TO LIVE IT UP

Lene Ter Haar, Maastricht June 2011

Yes indeed – it’s only a line; the remains of an un-called for intervention in public space, one among the many – stickers, tags or simply a line. It’s the age-old phenomenon of demarcation, a visual peeing on every corner, a delineation of territory, sayin, “i was here”. Filippo Minelli compares the impulsive action with a deliberate gesture which is repeated seriously and consistently executed over and over again. Have this long lines been set out in manic anger, or as an aesthetic addiction, carefully placed in the sorroundings to reinforce the spaciousness, to accentuate colours, to emphasise forms? Is paint on snow nonetheless melted by the sun?

The line – in itself an interesting theme – is too minimal to do more than attract apassing glance, but at the same time too obvious to pass by entirely unnoticed. Minelli builds up a tension between control and laissez-faire, between an uninhibited, enraptured letting go, and a conscious artistic application. This ambiguity is also a play in Shapes, a serie of photographs in which the artist experiments with colour explosions in the landscape. The exploding of the paint bomb lasts little more than a second – and is almost impossible to influence other than through the choice of the location. Minelli uses public space both as a terrain in which to let himself go, as well as a setting for a composition that seems to refer somehow to the sublime overtones of 19th century landscape painting.

Both in “Shapes” and “Lines” , as well as being a flashy picture, Minelli’s basic play of forms offers a deal of room for interpretation. There’s a conceptual side lurking in the work, in which non-object, formalist compositions, due to their location in public space, are open to political interpretations. Social relationships are reflected in the confrontations between colour and landscape, individual positions are contrasted with, or inserted into, communal structures; personal imaginations encounter collective image culture.

‘Act/Out’ groupshow curated by Lene Ter Haar at Onomatopee Foundation, Eindhoven / Netherlands
Text in catalogue