As the gallery’s opening exhibition for the 2012/2013 season, The Gallery Apart is proud to present 108 (spontaneous collective in thoughtless awareness), the new chapter of the research carried out over the last two years by Luana Perilli on her second solo-show hosted by the gallery. With the usual multidisciplinary approach, for several months Luana Perilli explored the world of the eusocial animals (in particular, ants and wasps), developing the project Superorganism focused on the relationship between the sociobiology applied to the specific nature of such insects and the current crisis of the social and economic growth models.
Following the production of the first ant’s nest showcased in October 2011 at the Museo della permanente in Milan, the project Superorganism developed through a series of significant works, such as the videos presented during the exhibitions Nuova gestione and Extraspirito, and the huge installation presented at the Macro museum for Re-generation, and concluding now with the exhibit 108 and the presentation of the book of the same name published by cura.books, which goes through the most significant art projects produced by Luana Perilli during her still short, yet intense, artistic career, also featuring a critique by Mike Watson, independent curator and correspondent for Frieze magazine, and by Claudio Cravero, curator of PAV Parco Arte Vivente – Centro sperimentale d’arte contemporanea di Torino (PAV Living Art Park – Experimental Centre for Contemporary Art in Turin).
On the occasion of the exhibition, Perilli will be presenting a sculptural installation, a video and a series of bidimensional artworks. The art installation consists of a glass case displaying a vintage 1950s Formica and wooden dining table (Kidney Plant Table Flower Stand Formica Eames Danish Teak), also hosting a big colony of weaver ants as they are constructing their nest using silk up a vine.
The video features images of raider ants in a flat and of a documentary about ants from 1959, Goodbye Mrs. Ant, partly produced by the Velsicol Chemical Corporation which, though on the one hand, explains and outlines the fascinating complexities and intelligence of these insects, on the other hand, it aims at promoting the use of the household insecticide DDT in order to exterminate them.
On the wall are a series of studies carried out for the production of the glass cases, depicting household environments turned into artificial anthills. The panels are characterized by a combination of materials and different supports: prints, drawings, paintings done in acrylics mostly on notebooks paper. Such works outline the project development stages, where the main techniques are embroidery, assemblage, cutting-out and erasure, also because they are common both to the men’s and the ant’s everyday activities. The panels feature images from the documentary as well as items from the case, thus linking up the three media used for the exhibition.
The relationship with the postwar campaign and the hopes for a growth built upon a capitalistic and individualistic economic model interweaves with the omnipresent ant’s invasion, a species that – even before mankind – has built its success and spreading on reciprocity and on a sense of cooperation, which are so deep-rooted to let one suppose that the evolution of these animals lies in the inheritance of altruism. Such “altruism” is a behavioral trait that, not according to an abstract morality but to a natural law, ensures well-being, spread and strength to the eusocial species (ants, bees, wasps, white ants).
The behavioral-ethologic aspect on which these studies are based is the trophobiosis, that is the symbiotic system by which the ants obtain and provide food. In fact, these insect have two stomachs, one of which is for food to be shared with other ants and where, as a store, the ant holds the food that is to be given to the other ants of the same nest. The trophobiosis, along with the chemical exchanges of information released through the pheromones, represents also one of the key factor to investigate and understand the nature of colony as a single organism or Superorganism, where the food goes from an individual to another as if they were cells of the same body.
The Gallery Apart participates at Roma Art2Night.