Curated by Irene Calderoni
Andra Ursuta is known and appreciated by critics for a work that deals with controversial and uncomfortable themes with an irreverent language, which uses the registers of the grotesque, the tragicomic, the satirical. Tall and low, stately and abject, ideal and corporeal collapse into shapes and objects with an unlikely and fluid identity. Vanilla Isis presents a new series of works that reflect on the aesthetics of extremism and its declinations in different contexts such as terrorist propaganda and youth subcultures.
The artist questions the way in which certain aesthetic phenomena migrate, transform or are exploited, with alienating and upsetting effects. The starting point of the work is the analysis of the communicative modalities of Isis, whose imaginary borrows the iconoclastic and radical language typical of musical and expressive phenomena such as punk, metal or rap; however, it is an ambivalent appropriation, which produces a satire of Western culture, and at the same time leverages the same elements that seduce these angry young people in the first place, in order to convert them to their cause and transform them into foreign fighters.
Ursuta's work reflects on these phenomena through a series of works that incorporate and recombine these elements, operating a third degree appropriation that gives rise to a fictional, paradoxical world, in which playful and warlike become indistinguishable.
A group of sculptures on the wall and in the space are inspired by inflatable pool mats and furniture, the shapes are pop, but color and writing introduce an element of threat, using the typical graphics of the official ISIS insignia.
Dominate this macabre leisure environment Stoner (2013), a ball thrower for playing baseball reconfigured as an absurd execution machine, throwing stones at a wall with clear human references. As the title of the exhibition, Vanilla Isis, suggests, the prevailing register is the satirical one, used by the artist for the purpose of a story that brings out the paradoxical and surreal character of our society and our time.