UNA is happy to announce “Hey there, Tiger!” the first solo show by Irene Fenara (*1990, Bologna) in the gallery.
For this occasion, Irene presents a new project, reflecting on the parallelism between the natural world and the production of images. The artist’s research originates from the observation that in the world there are more images representing tigers than real ones. In our imagery, these felines are very common and seem to be everywhere: in the logos of fashion houses, on cereal boxes, on t-shirts…. However, just three thousand tigers are left in the wild. Working with a generative algorithm, “fed” with three thousand images of tigers, Irene has created big new animals and new species that ultimately retain only some characteristics of the original animal. In fact, a generative algorithm requires millions of images in order to learn how to recognize and reproduce them; thus proposing a smaller number, results will be far from the reality.
The generated images have been in turn transformed into tapestries made in India, underling the parallelism between the braiding technique typical of weaving and the binary code the algorithm is based upon.
Alongside the tapestries, the exhibition presents black and almost disturbing pictures of tigers in night landscape, they are images “stolen” from cameras trap, which are triggered by animals’ movement in forests and jungles.
“Irene Fenara’s project discloses the nature of a feline star, that is blinded by digital spotlights thus becoming a ghostly presence. Deprived of its recognisable image – its changing form placed between now and elsewhere – as it appears in its rarefied character it loses its consistency, while simultaneously it reaffirms itself. […] Through tapestries with vibrant colours and black and white photographs, Three Thousand Tigers seems to suggest the need – nowadays a latent one – of an as-inclusive-as-possible integration of digital data into our natural condition. “What a pity not to be a tiger” fantasises Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges during an afternoon conversation with Alberto Manguel, colleague and author of the memoir With Borges.
Like in a dream, we don’t see the real tiger anymore, but we can feel the bodily presence it has left us.” (Irene Sofia Comi).
Irene Fenara (*1990) studied at the Bologna Visual Arts Academy, she currently lives and works in Bologna. Recent exhibitions she has participated include: Genius Steals, curated by Antonio Grulli, Rodríguez Gallery, Poznaz (PL), 2020; Ein Museum auf Probe, curated by KdeWe, Esslinger Kunstverein&Villa Merkel, Esslingen (DE), 2020; Metafotografia, curated by Mauro Zanchi and Sara Benaglia, BACO, Bergamo, 2019; Distant Eyes, curated by Christiane Rekade, Kunst Merano Arte, Merano, 2019 (solo); My Blueberry Night II, curated by Antonio Grulli, ArtDate Festival, Ex Ateneo, Bergamo, 2019; Argo, la fotografia italiana emergente, curated by Carlo Sala, Photo Open Up, Padova, 2018; Blinds and other Cloudings, curated by UNA, Spazio Leonardo, Milano, 2018 (solo); Supervision, curated by Mauro Zanchi e Sara Benaglia, BACO, Bergamo, 2018 (solo), Around me. Traces of presence in biopolscapes, F4/Un’idea di fotografa, curated by Carlo Sala, Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, Pieve di Soligo, Treviso, 2018; Supervision, curated by Mauro Zanchi and Sara Benaglia, BACO, Bergamo, 2018 (solo); That’s IT! Sull’ultima generazione di artisti in Italia a un metro e ottanta dal confine, curated by Lorenzo Balbi, MAMbo, Bologna, 2018; L’altro sguardo. Fotografe italiane 1965 – 2018, curated by Rafaella Perna, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma, 2018; Le interne diferenze, P420, Bologna, 2017 (solo); Essere politico, curated by Filippo Maggia and Chiara Dall’Olio, Fondazione Fotografa Modena, 2017; Give me yesterday, curated by Francesco Zanot, Osservatorio Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2016. In 2019 Irene was awarded with the Francesco Fabbri Prize (Photography Section) and she was shortlisted for the Cairo Award and the ING Unseen Talent Award, Amsterdam. Since 2012, she is artist in residence at the Fondazione Collegio Artistico Venturoli, Bologna, where she has her studio.
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