windows of windows
31 January 2016 - 14 February 2016
Visual artist Francesca Lai grew up in the north of Italy where she could enjoy the unspoilt nature of the Alps in abundance. From the moment she moved to the Netherlands as part of an exchange programme with the Academie Minerva, this wilderness became an absence in her life. The cultivated surroundings of the Netherlands were not sufficient to fulfil her romantic longing for untouched nature. Lai therefore plunged into a virtual reality that is almost indistinguishable from reality. The computer became a place where she could fulfil her dreams and longings by visualizing invigorating nature. However technology will always remain a virtual alternative.
In her work Lai plays with this experience of nature through technology. She allows computers to interfere with nature and vice versa, she mixes the physical and the virtual. She plays with our perspectives and the alienation of nature in the technological landscape. In this way she tries to questions the borders of different realities and she investigates the reproduction of these realities by intertwining them. Thus she wonders which world is the most intense and enchanting. How is your frame of reference determined and when is technology the way to interpret your surroundings?
Harry Heyink, a teacher at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, nominated Francesca Lai for the Young Artfund Amsterdam prize. The Artfund is a foundation established to support young artists. Heyink called her an artist that makes the world a little better with her films; these have unconventional plots full of colour and form. In ‘Windows of windows’ Lai shows how different the enchantment of nature can be via technology. Nowadays reproduced images are available at the click of a finger. She examines this through the medium of the computer screen; cameras and other devices are seen as a new window through which we can experience reality.
By working on a small scale and by manipulating her objects, Lai creates a certain kind of intimacy in her images. An extensive installation of her work can be seen at BRADWOLFF PROJECTS. With this the artist wants show how the reproduction of reality has become the norm and how reproduction is sometimes more tangible than actual reality.
Francesca Lai [Italy, 1988] lives and works in Amsterdam. She won the Young Artfund Amsterdam prize in 2015 and the first prize of the Vernato Arte in 2006 [IT]. She studied Fine Arts at the Academy of Arts in Turin [IT] and she did an extended exchange program at the Minerva Academy in Groningen [NL]. In 2013 she has also been an artist in resident at the European Exchange Academy in Beelitz [DE].
The exhibition will be accompanied by an interview/text by Taco Hidde Bakker, writer and researcher.