Filippo Minelli (Italy, 1983) is a contemporary artist working internationally, analysing and researching contemporary landscape and its politics to create installations and performances documented through photography and video. His practice is mainly focused on liminal spaces and geographic areas of the post-globalisation world.

Landscape, identity, politics

Minelli graduated with honours from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, BFA New Media (2006), where his academic education went alongside unauthorised interventions in public space, characterising his early artistic practice. Interested in landscape and the public sphere, his work is mostly addressed at challenging the role of identity and its narratives, both in the physical and digital environments.

Drawn towards border zones rather than countries he evolved his practice working with the aesthetics of protests, bringing politics to an introspective level by decontextualisation of the use of tear gas, reversing the function of flags, and borrowing from the aesthetics of protest slogans. Being born and raised in Europe his main interests are contradictions, as the grey area between historical heritage and urban sprawl, reality and the representation of it, politics and identity, emergencies or rather, the absence of the important ones from public discourse.

The Guardian >> Not Hollywood

Images always played a key role in Minelli’s work, initially in the form of photography as a way to document the interventions made while traveling in the post-globalisation world as integral part of ironic poetics on Neoliberalism, collecting and organising images, downloading stock-photos from the internet and re-positioning them within physical spaces, 3D scanning landscape details to create sculptures and using landscape to challenge the identity of the people shaping it.

In 2011, Minelli started to focus methodically on his native land documenting and narrating the landscape of northern Italy, then publishing the book ‘Atlante dei Classici Padani’ tackling globalised contemporary landscape and the political narrative on identity.

>> Link about the project

What is reality?

In the last few years Minelli started an investigation on the brinks of perception titled ‘What things are not’ where he questions the intrinsic political nature of public space, how politics exploits it and the information landscape, colonizing the imaginary to manipulate perception, in a complex scheme of identity-building. Can the lack of identity be identity too?

How does the absence of identity created by globalisation be interpreted to look at communities and tradition through non-nostalgic lenses?

Inspired by political demonstrations in 2009 Minelli started to develop the series Silence/Shapes, with the aim of giving silence a physical shape. In 2013, Elephant Magazine (UK) dedicated the cover of its 13th issue to his series ‘Silence/Shapes’, and in 2014, Onomatopee (NL) published a monograph about this production. During the same year, Fundación Loewe (ES) organized two exhibitions on the series in Madrid and Barcelona, while in 2015/2016 Opéra National de Paris chose the series for the image of its yearly programming. In 2016, Minelli exhibited and performed the series for Somerset House (UK) and Maneж (RU), during the same year ’Silence/Shapes’ was on the cover of Monthly Photography Korea and it was published by many other international media outlets.

AnOther Mag >> Somerset House London

His work was exhibited by Somerset House (London, UK), Manifesta12, Münchner Stadt Museum (Münich, Germany), Total Museum (Seoul, South Korea), La Triennale di Milano (Italy), East Wing Biennial (London, UK), ArtScience Museum (Singapore), Manege (Moscow, RU), Fundaciòn Loewe (Madrid, Spain), Museu do Som e Imagem (São Paulo, Brazil), Biennale di Venezia 2011, Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires, Argentina), MACRO (Rome, Italy), and was reviewed over the years by some of the major international media outlets such as Le Monde, The New York Times, Harpers, La Vanguardia, ARTE, Domus, Huffington Post, Corriere della Sera, Folha de São Paulo, El Mundo, The Guardian, Architectural Review, CNN, La Stampa and Al Jazeera.

Filippo Minelli Flags
Filippo Minelli Gasolinera

Since 2007, Minelli has been invited by several international institutions for research-projects, residencies and lectures: Aarhus University (DK), National Centre for Contemporary Arts (RU), Gyeonggi Creation Center (KR), Padiglione Architettura (IT), Epicenter Projects (USA), Fotografia Europea (IT), Centro Cultural de Belém (PT), Fondazione Benetton (IT), Courtald Institute (UK), Total Museum of Contemporary Arts (KR), IULM University (IT), UCL (UK), Centro Cultural Santa Monica (ES), Politecnico di Milano (IT), Manifesta14 (KO) and Sharjah Art Foundation (UAE) among others.