Kayode Ojo “Could you bare your torso?” April 21–July 10 in Venice

April 4, 2022

On the occasion of the 59th Venice Biennale, Flash Art, Dune and the Iuav University of Venice, present Could you bare your torso?, a solo exhibition by Kayode Ojo from April 21 to July 10 2022, at Magazzino 6 and Magazzino 7 (Magazzini Ligabue) in Venice. The exhibition, curated by Gea Politi and Cristiano Seganfreddo, is produced by Flash Art Studios and promoted by the research center FLAIR (Fashion Lab Archive Industry Research) of the Department of Project Cultures of the Iuav University of Venice. In collaboration with Sweetwater Gallery, Berlin and supported by ASPESI.

Could you bare your torso? presents one of the most interesting contemporary American artists with a large-scale installation suspended between the Magazzini Ligabue, which are work and study areas for the Iuav community. Ojo’s metal chains transform the sky space into a sort of oversized bustier connecting the building’s concrete and red brick elements. The interior spaces of the university come alive with a series of sculptures scattered throughout the various rooms, inhabiting the floors and its halls.

“His work, mostly photography and sculpture, takes its cue from commercial presentation schemes like the storefront and vitrine, ushering in a dynamic of desire and deceit native to the sale. (…) Chandeliers, sequined blazers, fringe dresses, champagne glasses, and guns are but some of the goods arrayed across Ojo’s idiosyncratic supports, whose glinting surfaces frame the work as equal parts precious and provocative. The French call “window shopping” lèche-vitrine, framing the commodity-fetish as an urge to lick (the translation of lécher), consume, and satisfy objects on sale. It is this sort of desiring relation that is simulated by Ojo’s sculpture” writes Blake Oetting in the article that features Kayode Ojo on the cover of the latest Flash Art International.

“For Kayode, fashion is a media of continuous investigation of society as much as of the dynamics of desire. Thinking about the spaces of the Iuav University of Venice was natural, since it is a prismatic place of training and research, with a specific attention to fashion practices thanks to the presence of dedicated study courses. Moreover, Iuav is an atypical portion compared to a museum and tourism-oriented Venice. In many cases it is also very predictable. The result is a powerful and unique design contamination in a dynamic place, which feeds on the presence of new generations”, explain Gea Politi and Cristiano Seganfreddo, publishers of Flash Art and curators of the exhibition.

“ASPESI has always supported contemporary art and research. It is part of the very nature of the brand: first the relationships with great artists of the Arte Povera movement, and now with the new international creative generations. Research, new aesthetics and cross-disciplinarity are elements that form a true dialogue that we want to nurture with places of excellence such as Iuav and the support of artists like Kayode Ojo,” says Simona Clemenza, CEO of ASPESI.

The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, April 21 through July 10, 2022.

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