to other exhibitions
Opening party: Friday 20 February, 6 to 9 pm
Exhibition runs 19 February to 21 March 2004, Fridays to Sundays, 1 to
the Centre of Attention, 15 Cottons Gardens, London E2 8DN
curated by the Centre of Attention
Povera is an extremely new, fledgling sensibility in art practice. It
is the result of a very recent synthesis of ideas, experience and practice
in art. The Death of Marxism, the ascendancy of consumer culture, the
crisis of the ideal, the value of freedom, and the sentimentalism of culture
all inform this aesthetic moment. However, a new sensibility can be defined
only tentatively as it is still an emerging thing. With that in mind the
characteristics of this aesthetic are cautiously suggested below in 20
points that are neither exclusive nor exhaustive.
1. Aim of
intensifying the experience of looking.
2. Gentle, light, sure and confident.
3. Low environmental impact but not minimal in the traditional sense.
4. Rigorously intellectual but eschewing traditional left and right positions
5. Avoids traditional fault lines on which culture finds itself.
6. Interested in the index of a human gesture be it of a physical or mental
7. Conscious work aware of its sign potential in a network of communication.
8. Appearance of being unfinished, or without effort.
9. Displaying the influence of arte povera in the use of materials.
10. Involving a choreography of materials and a marshalling of elements
for an intellectual and philosophical end primarily.
11. Unconcerned to create a 'total' environment
12. Avoids being reduced to a stage set/design.
13. A distaste for the overworked, overblown and pompous in scale
14. A tendency away from arduous endeavour and the hard won.
15. A disavowal of high maintenance art.
16. Embraces the incongruous, in its light but tough approach.
17. Eschews platitude, niceness and earnestness.
18. Exploits freedom of all kinds.
19. Challenge to what art is perceived as looking like
20. Avoids the anti ocular, the preachy and puritanical tendencies that