Wilfredo Prieto Equilibrando la curva

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June 22 – September 2, 2012

HangarBicocca - Via Privata Chiese, 2 20126 – Milano

Equilibrando la curva is an exhibition by the Cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto (b. 1978, Sancti Spíritus, Cuba; lives in Havana and New York), one of the most fascinating artists to emerge on the international contemporary art scene in the past decade. Composed of works and installations with surprising visual immediacy, most of which created specifically for the spaces at HangarBicocca, this important solo show, curated by Andrea Lissoni, reveals a disorienting and visionary world that beckons the viewer to ponder contemporary society and its major issues: the economy, politics, the environment. There are seven installations on show, including a bus seeking balance, a cement mixer that gets cemented, a gigantic cloud made from seven kilometres of barbed wire, a needle hidden in a haystack, an avalanche of spherical objects, and even a bar that dispenses vodka and orange juice.

Seemingly ironic and playful, Prieto’s works turn a critical eye to analysing the problems and the social and economic contradictions of today’s world, questioning public space and its limitations, and they put conventions and stereotypes on the spot. Using the objects, icons and everyday materials of our globalized society, the artist creates large ready-mades, environments and performances that transform minor details into unexpected shifts in meaning, products of little value into political statements, and changes in function into troubling images.Indeed, it is everyday objects that, reinterpreted and decontextualized, play a key role in Equilibrando la curva, the largest exhibition staged by the artist to date. In the large spaces of HangarBicocca, Prieto has created installations, environments and moving mechanisms that destabilize every possible expectation of the public, triggering a chain reaction of alienating sensations underscoring the elements of instability and unpredictability inherent in the world around us.In his oeuvre, Prieto uses uncommon materials taken from everyday life and distorted. His most famous works include national flags stripped of their original colours (Apolitical, 2001), a red carpet that conceals dust and grime (Untitled [Red Carpet], 2007), a one-dollar bill multiplied by an interplay of mirrors (One Million Dollars, 2002), and a mountain of diamonds, only one of which is authentic (One, 2008). Most of the works forming the exhibition have been made on site through the close collaboration between the artist and the HangarBicocca staff, confirming the art centre’s focus on production and research, as one of its main objectives is to host highly innovative projects.

Above image: Wilfredo Prieto, Equilibrando la curva, 2012, Installation view

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

Installation view

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

Installation view

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

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Wilfredo Prieto

Equilibrando la curva, 2012

Installation view