FOCUS BIENNALE: GODLESS | ROBERTAS NARKUS
Undaria pinnatifida is the alga from which the project of the Lithuanian artist Robertas Narkus begins: working on the city of Venice with the intention of creating a site specific project, the artist has focused on this plant that is colonizing not only the Italian lagoon but also international waters due to globalization and the increase in temperatures that favor its development and reproduction.
After collecting these algae and collaborating with scientists and artists, Narkus arrives at the conception of Gut Feeling, an installation and social sculpture in which the results of various researches and the creation of works including Godless (2022) converge. The two-dimensional sculpture, which seems to be the logo of the fake corporate created and set up by the artist in a former shop hidden in Campo de la Gate in Venice, is shown as a visual synthesis of the process and reflections that the artist wants to induce with his intervention. The round and happy face from which worried and doubtful faces emerge, however, are the perfect mirror of the production systems that characterize our present: uncertainty and questioning are left to think, the important thing is to be convinced, healthy and above all apparently interested in the care we reserve for our planet, in choosing a healthy lifestyle based on “organic” products.
And then the big pink face continues to smile at us, while around the sculpture the residues of the production, sometimes disgusting, of this product, which is part of the contemporary capitalist imagination, pile up. Godless, enigmatic and meaningful title of the work, is then a whispered warning: we are creating our new icons, our new Olympus on the basis of a consumerist system over which we have no control and of which any kind of information escapes us, a godless mountain without gods decorated with neon signs and shiny shops. In a stasis between the desire to change reality and the constant fascination aroused by technological progress and financial structures, the work of Roberta Narkus, wants to establish doubt, it matters as one of those green faces, which between disgust and fear, it tries to stir up a critical thought which is necessary.
80 x 90 cm
Part of Gut Feeling, Pavilion of Lithania
59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams
© Photo: Roberto Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia