Ludovica Gioscia

Soft Power

8 October 2010 - 23 November 2010
VITRINE Bermondsey Square

Ludovica Gioscia, soft power, 2010.

Ludovica Gioscia, soft power, 2010.

Ludovica Gioscia, soft power, 2010.

Ludovica Gioscia, soft power, 2010.

Ludovica Gioscia, soft power, 2010.

Vitrine Gallery presents an audacious site-specific installation by Ludovica Gioscia.

Gioscia will create one of her decollage installations in which layers of custom and found wallpapers are installed and then ripped down revealing the strata underneath. Simultaneously operating on the architecture and importing into the space a pattern that often functions like an infinitely repeated iconic logo, the installation will work with the unusual quality of the gallery being primarily wall space. Motifs within some of her best-known installations range from baroque church plans to the jumeraiah palm tree icons.  They disclose a cacophonic and bombastic collision of bootlegged patterns and eye watering colour schemes that are underpinned by a dark humour to emphasise the role of leisure and opulence that has been employed as a simulacra for value throughout culture.

For this installation Gioscia explores the ‘Paninaro’ culture, which underpins much of her current practice. ‘Paninaro’ is a fashion phenomenon that took hold of Milan in the 1980s and gradually spread across Italy. The Pet Shop Boys wrote a song about it when visiting Milan in ‘86, which is how the term found its way into our dictionaries. The Paninaros (the name given to people who took on this cultural identity) are symbolic of a decade of intense hedonism and they are the first fetishists of overall brand consumption. The actual word ‘paninaro’ means ‘consumer of sandwiches’ and the hamburger became one of their strongest logos. They were obsessed with everything American. Paninaros were a dream for the marketing world as they were extremely legible as a teen subculture and very predictable in their consumptions. Brands like Naj-Oleari exploited this by creating a ‘wallpaper-like-environment’ for them where everything matched: from make-up palettes to bags to socks to hair-bands to diaries to pencils to bed linen.

Berlusconi’s media empire was gaining its strength in those years, with channels Italiauno, Canalecinque and Retequattro. They all broadcast imported american programes such as Dallas and had a variety of extravaganza shows, such as Drive-In. The latter was filmed in an american drive-in style set, which inculded a fast food restaurant and one of the main characters, ‘Il Paninaro’, played by comedian Enzo Braschi, dictated the look and interests of the paninaros.

For the site-specific Vitrine installation Gioscia will engage with icons of the Paninaro history, and the giant decollage will have two modes: a diurnal one during the day – lit by natural light – and a blacklight lit one at night, which will ignite the fluorescent screenprinted wallpapers referencing Italiauno and the other channels into an ‘active TV’ mode.

The better you look, baby, the more you see’ Quote from Glamorama (Bret Easton Ellis)

Vitrine Gallery host a special Paninaro event to accompany ‘Soft Power’, with a Private View, talk, fashion and music in Shortwave Cinema opposite the gallery on Friday 8 October from 6 til 12pm. There will be copies of the ‘Paninaro dictionary’ compiled by Barbara Pansadoro available during the opening.

Ludovica Gioscia (born 1977, Rome) lives and works in London. Her work is exhibited internationally and has featured in a number of publications. In 2010, Gioscia presented a large-scale decollage at The Miro’ Foundation in Barcelona; ‘The Beheaded Monarchs’ as part of a solo show at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA; and a series of collages on playgirl centrefolds as part of ‘Bunny Redux’ again at The Warhol Museum. Previous shows include a solo at Siobhan Davies Studios (2009), solo shows at The Agency and Sara Tecchia Roma New York (2009), and was part of group shows at the Jerwood Space, South London Gallery, MNAC in Bucharest, WAX in Budapest and Confort Moderne in Poitiers.