Europe VS Europe, Giuseppe Stampone at Gallery Marie-Laure Fleisch in Brussels

Giuseppe Stampone, Golden Residencies installation, 2016, detail


As part of the Brussels Gallery Weekend, from 8 to 11 September 2016, Gallery MLF | MARIE-LAURE FLEISCH will be presenting the Italian artist Giuseppe Stampone’s first Belgian exhibition – Europe vs Europe. This is the Gallery’s second exhibition since it opened in rue Saint-Georges in Brussels last April with the aim of extending the programme offered by the Rome gallery.

One of the main features of Giuseppe Stampone’s work is his ability to tackle international social and political issues in an ironic and provocative manner. Europe vs Europe is a metaphor for the current situation in Europe and its contradictions.
Starting off from the research of theorist Derrick de Kerckhove, which focuses on the goals of communication tools, and their effect on our existence, Giuseppe Stampone uses the possibilities offered by digital platforms. From there he takes images and meticulously draws them with a ballpoint pen, giving them a unique touch. He then associates words with images and alters therefore their meaning with a hint of irony and irreverence.
The artist also creates installations and performances through social networks and online tools. Moreover, he develops participatory artworks, bringing together as many people as possible with the ultimate goal of promoting social cohesion.

The installation Golden Residencies consists of three mattresses (embroidered and drawn with ballpoint pen), highlighting the disparity of hospitality people sometimes encounter in Europe based on their financial means. The artist created three golden passports (an Italian one, a Greek one and a Spanish one), in a piece he mockingly labelled “Passe-partout”, ironically stressing they are among the countries which face the most difficulties controlling immigration within the Schengen area. Giuseppe Stampone is also showcasing two other works, Europe vs Europe and Tentative échouée d’une peinture utopiste (“Failed attempt at a Utopian Painting”). The first is inspired by The Abduction of Europa by Rembrandt (1632, coll. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) and the second by Jan Van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait (1434, National Gallery, London). Giuseppe Stampone catapulted (replaced) these works into a different era and context, all the while radicalising their meaning and highlighting the utopian ideas and paradoxes of a united Europe. The work representing the first European flag, Milky Way, created using ballpoint pen and gold leaf, takes us back to its very foundation. It is displayed opposite Welcome to Europe, which links the gallery’s interior and exterior.
One room is dedicated entirely to Global Education, a method developed by Stampone throughout the years, which attempts to make people aware of major hot topics worldwide. Through the voices of children, among others, he aims to inform and teach and thus to reach the more secluded sphere of adults. For this exhibition, the artist therefore asked children to freely share their views on words such as “nation,” “flag” and “passport.”
Stampone believes that in this globalised world, art should be accessible to everyone and more importantly, that it should be a powerful tool for creation and education.

MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch  – 13 rue Saint-Georges, Sint-Jorisstraat 1050 Brussels
Thursday 8 September, 2016 – 5-8pm