Lanfranco Aceti’s “Anatomy of a Dream” at the Museum of Contemporary Cuts

Lanfranco Aceti, Anatomy of a Dream, 2018.
ACT at MIT

ACT Research Affiliate Lanfranco Aceti has a new solo exhibition, Anatomy of a Dream, at the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, curated by Artemis Potamianou for Platforms Project, Athens, Greece. This body of new works of art is made of three painting diptychs with acrylic paint on raw linen canvas. One of the diptychs features spent matches embedded in the paint itself. The diptychs are juxtaposed with a sculptural object realized with a shadow box, two photos, burned matches, and ashes.

Anatomy of a Dream is a continued aesthetic exploration by the artist through a conception of contemporary society and its politics as the locus where love, sex, politics, and power intertwine through the concept of the dream, constantly generating both the illusion of love as well as setting the premises for its collapse.

Aceti, talking about this new body of work, explains that it emerges from a very intimate and visceral understanding of the collapse of the dreams of love and social frameworks. The works of art provide a thread to engage with the artist’s analysis of the collapse of the dream that characterizes a love relationship between two people or between people and the nation state.

Contemporary politics and love are on commodified terms in which using and being used is the transactional mythological currency of contemporary existence. Love is no longer the key to personal or societal happiness but the cracked cornerstone upon which reality seeps into opaque dreams and shambolic illusions.

With the commodification of relationships there is the inherent impossibility of loving and being loved, the inability to understand the conditions of love based on an illusory understanding of what ideals these love relationships should fulfill. There is no longer the ideal of a sacrifice for love for the existence of the other and thereby the existence of all. It is in this post-postmodern structure of consumption that conflict arises from the reality of the process of appropriation, within which one or both parties betray and are betrayed.

Spent, consumed, used up, exhausted, finished, depleted, and burnt out are words that the artist uses to refer to both the works of art and the role that people seem to play in their relationship with the nation state and with each other. Anatomy of a Dream is a post-mortem of the rotten corpse of Hypnos, the god of illusions and dreams, under the harsh light of personal emotional realities and social understandings in order to find a new and different way of overcoming the sense of betrayal. In a contemporary reinterpretation of the words of Mozart we rush off not to celebrate the possibility of love but to grasp the opportunity of repeating, over and over again, acts of consumption and betrayal.

 

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