Off-Lying, by definition, means situated off the shore, in a remote location.
Off-lying, if considered in relation to the world’s most relevant cities in the field of the arts, are the places of origin of all the participants to this show: both Gianluca Gimini, form Imola, and the members of the Trash.Been collective (all five living inbetween the provinces of Rovigo and Vicenza). But the reason for this title also lies in the phonetic similarity (especially when pronounced with an Italian accent) of the expression “off-line”. The idea of this show came from gallery curator Marco Chiarini who asked Gimini and the Trash.Been to imagine bringing to real life the styles they use in their digital works.
Gianluca Gimini is a designer and professor with several exhibits on his records but still a designer who has never felt fit for the definition of “artist”. He is a millennial who graduated in 2008 and has stated in several occasions that having entered his work life at the very beginning of the global economic crisis is what most deeply influenced his idea of design.
In the recent years of recession the post-consumerist message has slowly sunken into his vision of the profession, orienting most of his research projects towards ideas and experimentations, which are surely related more to the field of product design than to those of graphic or figurative art, yet hardly ever are aimed at serial production or production at all, not even as prototypes. Velocipedia, above all, is the work to cite as an example of this approach. It is a collection of sketches made by memory by various people, a selection of which has been made into photo-realistic digital renderings. Velocipedia stigmatizes how faulty human memory is and at the same time how much beauty and creativity can spark from error driven designs, made in the attempt to complete an utterly non-creative task.
With his participation in Off-lying Gimini challenges himself to materially execute a series of designs that had originally been born inside a digital environment. Making these works tangible implied giving up on the interfaces that normally separate (and protect) a designer from a finished work, be it digital tools (when the work is produced as an image) or a combination of digital tools and third party
Gianluca Gimini – Iconoplastica
A series of 9 shaped plywood panels of approximately 60×80 cm. They are partly hand cut and partly laser cut, then spray painted to reproduce some of the icons that the designer has been posting to his Instagram account since June 2017 (the project is still ongoing). This operation represents the final phase of a composition exercise that actually starts off with hand sketching on paper. The sketches are then made into vectors and digitally coloured to be posted online. With Iconoplastica they return to the real world maintaining a strong trace of their digital passage. Formal research is inspired, actually more in the intention than in the aesthetics, by the work of Neapolitan artist Lucio Del Pezzo. An explicit homage to him is made with a tenth piece, composed around the idea of his “Casellario” works.
Gianluca Gimini – HAHA
HAHA is a ceramic sculptural object measuring 19.5 cm in height. It is slip-cast in Faenza and can be considered a work of 3D typography with a cinematic twist: the rotation of the object along a vertical axis produces the vision of a perpetual “haha”. HAHA exists in two versions: a black matte enamel-coated edition of 300 and an open project for invitation based collaborations.
The first five collaboration editions are by Trash.Been and part of Off-Lying expo. They are limited editions of 3 pieces. Four of the designs are spray painted and the fifth is decorated with decals on white enamel. More collaborations are expected to come soon.
<Il collettivo Trash.Been was established in 2016 in Ferrara. Its members are Luca Filippi, Marco Franceschini, Alessio Gianella, Marcello Raffo and Nicolò Tromben. All five of them have a Bachelor’s degree in industrial design. Their prolific Instagram account gathers a rapidly growing number of original works, fully digital, in a style that they call “trash” with an obvious understatement. The Trash.Been do not think of themselves as artists but as a group of professional designers, nevertheless they have already taken part in various exhibitions, showcasing prints of their digital works. Trash.Been posters mash up fragments of pop culture and of so called trash culture with frequent references to retro technology and to early days internet, which they seem to celebrate as if it were a mythological creature from a past they were too young to experience. The visual language they use is a very personal mixture of “vaporwave”, “new ugly”, “glitch art” and serveral other styles. If they had a manifesto it would probably proclaim the refusal of any rule, but then again writing a manifesto seems an archaic idea for a collective like Trash.Been. It is by looking at the body of work in its entirety that one can grasp both a sense of unity and direction as much as a conspicuous degree of individuality upon closer inspection of the different projects.
With their participation in Off-lying the Trash.Been collective embarks on a journey outside Instagram and for the first time not limiting themselves to the display of printed images, but accepting the challenge of producing two series of cross-media works. With this experiment their individualities find new ways of manifesting themselves, having found an open field for the skills of the two former graffiti artists and the graphic illustrator of the group.
Trash Been – iCon
Five icons chosen among the most representative of the Windows 98 operating system, distorted and reinterpreted with Trash.Been distinctive style. These works are laser cut shaped plywood panels over MDF. They are spray painted and measure approximately 50×50 cm.
The project, conceived and produced specifically for this show, is a material representation of the collective’s digital sentiment, capable of bringing to life all of their most typical visual codes and clichés. The pixel element, combined with characteristic distortions and effects of fluidity, becomes the semantic block of their new digital-material language, translation rather than reinvention of the language they normally speak through fully digital works.
Trash Been – 300 ppi
These five 50×50 cm works, digitally conceived then spray painted on canvases, pursue the goal of being aesthetically enjoyment regardless of a complete loss of legibility. There is no figurative element to interpret, as in the iCon series, but a short-circuit between figure and background, that disenables the interpretation of relations between the parts of each work and the possibility of attributing meanings to them. While all five pieces pursue the common goal through a work of research on the figure/background relation, the strategies appear as different, highlighting the collective’s approach and the different individualities: on one hand the hashtag, with a bridging function in regards to the other series, neutralizes the figure/background relation with its use of gradients as in a chasm; on the other hand there are three canvases that recycle bits of digital dialogue boxes and paint strokes in different styles evoking famous software (Paint, Photoshop, Word) not hinting to any kind of interpretation, but rather conveying a sense of chaotic disintegration, like staring into a corrupted file. In the fifth work the relation is investigated in yet another different way, by making the figure become “background of itself” in an unmistakable quote of the characteristic effect produced by dragging an active window across the desktop of a frozen pc, running on Windows 95 or 98.
In the online shop it’s possible to buy the “HAHA” designed by Gianluca Gimini and Trash.Been and a series of limited edition prints designed by both artists.
You can visit the show from 21st April to 3rd June 2018, every day (except Monday) from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
For info: [email protected] o (+39) 329 95 20 887