Vernon Gallery, Prague: Chinese Democracy and The Last Day on Earth

Federico Solmi

Chinese Democracy and The Last Day on Earth 

28. 11. 2014 – 10. 1. 2015

Gallery Vernon, Janáčkovo nábřeží 21, Prague 5

The new exhibition at Gallery Vernon presents the world premiere of the video trilogy Chinese Democracy and The Last Day on Earth by Federico Solmi, a NY-based Italian artist and award winner of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The first two installments of the trilogy were launched in Los Angeles (2012) and New York (2013), and it is a great honor for Prague to premiere the final installment. 

The exhibition will also display Solmi's vibrant video paintings and paper paintings. Through these provocative, satirical pieces, Solmi portrays a dystopian vision of present-day society. Solmi re-contextualizes images culled from the video game industry, pop culture, and the internet to produce original artworks that are bold commentaries on burning issues often eliminated from public discussions. His work is a criticism of a system that approves and trusts without questioning the fragile foundation on which our culture and post-modernist society is based.

In the Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth video trilogy (2011-2014), Federico Solmi aims to lampoon contemporary society and the self–destructive nature of mankind. In contrast with their playful faux-naïve aesthetics, the videos indict a male-dominated, hierarchical world controlled by vicious politicians, corrupt businessmen, and ruthless corporations as the cause behind the decline of human race. The first installment of the trilogy, A Song of Tyranny, introduces a relentless and despotic political leader, as he unveils his plan of world domination to his army. His political madness is captured in an interview with an inquisitive American journalist. In a stunning commencement parade under a red sky, he calls his troops to arms. Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth, the centerpiece of the video trilogy, begins idyllically in the Garden of Eden and ends in a bloody takeover of Times Square. The invasion of America is all at once playful, imaginative, gruesome, amusing, violent and gratifying. Solmi dramatizes the ridiculous nature of mankind's lust for power, as the ruthless dictator annihilates the ruined planet Earth. The Return of the Prodigal Son opens with remnants of Earth's sick capitalistic society, now drifting through cosmic purgatory. The protagonist's spaceship lands on an unknown planet, where the hidden truth behind his success is revealed. However, the final episode of the saga exposes the folly of his ambition and a blind spot in the commander's gluttonous quest for eternal glory.

The director of the Gallery Vernon Monika Burian Jourdan says about Solmi's artwork, "I admire the unique way how he connects painting and video animation. I also deeply appreciate his courage to deal with many taboos of today's world, and therefore I am very glad that we have an opportunity to present such open and liberal art here in Prague."

In 2009, Federico Solmi was awarded by the Guggenheim Foundation of New York with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the category Video & Audio. 

Solmi's works has been exhibited in several international Biennials, such as First Shenzhen Animation Biennial in China (2013), the 54th Venice Biennial (2011), and Site Santa Fe Biennial in New Mexico (2010). His works have been exhibited and screened in the following museums and institutions for contemporary art: Centre De Pompidou, Palais De Tokyo, Paris; Drawing Center, New York; Reina Sofia National Museum, CA2M Centro De Arte Dos De Mayo (upcoming), Italian Cultural Institute, Madrid; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Arts, Israel; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai;, Australian Center of Moving Images, Melbourne; Victoria Memorial Museum, Calcutta, India; Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy, Palazzo Delle Belle Arti, Napoli.

Solmi's video have been screened in several film and video festivals around the world including the Kassel Documentary film and video festival; Tina B, Prague; Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris, Madrid, Berlin; The London International animation festival; Loop Barcelona and others. Federico Solmi has given lectures on his work in several universities and art schools in the United States and Europe, including Yale University in New Haven, School Of Visual Arts in New York, and Accademia di Belle Arti Brera and Universita' Cattolica in Milan.

The opening takes place on Friday November 28th 2014 at 6 pm at the Gallery Vernon, Janáčkovo nábřeží 21, Prague 5 with the presence of the artist.

ABOUT GALLERY VERNON 

Gallery Vernon was founded in 2001 by its director, Monika Burian Jourdan. From the start, Vernon's objective has been clear: to support quality contemporary art and present it to the public. Its vision is to place Czech and international art side by side as equal partners and look for links between artists who may never have met, but are nonetheless united by something.

Gallery is located at Janáčkovo nábřeží 21, Prague 5, is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday 12 – 7 pm, Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 10.30 am – 6 pm. The entrance fee is 30 CZK, on every first Wednesday of the month free entrance. 

Special thanks to our sponsors: De'Longhi, Achour&Hájek; and media partners: ArtClue, Art Guide East, GoOut, CityBee, Expats.cz, protisedi.cz.

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