Making Time

Slater Bradley 
Park Chan-kyong 
Grazia Toderi 

curated by Lorenzo Bruni

29 September 2018 – The Galleria Poggiali of Florence presents the Making Time exhibition, curated by Lorenzo Bruni, with works by Slater Bradley (San Francisco, 1975), Park Chan-kyong (Seoul, 1965) and Grazia Toderi (Padua, 1963). 

The project, broken down into three separate shows, is displayed in the three different areas of the Florentine gallery. Each exhibition consists of works of heterogeneous media including photographs, videos, collages, video installations, drawings and pictorial operations from different cycles not normally visible in Italian museums. These are mingled with the new productions displayed here on preview for the European public. Making Time sets up a novel dialogue capable of revealing the fulcrum of the investigations of each of these three internationally-renowned artists. It has allowed them to reflect on a broader research platform and set up a dialogue between works dating to different periods through site-specific operations, generating stratifications that can give a new meaning to reality and to the work in question. The exhibition allows viewers to explore the particular traits of each of the artists. 

The personal research of each of the three, vis-à-vis the current digital and post-ideological world, started in the 1990s. Slater Bradley, Park Chan-kyong and Grazia Toderi are artists of different cultural provenance, but all three began their careers adopting a narration through images in movement to reflect on the public and on the work of art, at a time when internet and the globalisation of markets broke up the traditional centres of power and altered the way facts were presented and the deriving expectations. Their narratives aim to bring forth the need for an empathic and physical viewer engagement, as compared with the linear sequence of actions of cause and effect. In this way they can renegotiate the boundary between illusion and reality, between opinions and facts, in a society where the truth of information appears illusorily within reach of all. 

For the Making Time exhibition both Park Chan-kyong and Grazia Toderi (Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale), together with Slater Bradley (the youngest male artist to have had a solo show at the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York), accepted the invitation to present a new production for the first time here in Italy, at the Galleria Poggiali. The itinerary begins with the work of Slater Bradley who, in addition to the 2013 video Sequoia, displays two canvases from 2011 and the 2018 work Parthenon Solar Shield, an emanation of the series exhibited at the Venice Biennale of 2017, as well as his new blue monochromes, again from 2018, and Blue David Shield, inspired by Michelangelo’s David and produced especially for Florence. 

The exhibition, characterised by heterogeneous media, continues with the works of Park Chan-kyong. For the first time in Europe he displays the lightboxes and Child Soldier of 2017, a video made up of photographs that probe the social and political complexity of the history of South Korea, the folk traditions and shamanism and, at the same time, the impact of the war in Korea and the consequent division between North and South.

In the project room of Via Benedetta Grazia Toderi proposes the video installation Red Map from 2016-2018, as well as an original angle on her 1997 drawings on paper in relation to the famous work Centro (Centre), from the same year. Displayed in the main gallery is the imaginary map Atlante Rosso (Red Atlas) from 2012, images created through reflection on the sedimentation of the Earth and the orbits of the planets, and also of our ocular orbits; the red in the work refers to the colour of the artificial lighting in nighttime cities. Also on display is the work Disappearing Map, 2016-2018, made up of three original works consisting of overlaid sheets of tracing paper. 

“The first consideration that emerges,” writes the curator Lorenzo Bruni, “is that these artists have not adopted video to sever the links with the history of art, but rather to revitalise it and reconsider it from another angle. The second is linked to the fact that, for them, the suspension/expansion of the narrative is purely a means of materialising the concept of time and enabling a dialogue between objective and personal time, between history and imagination, production and fruition.” 

An exhibition catalogue with essays by Lorenzo Bruni and conversations with the artists will be published.