SCREEN: CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera by Liv Schulman

Artist: Liv Schulman

Title: CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera

Curated by: Ana Iwataki and Marion Vasseur Raluy

Text by: Keith J. Varadi

Screening: December 20, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Year: 2016

Duration: 8’31”

A man and his rock. A man, who looks like Fred Armisen playing a burnout, and his giant rock, in the backseat of a moving car. He hugs it; he caresses it. An eccentric creep or a complicated empath? He states right from the outset, “We are going on a business trip, my dear friends.” He declares, “Arte Povera is still alive, but nobody knows it.” He’s now out of the vehicle, walking, carrying his stoned friend. As he wanders along, he appears to be more like some sort of mystic detective. He suggests the creation of a new version of history. I would argue we should all reconsider history—not alternative facts, but rather, alternative angles. We should be skeptical of the way that truths play out, as they are always mediated by those in power. Arte Povera was about creating your own truth, your own power—truth to power, with limited means. Right? As he continues to meander through wet urbanity, hugging his pet rock, he discusses the ways in which class shame has impacted society. Upon entering an industrial lot, he laments impoverished students exchanging life for labor. He puffs on a cigarette and strokes the piled curves of rusty cylinders. The more he speaks of class, the more animated he becomes; the more animated he becomes, the more theatrical the video becomes. As he massages a stranger’s face, it becomes clear that this truly is a history reconsidered. The grace and humility by which we have come to understand this movement is of no interest or concern to this brazen performer…or is it? As he walks past another stranger passed out against an excavator, he declares that circumstances forced people to trade in elegance for creativity and kicks the stranger over. He spots another stranger passed out on a dirt mound, carries on about design attempting to control the middle class, and smashes a loose piece of Styrofoam on the stranger’s head. Next, he vaguely describes a conspiracy theory involving various capitalist corporations and then reveals that he has a secret, too: “The secret of Arte Povera is that it never existed.” Up until this point, this man’s monologue wavers between silly satire and crackpot criticality. But when he follows up this last statement with the proclamation that Arte Povera “has always been fueled by mass consumption and it has always been exchanged for the consumption of faith,” he perhaps describes the objective and purpose of the movement more realistically than I’ve ever read or heard before. Of course Arte Povera existed, but his point is that it didn’t exist in the way that art historians or cultural critics have described it or in the ways in which they co-opted it for their own objectives and purposes. The monologist goes back to hugging and caressing his rock and describes Arte Povera as a liberal lifestyle, as a vehement vibe. In the 21st Century, it feels nearly impossible to think about art without thinking about the drama of the art world, which is so grossly linked to the art market. What happens when you take away superfluous money and excessive gossip from art? You have real ideas. Poor art is potential fulfilled free from distraction, no?

Liv Schulman is an Argentinean artist who lives and works in France. She studied art and art writing at the ENAPC in Paris, Goldsmiths University in London and the UTDT ini Buenos Aires. She took part in the Biennale de Rennes 2016 Incorporated !, (cur. François Piron), and in the series of exhibitions “Tes mains dans mes chaussures” at the Galerie, Centre d’art contemporain de Noisy–le-Sec in 2017 (cur. Vanessa Desclaux & Emilie Renard). She has exhibited her work in Copenhagen (“L’Obstruction”, a solo show at the sixtyeightartinstitute) and at Zoo Galerie (“The Night Shift”, a solos how) as well as many other places. She has also published two books with Tammy Metzler Publishing House and is the co-creator and editor in chief of the art writing newspaper El Flasherito.

Keith J. Varadi is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, researcher, and curator. He has exhibited internationally and published widely. Recent projects include Death Becomes Him, a solo exhibition at Galerie Tobias Naehring in Leipzig, Germany and Liver, Loner, a group exhibition he organized at David Shelton Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW – Season 3 Episode 5 – La Resistencia Povera, 2016, video, 8’31” (video still)

Related Post

Leave a Comment