From 01 November 2019 to 23 February 2019
Pedro Neves Marques in collaboration with HAUT
Becoming Male in the Middle Ages
illy Present Future Prize 2018 Exhibition
drafted by Marianna Vecellio
1 November 2019 – 23 February 2020
Winner of the Illy Present Future 2018 Award,Pedro Neves Marques presents on the occasion of Artissima 2019, Becoming Male in the Middle Ages (2019), in collaboration with artist and music producer HAUT. This new multimedia installation is specifically designed for the project room of the Manica Lunga of Castello di Rivoli. The exhibition, drafted by Marianna Vecellio, will be on view from 2 November 2019 to 23 February 2020.
Becoming Male in the Middle Ages is an immersive installation veering between film, music, writing, short video clips, and a forthcoming fiction book. Loosely based on a series of new stories written by the Neves Marques, the project explores the relationship between a group of friends and lovers, who go through an ethical crisis related to desire and sexuality, reproduction, parenthood, and age.
As narrated by Neves Marques and arranged sonically by HAUT, the show tells a story involving reproductive bodily implants, gay parenthood, as well as genetically engineered food. In the flow of events, the artist speaks an urgent voice to current issues, such as contemporary genetics, health, gender, gestation, and normativity, as well as what is deemed natural and artificial.
Pedro Neves Marques writes: “After a century of endocrinological research, the human body is increasingly seen as a chemical, secretionary organism available to hormonal manipulation. In the project, this medical research is mixed with the genre of Mpreg, an online literary style of novels focusing on male pregnancy—which, ironically enough, finds its main readership in middle-aged straight women. Heavily coded, this genre follows specific tropes within gay culture, such as the role of tops and bottoms or masc and fem, with the feminine partner assuming the reproductive role. This homonormativity, replicating toxic, straight masculinity, is key to the stories I’m telling, presenting reproductive labor and desire as contesting sites to be navigated by the characters.”
The curator states: “Neves Marques investigates the fluidity between human and social matters, such as the body, sexuality, death, love, and reproduction within an accelerated and metabolic contemporaneity as well as a rampant post-human hybridization. Playing at the intersection between fiction and reality, his artworks feed into a prospective vision, depicting a multinaturalrealm, speaking of biology, ecology, politics, science, and technology. He reflects on the dichotomy between the natural and the artificial, and life and death, reconfiguring distinctions in a tension between the desire for empathy and the inability to fulfill it.”
The work YWY, a androide (YWY, The Android, 2017), thanks to which Pedro Neves Marques was awarded the 2018 edition of the illy Present Future Award, was acquired by the CRT Fondazione per l’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea for the Collections of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. The work had been selected during Artissima 2018 by the jury of the illy Prize composed by Lorenzo Benedetti (curator of the Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (director of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Rivoli), Kirsty Ogg (director of New Contemporaries, London), “for the compelling presentation that addresses urgent topics such as genetic engineering, the environment and globalization”. The individual and the notion of identity are at the core of his poetical reflection.
Since 2012 the illy Present Future Prize offers its winner the exceptional opportunity to exhibit at Castello di Rivoli, as well as to support her/his research. The award represents the company’s desire to support the artistic community and young talents respectively in their growth path. Thanks to the contemporary vision of illycaffè and the affirmation of emerging artists and confirms the innovative role of Artissima. Winners of previous editions who have exhibited at Castello di Rivoli are: Vanessa Safavi, Santo Tolone and Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (2012), Caroline Achaintre and Fatma Bucak (2013), Rachel Rose (2014), Alina Chaiderov (2015) and Cécile B. Evans (2016), Cally Spooner (2017).
Pedro Neves Marques(Lisbon, 1984) is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist based in New York. With an MA in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths University of London, Neves Marques received several important awards for his work, including grants from the Botín Foundation, Santander, Spain (2016) and from Akademie der Kunste der Welt, Cologne, Germany, (2013-2014). Recently he won the award, La Caixa Production Grant, for a new production from the Fundación Bancaria La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain (2019). In 2015 he published his book, The Forest and the School: Where to Sit at the Dinner Table? (2015), an anthology on Brazilian Antropofagia (meaning cannibalism) and he is the author of two short-story collections: Morrer na América (2017) and The Integration Process (2012). On the occasion of the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, All The World’s Futures (2015), he was a guest editor for the special edition by e-flux Journal, titled Supercommunity, on the theme “Apocalypsis”. Recent solo exhibitions include It Bites Back at Gasworks, London (2019), A Mordida (The Bite) at Pérez Art Museum of Miami, (2018), and Learning to Live with the Enemy at Berardo Museum Collection, Lisbon (2017). His works have been included in major group exhibitions such as Heart of Darkness. Can Art Prevent Mistakes?, curated by Marcella Beccaria, an exhibition with the works of the Castello di Rivoli Collection at OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni di Torino (2019); 2nd Yinchuan Biennial: Starting from the Desert, curated by Marco Scotini at Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, Cina (2018); with the inhabitants project he participated in the exhibition Songs for Sabotage: 2018 New Museum Triennial, New York (2018); Electric Comma, curated by Katerina Chuchalina from V-A-C Foundation and Pete Belkin from Kadist, at V-A-C, Venice (2017); the 4th Ural Biennial of Contemporary Art at Ekaterinburg, Russia (2017); The Extractive Machine: Neocolonialisms and Environmental Resources, curated by Marco Scotini, at PAV Parco Arte Vivente di Torino (2017); and Let’s Talk About The Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis at Sursock Museum, Beirut and Times Guandong Museum, Guangzhou (2016/2018). He has screened his films at Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Indie Lisboa Film Festival, DocLisboa International Film Festival and ForumdocBH, among others, as well as in art institutions such as Tate Modern, Jeu de Paume and Anthology Film Archives. Together with the artist Mariana Silva he runs inhabitants, (started in 2015), an online channel for exploratory video and documentary reporting, currently collaborating with TBA21 – Academy.
HAUT is a music producer and performer working across the fields of experimental electronic music, affect and embodied music cognition. Drawing from his experience as former psychiatrist, he explores sound as tool for emotional healing and political expression: envisioning bodies as sites of process and multiplicity, as open systems that connect to others, human and non-human. He has collaborated with artists such as music producer Lotic, computational artist MBJ Wetware, choreographer Przemek Kaminski, and filmmaker Pedro Neves Marques, among others. In 2019, he graduated with an MA in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London.
photo: Video still from Becoming Male in the Middle Ages (Diventare maschio nel Medioevo), 2019. Single-channel video, mute, color. Courtesy the artists and Galleria Umberto Di Marino, Napoli