Curated by Mario Codognato
From Sat, 03 February 2007
To Tue, 01 May 2007
The object that surrounded the empty space seems to be absorbed by the space itself, leaving traces of its presence in the cast. Through the description of the absence, the artist manages to produce sensorial associations also by making use of materials such as polyurethane, resins, plaster and rubber, which increase the perception of something that no longer exists but was once indissolubly connected with human life. Most of Rachel Whiteread’s works show this aspect: on one side they are nostalgic and comforting, on the other they turn out to be sinister and alien. In years the artist developed an interest in architecture meant as a space belonging to the community and to history. In 1992 she produced her first serigraphy Mausoleum Under Construction, based on an image of burial cells whose grill structure conjures up minimal geometries. The following year she undertook her first public commission for the London association Artangel: House (1993), a monumental concrete cast of a demolished Victorian house, exhibited at the location of the original house and later to be knocked down as well, which stigmatized the property speculation affecting the neighbourhood. The artist adderessed the same issue with the portfolio Demolished (1996), which documents the “disappearance” of three tower blocks. In 1998 she was offered the commission by the Public Art Found to produce Water Tower, a translucent resin “double” of a tank, installed on a rooftop in New York. In 2000 after five years of controversy, she completed the Holocaust Memorial located in the Judenplatz of Vienna – an inaccessible “library” made from casts of books facing inwards. In 1993 she was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize. During her career she undertook several important commissions, including the Plinth publicly exhibited in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London in 2001 and again in London the Uniliver Project in the Tate Modern in 2005. The Tate Modern work is a monumental one, which shows the artist’s attempt to represent private and domestic contexts at an unexpected scale by use of thousands of white cubes stacked on one another, in an orderly way or pell-mell, to give form to several white mountains of different heights among which visitors can move freely, having the impression of being in a fantasy place made up of cardboard boxes. In 1997 Whiteread represented Great Britain at the XLVII Venice Biennale. The most prominent international museums dedicated personal exhibitions to her, including the Reina Sofia of Madrid, the museums of modern art of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the Guggenheim Museum of New York, the Deutsche Guggenheim of Berlin, the Kunsthalle of Basel. The retrospective mounted at the MADRE museum of Naples is the first exhibition of Whiteread to be held in an Italian museum. For this occasion the artist has created a big installation that she has especially conceived for the premises of the Neapolitan museum. She used dozens of doll’s houses from different epochs to give form to an imaginary village, reminiscent of the historical reconstructions that are found in the museums of archaeological sites, analyzing and deconstructing our critical perception of the housing contexts.
Location Naples, MADRE Museum – Via Settembrini 79, Naples
Information and bookings: Telephone: 081 19313016
(Monday-Sunday: 10.00 AM – 8.00 PM)
Opening hours from Monday to Friday 10.00 AM – 9.00 PM
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 AM – Midnight
Tickets Adults: € 7.00
Concessions: € 3.50
Audio guide € 4.00
How to reach the museum
from Capodichino airport
and Central Station: Taxi (around 10/15 minutes)
By bus: bus number 3S departing every 15 minutes. Alight at Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi).
Alibus: departing every 30 minutes. Alight at Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi). From here take the metro Line 2 to Cavour which is around 200 metres from the museum.
The exhibition is included in the Campania Artecard circuit www.campaniartecard.it
MADRE Press Office
Costanza Pellegrini: tel. +39 081 199 78024 fax: +39 081 19978026 e-mail: email@example.com
Electa Press Office:
Ilaria Maggi: tel +39 02 21563250 fax +39 02 21563314 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Perreca: tel. +39 081 4297435 fax +39 081 4297433 e-mail: email@example.com