47 rue de Montmorency - 75003 Paris
May 21, July 1, 2022

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Alberta Pane Gallery is pleased to present Davide Sgambaro’s first solo exhibition
in its Parisian space.

The exhibition consists of four bodies of work that form a single narrative and explore the limits an individual has when confronted to precarious situations. Using an irreverent tone, Davide Sgambaro invites us to face playful scenarios with sculptures and installations relating to the world of entertainment, idleness and to certain clichés linked to youth.

The installation entitled: Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing, consists of a Sky dancer1. Stuck at the back of the gallery, with its smiley face, the sculpture destroys itself as a result of its friction against the ceiling and the walls. The ideas of impediment and obstacle are then echoed by the sculptures entitled Calcinculo installed high on the wall. These sculptures are inspired on the hard-to-win prizes typical of the so-called Flying Chairs of Italian fairgrounds. The artworks present the objects that one must catch to win the prize during the ride. In these entertainment devices, the technique of Calcio in culo (Kick in the butt) performed by two people allows one to reach the object, grab it, and win the prize which is usually a free ride.

Furthermore, the ability to manage or to find the right strategy to achieve a goal is also present in the work The Bremen Musicians inspired by the namesake fable title written by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and published in 1819. In this fable four farm animals, deprived by their old age of their ability to work, are left to their fate. During meeting by chance on the road, they decide to help each other and find a refuge to survive. In the course of this quest they find a house inhabited by thieves and, joining forces, they stand on top of each other. The thieves glimpse a monstrous figure in the darkness. They think that the house is haunted by monsters and witches and run away, leaving the shelter to the animals. Referring to this fable, the artist presents an image of the Bremen musicians made with a digital collage of emojis. This reference to instant messaging relates to the generations Davide Sgambaro alludes to and to the theme of lack of security and stability2. This idea takes us to the last work in the exhibition: So-so. It is a foam plate normally used for furniture upholstery on which the artist draws a sad face by burning the surface with a cigarette. This burning creates a drawing that visually contrasts with the happy face of the smiliing dancer that keeps on trying to get out of the space before falling down, exhausted.

Despite the smiling characters, the exhibition is a reaction to a precarious life, a narrative portrait of generations in which the adverb NOPE! (no!) seems a repetitive and amusing mantra in response to contemporary needs.

Thanks to the irony always present in his work, which contrasts with a certain melancholy, Davide Sgambaro creates intriguing narrative paradoxes that can depict extreme and precarious situations by evoking memories and common imaginary.

The playful universe, the techniques used and the idea of art as an emotional language are elements that caracterize the work of this artist, who is interested in the creation of a shared vocabulary vocabulary that aims at a unconventional visual communication.

1. Advertising device in the form of a nylon tube driven by an industrial ventilator.
2. Ian Bogost, a media and game designer, assumes a deskilling of human life. He observes how automated technologies (from automatic toilet flushes to text message checkers) intensify a generalized sense of precariousness and unpredictability. Instead of adjusting to human needs, they force people to adapt to the unpredictable logic of machines. The supposed convenience of automated daily life is undermined by our lack of control, our confusion and the passivity to which technology forces us. Ian Bogost, Why nothing works anymore, Atlantic, February 23, 2007, the

* Ilaria Gianni is an independent curator, art critic and lecturer. She is co-founder of IUNO, a research center for contemporary art and of Magic Lantern Film Festival, a research-based thematic investigation of the interstice between visual art and cinema.
She has collaborated with museums, institutions, project spaces and galleries including: Palazzo delle Esposizioni; MACRO; MAXXI and National Gallery, in Rome; Matadero, Madrid; MOA, Seoul; Loop, Seoul; Villa Croce Museum of Contemporary Art, Genoa; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

From 2016 to 2020 she was guest curator at the American Academy in Rome. Between 2009 and 2016 she was co-director and curator of Nomas Foundation, where she was responsible for the artistic programming. She has collaborated with contemporary art fairs, including ARCOmadrid, f(section « Opening », 2018-2019), Artissima (section “Present Future”, 2019-2021). Between 2015 and 2017 she co -founded and curated the independent art fair Granpalazzo.

She is Adjunct Professor at John Cabot University, the Master of Art at Luiss Business School, IED (Rome) and at Naba (Milan). She has contributed with numerous art catalogs and magazines such as: Flash Art,, Domus, Mousse, NERO, Cura, Arte e Critica. As part of the Quadriennale d’arte 2020, she curated the project AccadeMibact: Domani Qui Oggi. She is co- curator of Radio GAMeC 30 for 2022.

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