement (as if to say, but is this my own interpretation, “SHAME”). Or again, a murdered woman, buried in the foetal position like a mythical mandrake root (which is said to have germinated at a crossroads from the sperm of a hanged man), from whom roots sprout that join her to the ground, making her germinate an absurd Uebermensch, a creature similar to a grapple with enormous arms that represents (who knows…) the avenger, a new future life form that will take the place of our dying humanity.

The world imagined by her colleague Micol Favini, also a graphic designer, is just as idiosyncratic, albeit in a highly diverse way: a crasis created by morphing the object brush with the hair that it is meant to untangle gives life to a brush-doll, almost alive and not lacking a certain irony, like the poster of a Che Guevara that has completely lost all connotations and that reminds us that today that past (every past?) no longer has any meaning.

While Silvia Sardellaro inaugurates an unprecedented way of perceiving the reality, which her eyes pierce and scrutinise until they give new meaning to the banal precept of the everyday – the strip of a road photographed in a triptych – using photographs and installations in her desire to do what the eyes of an autistic do, that is, to help her create (like her aforementioned colleagues) another reality in which to live life differently, even if not necessarily happily.

For Swiss-born Andreas Fisschbach, hope (or the absence of hope) must be gleaned from the pages of the individual biographies, beyond which, mockingly, always awaits a death maniacally represented in the grip of a laughing fit, over which triumphs a nice blood red colour and sometimes a splatter language.

The installation and the happening are the preferred media of Enrico Centonze, a concentration of aristocratic and spectacular symbology (Everybody wants gold is a choral installation), while Vladimir Isajlovic has no trouble marrying languages and citations of diverse extractions into installations such as Io cucino per me stesso (I cook for myself), in which a homeless man builds a Biogas heater using organic waste and things he has found.

As we have seen, Endenovo is a cosmopolitan group whose interests take very different forms and shapes. “The story of our collaboration”, they say, “springs from the spontaneity of our relationships as personal friends and came about through our reunion in Berlin, a common point of encounter for departures scattered across different European cities. The particular cultural climate of the German capital, the greater time and resources for autonomous production, the lower cost of living and efficient logistic facilities were the essential conditions needed to modernize our creative drives in fruitful synergy”.

The first Endenovo show was held at Castel Vecchio in Verona between 20 June-4 July 2009.

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