*Featured photo: Chalisée Naamani, You can cut all the flowers but you can’t keep spring from coming, 2022, mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Photographs: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano
12 Apr – 27 May 2023
Via Gioacchino Rossini, 3
Sculptures quilted with gold chains, oriental carpets criss-crossed with metropolitan verses, patchworks of images: these are some of the details in “Quando va male, il leopardo” (“When Everything Goes Wrong, the Leopard”), a solo exhibition by artist Chalisée Naamani opening on Wednesday 12 April in the spaces of Galleria Ciaccia Levi in Milan.
In Chalisée Naamani’s (1995, Paris) research, painting, sculpture, popular culture, fashion and technology intersect, becoming a fertile ground for cultural intertwining and linguistic exchange. The title chosen for the solo show, the artist’s first in Italy, emblematically encapsulates the very inspiration of the exhibition and refers to the widespread tendency in the fashion system to adopt the maculated to exorcise dark times. The works on show are the result of a process that combines photographic prints with polymateric assemblages in soft, irregular shapes, which in space draw gateways to rebuses and emotional tangles. In her solo exhibition, the Iranian-origin French artist meditates on the political, cultural and evocative power of fashion, on its ability to pay «homage to history, and to the stories of the women and men who wear it», to quote the words of philosopher Marie-Aude Baronian. In fact, as Naamani explains, «I do not choose clothes for aesthetic reasons alone. I try to tell stories through shapes, colours and suitable accessories. I obsessively archive images taken from everyday life, screenshots and scans that I then combine to create new ones».
Between the folds of sculptures that have lost their geometric rationality, centred or collapsed in on themselves, peep familiar images from the artist’s personal archive, Middle Eastern iconography, trap quotations, excerpts from Mantegna’s Polyptych of St. Luke, screensaver panoramas and digital collages. In “Quando va male, il leopardo” everything overlaps and interlocks, as in an eternal scroller, giving shape to a serial imagery populated by bold baroque outcomes and wide areas of shadow. A continuous work of construction and deconstruction, that to which the artist gives life, which in the exhibition is recomposed through stratifications of materials and experiences – virtual and real; spiritual and physical – inextricably intertwined.
The exhibition includes ten sculptures, all recent productions, including six new works. The exhibition remains open until Saturday 20 May.
Born in 1995, Chalisée Naamani lives and works in France. She trained at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She took part in the group shows Power Flower at the Nice Biennial; Felicità, Milieu des Choses, Des Corps Libres, Crack a Cold One and Nouvelles Liberte s, 100% l’expo and Piel de Serpiente, all in Paris; Emergences in Brussels, Teen Spirits, Glad to get high and see the slow motion world, in Romainville, Palai in Lecce.
Among the fairs, Liste in Basel and Art-O-Rama in Marseille, where she won the Benoît Doche de Laquintane Prize in 2021. Other awards include that for sculpture and installation awarded by Prix des Fondations (2021).
Her solo exhibitions include Jt’oublierai vite j’te ljure at Ciaccia Levi Gallery in Paris, Week-ends éphémères for La Galerie in Noisy-le-sec, and the solo show at Art-O-Rama in Marseille.
Exhibitions planned for 2023 include After Laughter Comes Tears at MUDAM in Luxembourg and Talan, in Tunis at Centre 3T.