21 March — 20 April 2002
Mark Handforth's works are in perpetual state of flux: sculptures and installations are constantly being constructed, dismantled, and reconfigured. Exhibitions provide Handforth a momentary stasis in this process, and even then one might sense that the work is incomplete. The unfinished appearance of his installation raises the expectation that the space eventually will be filled. Handforth appropriates thing and ideas directly from his surroundings. He looks at the world as a kind of readymade to draw from, reappropriating the sensibility and the implicit logic that resides in the way objects exist and function in everyday life. For the exhibition at the gallery in Torino the artist thought and especially realized four new pieces. A highway lamp has been uprooted and reinstalled as if it were a mobile, so that the massive scale of the object itself is magnified and exaggerated. Anyone who looks up at any overhead lamp is likely to feel dizzy. So when the spectator enters the gallery and faces with the lamp that has been stretched out and folded in on itself that vertigo is simultaneously induced and re-established in the balancing act and in the flowing movement of the work itself. That equilibrium is again called into question by 'Recliner (Mahogony)', a plank of wood bent into an almost floating benchseat. While one room at the exhibition will be illuminated solely by the highway lamp, the other will be lit fitfully by a tiny but powerful neon tube. Here what the artist has done is identify and assimilate a pre-existing sign, a word scrawled on a wall in a Roman street that he has traced in blue neon in order to endow that original vandal's terse graffiti with a higher sonority. Meanwhile, outside the gallery there will stand a Vespa scooter that has been stripped of its original functions and rethought as a street fountain. The scooter is in a cloud of steam through which we are offered fleeting glimpses of the shimmering polychrome created by innumerable rainbows filtered through the Vespa's own headlights. Born in 1969 in Hong Kong, Mark Handforth lives and works in Miami, USA. His work has previously appeared in a number of solo and group show both in Europe and United States. Among them his recent solo show at Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York, 2002 e 2000; 'Not from where I'm standing', The Project Room, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, 1996. The group exhibitions: 'Lokalzeit', Johanniterbruke, Basel, 2001; 'Making Art in Miami: Travels in Hyperreality', MoCA, Miami, 2000; 'Heads-up', Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, 1999; 'Oriental Nights', performance at Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York, 1998. The exhibition at Galleria Franco Noero is the artist's first solo show in Europe.