NN Contemporary is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition of Italian duo Invernomuto. The video installation ‘Vers l’Europa Deserta, Terra Incognita’ will be exhibited alongside a sculptural and performance component of the critically acclaimed platform ‘Black Med’.
‘Vers l’Europa Deserta, Terra Incognita’, is a film installation produced in dialogue with French Hip Hop act PNL, demonstrating the inventive self-expression of subcultures shared across suburban youth. Themes surrounding the decolonization of narratives, belonging and ‘unbelonging’, tribal codes and ‘street’ signification, are mediated through self-publishing, social media and the proliferation of handheld video technology. The title translates as ‘toward a deserted Europe’ of ‘unknown territory’ profiling two young flaneurs, who navigate the urban everyday. Bené and Macha Django, ‘actors’ from PNL’s crew, travel through Baroque architectures such as the Theatre du Châtelet and the Neopolitan housing project Le Vele. They smoke cigarettes, play catch with the camera and inspire the kind of rapport that we subconsciously seek with one another. Composed by Robert Girardin and Lorenzo Senni, the score functions with evocative potency. An uncanny dread guides us sonically, resonating with doomed perceptions of youth culture today, and simultaneously our current European crisis, yet throughout relentless invigorating energy pervades. History is treated as a backdrop and contrasts between environments summon an architecture of edits, from which subtle expressions of new territoriality emerge. The figures as motifs carry a message that is integral, but not ascribed.
As part of their Black Med project, an installation of Sicilian ‘Moorheads’ mutate into Terminator-Esque sculptures. Red laser beams glare from the eyes of the sculptures into the exhibition space and out onto the Cultural Quarter of Northampton, refracting the gaze attached to their macabre lore. Invernomuto seek out particular materials that span from architecture to artefacts. Heroes and heroines across distant geographies, and in varying dimensions of space and time, become modal points to access and then subvert, the dominant narratives of historical effect and event. Urban mythologies are infused with a new potency, diminishing the divisive value classifications between low and high in cultural politics. Accentuating ritual and folk as narrative, they assimilate the new coded skillsets of mass culture, proliferated through consumer tech. Where digital tools create the capacity for excluded voices, movement, circulation and flexibility, which are then poised as values/foundations for future societies and communities, simultaneously debunking the dominant historical canons, that contributed to their contemporary demise.
The exhibition will also feature a commissioned publication project featuring a text by Alessandra Di Maio and Emer Grant
Black Med Performance, Thursday 13th of June, NN Contemporary
Black Med aims at intercepting the trajectories that sounds trace passing through this protean area, with a series of live acts and listening sessions. Following Alessandra Di Maio’s adaptation of Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic theory to the Mediterranean, divided into three chapters, the listening sessions are based on a live performance lecture containing theoretical texts and backstories referring to the musical pieces. The sessions explore different journeys of sound movement, touching topics such as alternate use of technology, migrations, peripheries and interspecies.