The works in the exhibition employ different strategies to record the relationships between people and relay the stories that connect them. Together, the works additionally suggest a shifting relationship towards technology, from enthusiasm to ambivalence, as the instantaneous becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives.
Camille Blatrix’s sculptures present themselves as artifacts from a near future, emulating the forms of everyday objects while obscuring their own purpose. Machine-like in their appearance, the surfaces disguise the artist’s labor, as each sculpture in the exhibition is a combination of elements industrially fabricated and meticulously handcrafted with variety of traditional techniques. In his practice, Blatrix interjects anecdotal references to his own life and relationships, allowing initially anonymous objects to become an apparatus for recording fleeting emotions and interactions.
For his participation in the Italian pavilion at the 1972 Venice Biennale, Franco Vaccari installed a photobooth in the gallery, urging visitors to take their portraits and hang them on the empty walls. In the years following, Vaccari sought permission from the leading manufacturer of self-service photo booths in Italy to use over 1000 machines installed across the country. Inviting users to send in their portraits under the guise of consideration for a movie production, he received the thousands of proto-selfies that constitute his work Photomatica D’Italia. The photobooth, at the time typically used solely for ID photos, in turn became a private space within the public sphere, allowing participants to record spontaneous moments with themselves and others. Collectively, the resulting images not only pose a conceptual challenge of Vaccari’s own authorship, but also offer a uniquely diverse document of Italy during these years.
In 2016, Camille Blatrix’s work was the subject of an exhibition as CCA Wattis, San Francisco. Other solo exhibitions include Mostyn Museum, Wales 2015, and Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris, 2014. Blatrix additionally participated in the 2015 Lyon Biennale.
Solo exhibitions of Franco Vaccari’s work have been presented at numerous venues since the 1970s that include Madre Museum, Naples, 2014 Fondazione Morra Greco, 2014, Mostyn Museum, Wales, 2013, Museo Cantonale d’Arte Lugano, Lugano, 2008, Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena, 2007, among others. In addition, Vaccari participated in the Venice Biennale in 1972, 1980, and 1993.