Magazine article Artforum International

Loredana Di Lillo

Magazine article Artforum International

Loredana Di Lillo

Article excerpt

CARDI BLACK BOX

A black shape, beached like a stranded whale, was the starting point of this exhibition. Two long, defenseless Mickey Mouse arms emerged from the large, boxy form that constituted the body's central element. According to a text by Loredana Di Lillo, this piece is meant to recall the famous pose of Jean-Paul Marat in Jacques-Louis David's painting The Death of Marat, 1793. Half-geometric and half-anthropomorphic, the black shape seems to emerge like a nightmare from childhood dreams--a puppet, a horrible creature, a character from a grotesque video game. It is inflatable and thus a mass that can expand or deflate, like the imagination or anxiety. It is a presence that is not decidedly a human figure, but one that reveals a certain fragility in its limbs, hanging loose on the floor, hands wide open. Perhaps it is a victim, not a monster. Its title, MPDM (Mommy Puffy Daddy Monster) (all works 2013), has the sound of a sweet, rhyming lullaby, but the affectionate reference to parental figures takes a dark turn. To lose, a piece that spells out its title in neon and stickers, reverberates with echoes of a childhood betrayed, of disappointed hopes or loss.

Each of the six photographs that make up Tyrant visualizes one of the letters that compose its title word. For example, the letter Y is a glove whose fingers form the victory sign; the sinuosity of a pearl necklace that follows the embrace from behind of one topless woman by another conveys the R. These works are collages--made from magazine cutouts, original photos taken by the artist, and other materials--that were then photographed and mounted on aluminum. …

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