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
Through October 16, 2017 / Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina
For more information please visit the exhibition page >

Recent Articles
Foam Talents 2019
Jan 13 - Mar 3, 2019 / Foam Next Door
The 20 selected artists give insight to the position of contemporary photography,…
The 20 selected artists give insight to the position of contemporary photography, pushing the medium with striking ease,…
Pieter Hugo / Hacer Noche
Through Feb 5, 2019 / CFMAB
Pieter Hugo, known for his candid portraits often depicting people on the…
Pieter Hugo, known for his candid portraits often depicting people on the periphery, has produced a salient series…
Time Frames
Through March 24, 2019 / BMA
Contemporary East Asian Photography delves into various concepts of time, from a…
Contemporary East Asian Photography delves into various concepts of time, from a reflection on a legend or historical…
Ulrike Müller / Container
Through Feb 17, 2019 / Kunstverein Düsseldorf
Painting is encountered as a de-centered, polymorphic area of tension, circled over…
Painting is encountered as a de-centered, polymorphic area of tension, circled over and again to mobilize instabilities and…
Chris Dorley-Brown / The Corners
Through Mar 2, 2019 / Robert Koch Gallery
The artist, Chris Dorley-Brown, sets up the camera in one location, and…
The artist, Chris Dorley-Brown, sets up the camera in one location, and tilts and pans around the cityscape…
Rachel Rose / Wil-o-Wisp
Through Feb 3, 2019 / FSRR
Weaving realities of the rural English landscape, Rose questions how our perceptions…
Weaving realities of the rural English landscape, Rose questions how our perceptions of the world can so radically…
ARTPIL / Prescription .078
Hit the ground running
We are closing out the first week of the new year 2019….
We are closing out the first week of the new year 2019. Take out the empty champagne bottles…
The Theatre is Lying
Through Mar 24, 2019 / ACCA
In a series of commissions, artists explore the manipulation of information, notions…
In a series of commissions, artists explore the manipulation of information, notions of artifice and illusion, ideas of…
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
Through October 16, 2017 / Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina
For more information please visit the exhibition page >