Curated by Eugenio Viola
Morra Greco Foundation, Naples
On Wednesday October 17th at 7:00 pm Fondazione Morra Greco opens Napoli.ok, a site-specific project conceived by Mark Raidpere for his second solo show at the Fondazione. Raidpere’s work explores with a great sensitivity and efficacy the dilemmas and anxieties of the human soul, its incoercible loneliness, its tragic fate. His research often takes its cue from his own family’s universe but sometimes it takes on social connotations, focusing on marginalized people, urban violence and street life. All these different themes merge into an elaborate project that starts from particular situations to investigate, more in general, the misery and the contradictions of our contemporary reality.
The works on display are a clear evidence of the complexity of Raidpere’s work, showing similarities and differences in his past and present research. Most of them were produced during Raidpere’s residency in Naples last summer. Hence the half-joking title of the exhibition, borrowed from the name of the folder on Raidpere’s computer where he put selected pictures of his sorties in the Womb of Naples.
Over the years Raidpere has developed a unique style, suspended between the public and private sphere, objectively documentary but at the same time oneiric and visionary. Raidpere deliberately lends introspection to his autobiographical works, raising a pitiless curtain on his private life: 09/12/07 - 05/04/09 (2009), is a video narrating with hypnotic and obsessive simplicity the lack of communication with his father, a topic that can also be found in his earlier works, such as Dedication (2008), which is about the relationship between his father and his mother, or the evocative Father (2001), depicting Raidpere’s father in the melancholic loneliness of his home.
On the occasion of the Naples exhibition Raidpere will also present new photographs, all taken in Naples, a medium that characterized his early work, including the renowned self-portraits of the “Io” series (1997), in which he shows his naked body, tormented by his restless posture, communicating pain and alienation. For the first time after several years Raidpere also exhibits a new series of self-portraits, less dramatic and more self-ironic. Raidpere’s lens captures unexpected revealing moments, gets lost in the meanders of alleys, recording impressions and nuances of a microcosm of unlikely events, which might seem ironic at a first sight but at a closer look yield to mixed feelings, suspended between decadence and loneliness, fear and regret, beauty and suffering, vulnerability and isolation, marginalization and decay, separation and detachment.
Mark Raidpere (Tallinn 1975, where he lives and works) is one of the most representative Estonian artists of his generation, and the most well known internationally. He exhibited in various museums and institutions in Europe and America, including: the Witte de with in Rotterdam, the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig -MUMOK, in Vienna, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, 2009; the CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 2008; the Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia 2007; the Michel Rein gallery, Paris, 2006-08; the Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona, 2008; the III Prague Biennale, 2007; the Russian Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, the Platform Garanti, Istanbul and the Kiasma in Helsinki, 2006. He represented Estonia at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005).