TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An exhibition by Italian artist Giacomo Zaganelli opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (MOCA Taipei) in which the artist zooms in to the act of taking selfies to discuss the relationship of modern people and historic monuments.
As the title of the exhibition “Superficially” suggests, Zaganelli said he wanted to use this exhibition as an approach to criticize how superficial the contemporary society could be.
Zaganelli added that he had also tried to create a bridge between his hometown, Florence, and Taipei, even though the two cities were historically and geographically distant to one another.
The exhibition comprises three sets of video clips and an outdoor installation. Referring to tourists taking selfies with historic monuments — a recurring theme in his video works, Zaganelli said the problem was not so much about people’s ability to observe as their willingness to observe.
Zaganelli added many tourists were not willing to observe what was real in front of them when traveling to a strange city. Instead, their attention was constantly locked to their mobile screen.
Apart from filming in Italy, Zaganelli also moved his lenses to Taiwan. Through his interviews with Taiwanese artists, visitors will get a glimpse of how people working in the field of art think about technology and its impact on their work. However, visitors should be able to formulate their own opinions about the use of technology as every one is a mobile phone user and therefore part of the exhibition.
As for the outdoor installation, “Façade”, Zaganelli took inspiration from the fact that tarps printed with the facades of historic monuments in Italy were placed on scaffoldings when those monuments were closed for renovation so as to cover the construction work.
Zaganelli thus played between the idea of authenticity and representation on the installation after he had discovered that tourists were drawn to the fake images of historic monuments and they took pictures with the tarps.
Giacomo Zaganelli was born in 1983. He currently lives and works in Florence, Italy and Berlin, Germany. He has participated in the Kuan-du Arts Festival in Taipei and worked as an artist in residence in Taitung.
The exhibition will last until January 28, 2018. For more information, please refer to the MOCA website.
(Photos courtesy of MOCA Taipei)