Locarno: “The Kids Aren’t Alright” – exhibition
February 21 - March 28
“The Kids Aren’t Alright”
Artists: Naoki Fuku, Mathis Gasser, Séverine Heizmann, Maja Kitajewska, Mikolaj Malek, Malgorzata Mirga-Tas, Yoan Mudry, Marta Ravasi, Luca Rossi Dossi
It was 1998 when the Californian punk rock band The Offspring released their song “The Kids Aren’t Alright”. A pre-adolescent at that time, I got stuck with it – too young to really get it, but old enough to be able to feel the song was telling something about me. “When we were young the future was so bright” sang Dexter Holland. And then “Chances thrown / Nothing’s free / Longing for what used to be / Still it’s hard / Hard to see / Fragile lives, shattered dreams”. How to better describe the so-called “Millennial” generation? Those who, born from the 1980s until the end of the 1990s, are now in their late twenties – early thirties: a generation that is facing unprecedented global economic and climate crisis, struggling with rising mental health issues and social exhaustion due to the final twirl of capitalism. “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”: the last 20 years have been a spiral loop of erasing futures. The end of the iron curtain and the spread of neo-liberal market in central-eastern countries didn’t show a different generational scenario in non-Western narratives: the current consequences appears to be the same. We aren’t alright. We were promised everything, we grew delusional and yet we are accused to be greedy when fighting for our survival, while it has been years that we are screaming that something is going really wrong here. But nobody listened – let the kids play, they’ll eventually stop. This exhibition is a Millennial exhibition, although for “Millennial” is intended not only the year of birth (you will then find two outsiders to the dogmatic definition), but a shared feeling of instability, grief for our dead futures, and repressed anger that finds comfort in altered states of mind. Nine artists, four different countries from the West and the East, one medium: painting. Nine new positions in painting screaming that we aren’t alright, that we need a cure, but we are too tired to look for it.
Born in Tokyo in 1978, lives and works in Basel. Working across mediums, he studies social, political, cultural and human cobditions in both systematic as well as poetic ways, inviting the viewers to move into a space of speculation. The works of Naoki Fuku appeal to the viewers’ most intimate self in the middle of today’s exhausting life. The artist’s work has been exhibited at galleries, museums and alternative venues in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, France, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, USA, Belgium, Brazil, the Netherlands and Russia.
Born in Zurich in 1986, lives and works in London. Mathis Gasser graduated from Haut Ecole d’Art et de Design, Geneva, the Tokyo Institute of Art and Design, and the Royal College of Arts, London. Trained painter, he received the Prix Strawinsky in 2010, and was shortlisted in the Swiss Art Awards 2019. Resident at the Swiss Institute, Rome in 2017, since 2007 his work has been shown in group and solo shows in Europe, the United States and in Japan. Mathis Gasser’s big format hyper-realistic paintings often depicts landscapes and engines from speculative fiction.
Born in Geneva in 1994 where she currently lives and works, Séverine Heizmann works with painting and music. She graduated at the Haut Ecole d’Art et de Design, Geneva, in 2018. She was shortlisted in the Swiss Art Awards 2019. Her practice explore the tension of desire dancing between musical performative actions and painting.
Born in Warsaw in 1986, where she currently lives and works. Maja Kitajewska graduated the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw from the Faculty of Painting in 2011. That same year she participated in the exhibition of the Best Diplomas of the Academy of Fine Arts, and she became a laureate of the SIEMENS artistic award and the “ENTRY” initiative prize. Her works, showing a peculiar technique of hand-sewing sequins and glass beads on canvas that she also paints, has been shown in group and solo exhibition in Poland, Germany, Switzeland and Peru, and it’s part of private and public collection in Poland and Germany.
Born in Brwinow in 1983, lives and works in Warsaw. Mikołaj Małek is painter, draughtsman, installation artist, set designer. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. He defended his doctoral dissertation at his alma mater in the studio of Prof. Grzegorz Sztwiertnia in 2017. Since 2018, together with Anna Maria Karczmarska, he has been working in a stage design collective. He participated in solo and group exhibitions in Poland, Germany and Norway.
Born in Zakopane in 1978, lives and works in Czarna Góra. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow; diploma in the Sculpture Studio of Prof. Józef Sękowski (2004). Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2018) and the International Visitor Leadership Program (USA, 2015). In her practice she merges painting, sculpture on cardboard and fabric collages. Awarded at the 42nd Biennial of Painting, Bielska Jesień 2015, and finalist of the 43rd edition of the competition (2017). Organizer and curator of the “Romani Art” project and the annual International Event of Roma Art in Czarna Góra Jaw Dikh! (Come and see!). She is involved in projects concerning the Roma community, counteracting exclusion, racial discrimination and xenophobia. Her work was recently featured in the third edition of the Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara, Romania.
Born in Lausanne in 1990, lives and works in Geneva. Yoan Mudry is a multi-disciplinary artist. He studied at HEAD in Geneva where he graduated with a MFA in 2014. His work focuses on an attempt to understand the mechanisms of the flux of images, narrations and information that are surrounding our world. He was shortlisted in the Swiss Art Awards, Basel in 2019, and awarded with a Cahier d’Artistes 2019. He won the Kiefer Hablitzel Preis, Basel, in 2016. Since 2013 his work has been shown in group and solo exhibition in Switzerland and abroad.
Born in Merate in 1987, lives and works in Locarno. She owns a BA in painting from Accademia di Belle Arti, Brera, and a MA in Fine Arts, University of the Arts London – Wimbledon College of Arts, London. Marta Ravasi’s paintings were shown in group exhibition in Italy, Switzerland, and the UK. She engages with painting as a challenge with herself, imposing self-established limitations such as a very restraint palette of colours and everyday, banal subjects in order to explore and expand the banality of this ennui.
Luca Rossi Dossi
Born in Lugano in 1988, lives and works in Basel. He graduated in 2018 from Haute Ecole d’Art et Design, Geneva. Multidisciplinary artist, previously production assistant of Swiss artist Claudia Comte, Luca Rossi Dossi researches on merging paintings and sculptural objects, creating in-between objects, unfinished, but somehow complete.