Milk Revolution – American Academy in Rome

Harry Smith, painter, archivist, anthropologist, film-maker & hermetic alchemist, his last week at Breslin Hotel Manhattan, January 12, 1985, transforming milk into milk. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – photo © Allen Ginsberg Estate


On Thursday 29 January the exhibition Milk Revolution, a group show complied by CURA and curated by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin, will open at the American Academy in Rome

When the Beat poet and writer Allen Ginsberg photographed his friend Harry Smith – painter, archivist, anthropologist and director – at the Breslin Hotel in Manhattan in 1985, he attempted to transform milk into milk, creating, through the subversive gesture of an impossible alchemy, a concise image of an entire generation shaped by profound transformation and struggle. At times, the impact of even transitory, slight and fleeting artistic actions can assume a revolutionary force.

Thus, the exhibition Milk Revolution combines works by fellows at the American Academy in Rome and a selection of work by international artists unfolding in a syncopated, irregular, flexible itinerary. The open-ended format, in which space, no longer simply a geometric, static or measurable envelope, outlines and activates alchemical reactions in which very different works of art engage themes including the instantaneity of experience, the illusory nature of objects, altered states, and lack of control, and the human tendency to rely on predetermined schemas. Through diverse gestures and objects, the exhibition aims to leave a subtle trace: a wilting sculpture; flow of a dripping; the irregular path of wax; a collection of perpetually changing objects; the liberating gesture of a brushstroke; a veil’s impalpable transparency; the unexpected patterns in painted finto marmo; the blinding glare of resin; the sound of a window; an object in the place of another; an environmental installation dissolving over time; and a curtain in constant movement, or a raptor acting freely and instinctively. This will be accompanied by other small objects that acquire new forms and structures.

Artists: Artie Vierkant, Vanessa Safavi, Bunny Rogers, Alessandro Piangiamore, Abinadi Meza, Cynthia Madansky, Adam Kuby, Corin Hewitt, Elias Hansen, Keith Hennessy, Francesca Grilli, Carin Goldberg, Martino Gamper, Anna Franceschini, Luca Francesconi, Andrea De Stefani, Gabriele De Santis, and Tomaso De Luca.

American Academy in Rome – Via Angelo Masina 5, Rome
Opening 29 January 2015 6pm-9pm – 1 March 2015