Edgy presents video works by four renown international artists: Carlos Aires (Spain), Chiara Fumai (Italy), Paolo Canevari (Italy / USA), and Aurora Reinhard (Finland) that are interrelated by methods of appropriation and reinterpretation of iconic cultural references. All the referential works aestheticize power and the importance of gender and sexuality; all were scandalous at the time of their creation only to later become classics of their period. Reinterpretation by contemporary artists revitalize their subversive charge while unveiling the current status and rapport of sexuality and power, ideology and sensuality.
Carlos Aires's Sweet Dreams Are Made of This (2016) video appropriates the famous 1983 hit by the Eurhythmics. Interpreted by Spanish musicians, this music serves as background for the tango performed by the male policemen dressed in combat gear dancing in the sumptuous baroque palace. Tango, the once infamous dance of slaves from the Argentine plantations, became one of the most sophisticated contemporary dances. Same-sex dancing couples completely distorts the established power dynamics of heterosexual dancing couples while the force and sexual charge emanating from the oppressive, black riot control uniform reflects permanent oppression towards sexual and human liberties by political hegemonies.
Paolo Canevari’s The End of the World / Son of the Gun (2009), reinterprets the 1866 painting The Origin of the World by Gustav Courbet and its central motif of female crotch. After an entire century of notorious fame in which the painting was seen by few persons, Courbet’s painting has been publicly displayed at the Museum d'Orsay since 1995. Canevari's video uses the same frame and composition as the original, however his model is masturbating with a gun. Canevari's model is an Eastern European sex worker and the video pointedly refers to the exploitation and abuse of women in contemporary civilization as inculcated by the sex industry.
The performative video Chiara Fumai reads Valerie Solanas (2013) is inspired by Valerie Solanas’ 1967 infamous S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), that has become a seminal text in the history of the feminist movement. The artist appears as a psychic medium who transfers and evokes the spirit of Valerie Solanas. Fumai recites shocking excerpts that expose to what extent S.C.U.M. Manifesto is accurate in describing the gender context of the present day art scene and structure.
Aurora Reinhard's Julio and Lupita (2004) documents a vaudeville performance in which a male dancer dances with a female doll. It is based on the Latin American custom in which an abandoned husband makes a wife-like doll, dances a last dance and then burns this wife-doll. The grotesque dance reflects on the state of alienation and loneliness that marks the emotional and sexual life of the individual in modern civilization, while presenting symbolic remnants of the medieval practice of considering and punishing emancipated women as witches.