ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
Stephen Prina / English for Foreigners
Through Oct 16, 2017 / Museo Madre

 

 

 

English for Foreigners is the first solo exhibition in an Italian public institution by Stephen Prina (Galesburg, Illinois, 1954), one of the most seminal and influential contemporary American artists. In his research – which involves visual elements, sound pieces and performative acts – Prina explores the legacy of the conceptual artistic practices of the sixties and seventies, analyzing their historical matrices as well as their possible transformations. The exhibition, which comprises an entirely new body of work realized for this occasion, was conceived by the artist as the ideal follow-up to the two exhibitions “galesburg, illinois+” devoted to his hometown and presented in 2015 and 2016 at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (Switzerland) and the Museum Kurhaus Kleve (Germany).

 

 

 

In his exhibition at the Madre the artist goes indeed back in time to relive the journey that led his father to travel, in the first half of the twenty century, from Fascist Italy to the United States. The artist writes: “Peter (Pietro) Prina, my father, played clarinet for the local band in the Comune di Canischio, in the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy. One day the Black Shirts arrived and demanded that the band perform the anthem of the Italian National Fascist Party. This event convinced him it was time to emigrate from Italy — immigrate to America— at the age of 17 in 1923.”

 

 

 

Second Book in English for Foreigners in Evening Schools by Frederick Houghton (American Book Company, 1917), is the title of the book used by the artist’s father to learn English in his new country: handed down to Prina, among many other objects of his father, it became the starting point for this exhibition in which individual dates and events are connected, from 1917 to 2017, telling a personal story which, however, reflects the stories of many other fathers and sons.

 

 

Stephen Prina / Photos Matthew Hong

The themes developed in these narrative works and films – through their examination of the intricate ties between sedentariness and migration, the affirmation of identity and its uprooting, monumentality and intimacy – are brought back as vinyl writings on the wall, sprinkling the gallery and outspeaking the emotional and conceptual roots of Prina’s project at the Madre. A full-blooded account with images and sounds, which, from the story of a father and son, becomes an exploration of the statute of the work and the exhibition as a source of multiple references as well as an analysis of the dynamics of memorials and of the relations between personal and collective sphere, between stories and History.

 

Stephen Prina / English for Foreigners
On view at The Madre / Naples
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina / Museum of Contemporary Art
Through October 16, 2017
madrenapoli.it

Recent Articles
Die Welt als Labyrinth
Through May 6, 2018 / MAMCO
Taken from Gustav René Hocke’s book about European Mannerism, Die Welt als…
Taken from Gustav René Hocke’s book about European Mannerism, Die Welt als Labyrinth / The World as a…
MAC International 2018
Call for submissions through Apr 27, 2018
MAC International 2018 is now open for submissions. Deadline for applications will…
MAC International 2018 is now open for submissions. Deadline for applications will be April 27 with the shortlist…
ARTPIL / Prescription .041
Sequences of Spring in Review
We just hit 200,000 pages viewed, thank you for each and every…
We just hit 200,000 pages viewed, thank you for each and every one of them. Spring is here indeed,…
Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2018
Milan Design Week / April 17-22, 2018
Founded in 1961 as a vehicle for promoting Italian furniture and furnishings…
Founded in 1961 as a vehicle for promoting Italian furniture and furnishings exports, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile…
Chantal Joffe: Pastels
Through May 19, 2018 / Victoria Miro
Focusing on relatives, friends and herself in scenes of leisure and domestic…
Focusing on relatives, friends and herself in scenes of leisure and domestic life, Chantal Joffe brings images robustly…
Rodrigo Matheus / Hiatus
Through May 19, 2018 / Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel
In a new exhibition by Rodrigo Matheus, materials from urban architecture are…
In a new exhibition by Rodrigo Matheus, materials from urban architecture are re-articulated in works that evoke the…
Allen Ruppersberg / Intellectual Property
1968–2018 / Walker Art Center
This major retrospective presents the work of Ruppersberg, one of the most…
This major retrospective presents the work of Ruppersberg, one of the most rigorous practitioners to emerge from the…
Capture Photography Festival
Through Apr 30, 2018 / Vancouver
Launched in 2013, the annual Capture Photography Festival strives to nurture emerging…
Launched in 2013, the annual Capture Photography Festival strives to nurture emerging talent, devoted to exhibiting challenging and…
Stephen Prina / English for Foreigners
Through Oct 16, 2017 / Museo Madre

 

 

 

English for Foreigners is the first solo exhibition in an Italian public institution by Stephen Prina (Galesburg, Illinois, 1954), one of the most seminal and influential contemporary American artists. In his research – which involves visual elements, sound pieces and performative acts – Prina explores the legacy of the conceptual artistic practices of the sixties and seventies, analyzing their historical matrices as well as their possible transformations. The exhibition, which comprises an entirely new body of work realized for this occasion, was conceived by the artist as the ideal follow-up to the two exhibitions “galesburg, illinois+” devoted to his hometown and presented in 2015 and 2016 at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (Switzerland) and the Museum Kurhaus Kleve (Germany).

 

 

 

In his exhibition at the Madre the artist goes indeed back in time to relive the journey that led his father to travel, in the first half of the twenty century, from Fascist Italy to the United States. The artist writes: “Peter (Pietro) Prina, my father, played clarinet for the local band in the Comune di Canischio, in the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy. One day the Black Shirts arrived and demanded that the band perform the anthem of the Italian National Fascist Party. This event convinced him it was time to emigrate from Italy — immigrate to America— at the age of 17 in 1923.”

 

 

 

Second Book in English for Foreigners in Evening Schools by Frederick Houghton (American Book Company, 1917), is the title of the book used by the artist’s father to learn English in his new country: handed down to Prina, among many other objects of his father, it became the starting point for this exhibition in which individual dates and events are connected, from 1917 to 2017, telling a personal story which, however, reflects the stories of many other fathers and sons.

 

 

Stephen Prina / Photos Matthew Hong

The themes developed in these narrative works and films – through their examination of the intricate ties between sedentariness and migration, the affirmation of identity and its uprooting, monumentality and intimacy – are brought back as vinyl writings on the wall, sprinkling the gallery and outspeaking the emotional and conceptual roots of Prina’s project at the Madre. A full-blooded account with images and sounds, which, from the story of a father and son, becomes an exploration of the statute of the work and the exhibition as a source of multiple references as well as an analysis of the dynamics of memorials and of the relations between personal and collective sphere, between stories and History.

 

Stephen Prina / English for Foreigners
On view at The Madre / Naples
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina / Museum of Contemporary Art
Through October 16, 2017
madrenapoli.it