Piero GOLIA - Christian JANKOWSKI - Gianni MOTTI

Press release

Piero Golia, Christian Jankowski, Gianni Motti
04/06/2004 > 24/07/2004

Opening on 04/06/2004, from 7 pm to 9 pm

In his first gallery exhibition in France, CHRISTIAN JANKOWSKI presents Talk Athens (2003). This new video is part of a series of works developing strategies to make contemporary art a topic of discussion where it usually isn't, specifically on television – while at the same time emphasizing consequential communication problems.
In this video, CHRISTIAN JANKOWSKI is the guest star of a popular talk show on Greek TV, hosted by a local Oprah WINFREY. Before the show, the artist had stated his intention to remain silent during the program and to make the recording of the show an art work. Therefore, the topic of the day that's debated is also the aim of the show – i.e. turning it into a work of art – as well as generally reflect on contemporary practice.
The artist remains paradoxically silent being part of a talk show that discusses his work and that even weirder is taking place in Greece, home country of logos or logical discourse. Since Greek language is impossible to grasp for someone who is not familiar with it, the artist does not understand a word of what's being said and his only means of communication are his body language and movement on the set. The discussion of his intentions by the other guests while the artist himself does not even understand their debate, gives rise to a feeling of incommunicability and tension.
CHRISTIAN JANKOWSKI was born in Göttingen in 1968. He lives and works in New York.

After having moved the whole facade of a house from Amsterdam to the gallery walls for his first show at Cosmic last year, PIERO GOLIA comes back to pursue his personal perception of the rules of art and the creative process. One displayed work features a massive and luxury chandelier, fitting perfectly in the seventeenth century building that houses the gallery. It seems to have fallen down on a white cubic pedestal – figuring between a sculpture created by chance and the demonstration of the artist's ability to transform a simple accident with a chandelier into a work of art (Untitled, 2004).
Now living in Los Angeles, PIERO GOLIA winks twice at the American way of life, from car civilisation to the cult of success. On one hand, he steals from the rich a symbol of their wealth – Mercedes-Benz hood stars – to transform it into a trophy that will end up in rich people's living rooms as an art work (Untitled, 2004). One the other hand, he produced a giant sign, similar to those vital for businesses to be noticed in cities where highways replaced streets. Consisting of five human sized glittering letters, each revolving on its own axis, it is as eye catching as a sign should be, although it does not quite deliver the message you would expect from such an advertising device as the letters indeed spell 'LOSER' (LOSER, 2003). Does PIERO GOLIA therefore deny his quest for celebrity – or does this affirm it even more?
PIERO GOLIA was born in Naples in 1974. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

GIANNI MOTTI works back and forth between art and reality, either infiltrating reality or appropriating it as a work of art. Shock and Awe (2003) is the recording of accidental broadcasts that were caught by chance in the middle of the night and in which the persons being filmed were not supposed to be on air and do not know that in fact they were. In March 2003 as the US military operation 'Shock and Awe' had just been launched, George W. BUSH was about to announce the beginning of war live from the White House on TV stations worldwide. A European 24-hour news channel aired what was not supposed to be seen, the moments preceding the speech: four minutes in which the President of the United States was facing the camera, getting combed and prepared, practicing various solemn face expressions followed by grinning and grimacing at people off camera. The nonchalance of his attitude deeply contrasts with the gravity of the time and the announcement he is about to make; the eye of the camera therefore becomes an objective witness of reality.
Police (2004) is the video recording of a concert by a band made up of policemen that was given at the Geneva railway station as part of a campaign targeting the advancement of the police's image. They were playing in the same place where the police usually chases away 'musician-beggars'. Their original interpretation of standards of popular music – each day, a new video will be played in the exhibition – depicts a weird combination with their uniform.
GIANNI MOTTI was born in Italy in 1958. He lives and works in Geneva. His first show at Cosmic Galerie is the follow-up of an ongoing collaboration with Claudia CARGNEL that started 10 years ago.