Public Collection is the latest work by NASTYNASTY©, produced in collaboration with Arts & Sciences Projects and presented as a publication in September 2015 as part of the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA/PS1.
Public Collection is a set of 38 stills taken from Hollywood movies and other films from around the world in which an artwork is featured. Works both ancient and contemporary, from classical sculpture to Keith Haring, via Piero della Francesca, Delacroix, Goya and many more besides, thus appear in the backgrounds of equally famous films alongside stars of the silver screen, in a complex interplay of overlapping, cross references and combinations. While numerous contemporary artists have reflected on the relationship between artworks and their audiences, from Thomas Struth to Francesco Jodice, in this work the art is to be found inside the scene, carrying out the same role as an actor in the development of the narrative.
Public Collection is the result of a practice of appropriation (it’s a collection of collections) and sets off a recognition process in the onlooker. What work is to be found in the frame? Who does it belong to? Who is it by? The result is a further stratification of the reading and interpretation of the original, which while featured once already on the movie screen, is thus further recontextualised. What’s more, the most radical consequence is its questioning of the dogma of the exclusivity of art. The guiding principle here is that of diffusion. Public Collection celebrates cinema’s democratising role, furthering the spread of imagery otherwise considered highbrow and elitist. Potential interpretations abound. The audience becomes broader and more diverse. Art thereby goes public.
NASTYNASTY© (Emiliano Biondelli and Valentina Venturi) is a collective which started in 2008, and that through various media, investigates the impact of photography on our culture and on the power it has to condition our perception of the world and our criteria of authenticity.
Their frequent use of books led them to undertake the publishing project blisterZine, which aims to produce and promote the artist’s book as a contemporary art object.
They have exhibited at the Artists Space (NY), Cleveland Art Museum, Miami Public Library, Corvi e Mora Gallery (London), National Centre of Contemporary Art of St. Petersburg (RUS), Artist Village Taipei (Taiwan), the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival (UK), A+A (Venice) and the Museo Marino Marini (Florence).
Arts & Sciences Projects
Arts & Sciences Projects, founded by Martin Masetto and Philip Tomaru, is an organization dedicated to providing a production and dissemination platform for emerging and established artists through independent publishing, an alternative project space, and temporary installations and performances. In addition to organizing exhibits in a New York project space from 2008-2012, Arts & Sciences Projects has exhibited at the NY Art Book Fair, the LA Art Book Fair, Yale University Art Gallery, Guest Spot (Baltimore), and other venues. Published works are held in the collections of the Getty Institute, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Maryland Institute College of Art Library.