Artists: Astrid Kajsa Nylander, Cecilia, Effe
Exhibition title: Flying Monkeys
Venue: Museo Apparente, Naples, Italy
Date: December 15, 2018 – March 20, 2019
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Museo Apparente, Naples
Monkey is one of the great Chinese classical novels, written by scholar Wu Ch’êng-ên in the sixteenth century – the source material refers to folk-tales that are even older. An immense cycle of legends accumulated for hundreds of years around the “journey to the West” – that is, towards the Indies- of the monk Tripitaka, a character who apparently really existed. The story begins with the birth of a monkey from a stone egg: it is Sun Wukong, who will soon become the Monkey King. In general, Tripitaka represents the common man, anxiously floundering among the difficulties of life, while – in the words of English sinologist Arthur Waley – Monkey represents “the restless instability of the genius.” Piglet, another character, symbolizes physical appetites, brute force, and a kind of dull patience. Sandy, the third ally, is a more obscure presence. Some commentators say it represents ch’êng, which is usually translated as “sincerity”, sometimes rendered as “integrity of the heart.” Monkey, together with the other two companions, will redeem himself of his wrongdoing by helping Tripitaka in his arduous journey. It is a unique book, one that suggests the unsettling approximation of beauty and absurdity, depth and nonsense. I’ve been carrying it around for years, reading everlasting. Folklore, allegory, religion, history, anti-bureaucratic satire and pure poetry… these are the pervasive elements unleashed throughout the book, which for some reason, I seem to be reminded of entering this exhibition.
Francesca Lacatena, abstract from the conversation with the artists
Astrid Kajsa Nylander is currently based between Naples and Berlin. Her work was recently shown in Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westphalen Düsseldorf (DE) as well as in Münchner Kammerspiele/Museum Brandhorst, (Munich, DE);
Cecilia is currently based between Naples and Montreal. Her full-length debut album ”Adoration” was released this year via Halcyon Veil (Houston, US) and she recently performed at Center for Contemporary Scenic Arts (Lausanne, CH), White Hotel (Manchester, UK), Macao Club (Milano) and Center for Spatial Sound (MONOM sound) (Berlin, DE);
Fabio Cirillo aka Effe, is based between Naples and Hamburg. His work is currently featured in the exhibition: ‘Further thoughts on earthy materials’ at Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst Bremen (DE).