ADRIAN TRANQUILLI | don’t forget the Joker
STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI presents a collection of new works by Adrian Tranquilli in the exhibition don’t forget the Joker.
It has been five years since Believe and Evidence – Tranquilli’s one-man exhibitions at Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni and at this gallery – initiated a series of works dedicated to the exploration of the heroic figure and the superhero in particular. The artist tackles the same theme here, but from a different perspective: his analytical point of view has rotated through180 degrees and now concentrates on the antihero.
The concept of the superhero as sole universal representatives of ethical heroism has in recent years been the focal point of both Adrian Tranquilli’s work and of his thorough, committed anthropological analysis of this cultural role model.
Having removed their comic book associations, the artist has revised the nature and meaning of his characters and proposes them as icons and paradigmatic elements which connect on many levels: reality and imagination, antiquity and the future.
Each sculpture arises from life, from social utopias and from the contemporary world’s “sacred” visions. They are related to religion, anthropology and art history, to current affairs and science. Hence Batman, Superman and Spiderman live on an absolute plane, establishing the symbolic event in constructions of great visual impact.
The Joker, that well-known “villain” from the universe of superhero comics, is the leading character in this exhibition:
“I have always thought of the Joker as the perfect, mirror-image transposition of the superhero concept. The superhero represents the comic book transposition of the West’s role model of the male rescuer, the keeper of the good and the just. Superheroes are inevitably ambiguous figures, they are convinced they can judge and punish. Their counterparts, the super-villains, are ambiguous in much the same way. The Joker is the perfect synthesis of this ambiguity. The Joker – a balladeer, juggler, musician and acrobat – actually has a positive image but he’s on “the other side”, the negative side. The boundaries between positive and negative are as ephemeral as the concepts of good and bad themselves; everything is possible and nothing is true.”
The exhibition is a complex site-specific installation where light and shadow contrast and interrelate with large black and white images, re-examining the canons of theatricality and interactivity. Tranquilli thereby creates a meaning which is both playful and tragic. A large sculpture of the Joker introduces us to the scene and seems like a witness to the works dedicated to the superheroes.
Read and download the exhibition’s press release.
ADRIAN TRANQUILLI was born in Melbourne in 1966. He lives and works in Rome. His major solo exhibitions include:
Days of a Future Past, MANN – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Naples 2016; Welcome to the Fall, MART – Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto 2014; All is violent, all is bright, MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome 2011; Don’t Forget the Joker, Palazzo Reale, Milan 2010; These Imaginary Boys, Parkhouse, Düsseldorf 2004; Know Yourself, MACRO – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome 2003; Believe, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome 2001.
Adrian Tranquilli’s work has been shown as part of major group exhibitions at numerous public and private institutions, including: SPSI – Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institut Art Museum, Shanghai 2015; LAUBA, Zagreb 2015; CoCA – Center of Contemporary Art, Torun 2014; La Maison d’Ailleurs, Yverdon-les-Bains 2014; La Maison Rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris 2009; Sala de Exposiciones Alcalá 31, Madrid 2008; Botkyrka Konsthall, Stockholm 2007; KUNSTHALLE, Wien 2006; GNAM – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome 2005; Palazzo delle Papesse – Centro Arte Contemporanea, Siena 2003; IASPIS, Stockholm 2002; Dalì Museum, St. Petersburg (Florida, USA) 2001; PAC – Padiglione d’ Arte Contemporanea, Milan 2000; Bienal de La Habana, La Habana 2000; MAK, Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst / Gegenwartskunst, Wien 1999.
For a more complete artist profile, see the artist page.
more exhibitions by ADRIAN TRANQUILLI with STUDIO STEFANIA MISCETTI.