Monthly Selection of Emerging Artists – October 2014
by Rona Kopeczky
(EN) Enrico Bernardis was born in 1983 in Italy. From 2003 to 2007, he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice then pursued his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milano, where he gained a Master degree in product design. In his artistic practice Enrico Bernardis keeps a focus on the production of functional objects, which he fills with fantastical and imaginary content, inspired by literature or everyday life. In the natural reference to product-consumer relationship of these objects, the artist inscribes functional contradictions and paradoxes which trigger the viewer’s imagination.
The artist realized the piece entitled Channel (2011) in the frame of a workshop organized around the theme of nature and the possible meanings of this word. A transparent glass bottle acts as an aquarium and is hosting a miniature living ecosystem: some clear water, an aquatic plant and a tiny fish. But the viewer’s attention is swiftly caught by the spray nozzle mounted on the bottleneck and its suggested meaning: if someone uses the spray, the living space for the organisms inside the bottle slowly shrinks. The message is extremely clear and powerful: it is the viewer’s choice and responsibility to preserve the artwork, and by extension, man’s duty to maintain the balance of nature. Confronting the public’s conscience, ethical sense and self-control, Channel also conveys the ideas of potential destruction, inherent fragility on one hand, fundamental hope and possible harmony on the other. Furthermore, in its original version, the piece was composed of two similar bottles, each one containing only one fish, one male and one female. This mirroring installation added further layers of meaning to the problem tackled by the one bottle variant by reflecting on existential questions, especially on our human condition and on the paradox of our self-generated isolation and loneliness.
Rave Workshop East Village 2011
by Daniele Capra
Channel, 2011, perfume bottles, water, fish, algae, life-size
(EN) The essential oils that make up the perfumes we use to change our personal scent are mostly extracted from cultivated plants, although some essential oils used in perfumery are also of animal origin. a perfume is often worn to smell nicer or be more seductive, to hide one’s scent and take on a new olfactory identity. with is installation Enrico Bernardis seeks to overturn not just the idea of that which is natural, but also of that which is desirable. the installation consists of an eau de toilette whose fragrance comes from the action of a tiny fish and algae living in the bottle. anybody using the perfume would take on all the force, the energy, but paradoxically, also the animal and vegetable odour of the two unwitting guests.