Since its inception, DESTE—the Greek word for “look”—has been an international organizer of contemporary art exhibitions and a global supporter of arts-based projects and publications. In the early years of its foundation, the Foundation supported exhibitions that showcased the trends of art throughout the 80s and 90s in Greece, Cyprus, and Switzerland, emphasizing the universality of contemporary art.
Every year since 2009, the DESTE Foundation’s exhibition space at the Slaughterhouse of Hydra island hosts a series of site-specific contemporary art exhibitions designed by an artist (or team of artists). This year, the DESTE Foundation presents the exhibition Putiferio by artist Roberto Cuoghi. The show will open on June 21, 2016 and will be on view through September 30, 2106.
DESTE Foundation Project Space Slaughterhouse, Hydra
Duration: June 21 – September 30, 2016
Monday - Friday: 11:00 - 13:00 & 19:00 – 22:00 Tuesday Closed
Candidates from the deep water
Clashed with wasps they came to slaughter
Pinching here, biting there,
Oh my fellows please beware!
Smoke and flames, stink and froth,
Splashing in a sulfurous broth
Fished out at the seaside
Unarmed, more dead than alive
The candidates in the eventide
Took your logic for a ride
By the artist Roberto Cuoghi
Apocalyptic, death, destruction, pollution or just plain scary! Whatever your immediate thoughts, the Putiferio installation by Roberto Cuoghi at the Deste Slaugherhouse on Hydra Island is certainly thought-provoking.
It confirms the reason for my fear of the sea, graphically illustrating the sort of creatures that lurk beneath the waves and gathers all my nightmares so I can confront them.
The slaughterhouse by definition is a place of death and standing in a room full of reproduced devastation is claustrophobic. The casualness of lifeless forms, seemingly tossed with a random neglect, struck me as being as mindless as the carnage that human beings inflict on one another.
The illusion that life can be reborn phoenix like from fire, is resolutely quashed when you see the deformed, mutilated horrors that are pulled out of Cuoghi’s infernos.
The exhibition pieces are technically well produced but the message behind their form is dark. They confirm that nothing, once destroyed, can ever be recreated in its original perfection. Once destroyed even if reanimated, it will always be lame, however hard you try to paper over the cracks or to rebuild, the damage will always be apparent.
The curator of the exhibition said that the artist didn’t want to explain his thoughts or motivation, preferring to leave it to people’s imagination. Whether it is perceived as a political statement, a commentary on war or a reflection of the devastation of the planet’s natural resources, to my mind, it is deeply confrontational and unsettling. In my imagination it’s a message of hopelessness and sense of the human condition having irredeemably crossed the line. Do we have time to reverse the destruction we humans inflict on each other and nature?
Kelsey Edwards, for HydraDirect, 28 July 2016
Roberto Cuoghi (b. 1973, Modena, Italy) is a multimedia artist working in painting, sculpture, digital animation, drawing, and sound. His work closely explores issues surrounding transformation, time, memory, identity, and death.
Cuoghi has had solo exhibitions at numerous international institutions, including the Aspen Art Museum (2015); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2014), the New Museum, New York, NY (2014); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2008). His work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions at important venues worldwide, such as Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo: Have you seen me before?, Whitechapel Gallery, London, (2013); The Encyclopedic Palace, the 55th Venice Biennale, (2013); The Residue of Memory, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2012); 10000 Lives, Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2010); Skin Fruit, New Museum, New York (2010); Fare Mondi/Making Worlds, 53rd Venice Biennale, (2009); Fractured Figure, DESTE Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens (2007); Sequence 1, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (2007); and Of Mice and Men, 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006).
The artist lives and works in Milan.
Deste Contact Information:
Project Coordinator: Marina Vranopoulou
Media Contact: Regina Alivisatos
Εμ. Παππά & Φιλελλήνων 11. 142 34 Νέα Ιωνία
11 Filellinon & Em. Pappa St. 142 34 Nea Ionia
WWW . DESTE . GR
T — 30 210 27 58 490 F — 30 210 27 54 862