04.SEP.2009   24.OCT.2009



Melanie Gilligan - Capital & Therapeutic Basement
Melanie Gilligan was born in 1979 in Toronto, Canada.
Her work spans a variety of mediums – performance, video, installation, object and image-making – however writing is often central to her practice. Scriptwriting provides the foundations for Gilligan’s performance and video works while she also writes in a variety of other forms, including articles, experimental combinations of fiction and essay, and lyrics. The exhibition, presented in Franco Soffiantino Gallery’s basement, is a three-part video projection. In it contemporary capitalism is represented as a person undergoing psychiatric treatment in a series of therapies intended to release the recent traumas that shook the global economic system. The aim is to work through capital’s deepest seeded problems in order to rehabilitate it to its previous state of functioning. The work is comprised of three videos divided into therapy exercises undergone by capital. These are the first three television-like episode instalments in what is conceived as a longer program. Apart from being shown in the gallery, the videos will also be available on internet video sharing websites such as youtube. In this way the videos are conceived as a kind of internet television program produced for a general online audience as well those linked to fine art.

Sam Lewitt - From A to Z and Back
Sam Lewitt was born in 1981 in Los Angeles and is living in New York. The work presented on the ground floor of gallery Franco Soffiantino, began in January 2009. Lewitt stamped and handed out to colleagues and friends 50 specimens of a coin specially designed and minted for the occasion. Engraved on the two sides of this coin are an "A" and "Z," respectively in the position of “heads and tails.” The legend imprinted on this coin reads "Magnus Acervus Erit" (from the Latin: "there will be a great heap"). From A to Z and Back highlights parallels between economic and linguistic formations by focusing on the communicative value of both. This work involves a series of elements that attempt to concentrate the excesses that material exchange involves, despite its brutal efficacy.
The posters, which comprise part of this work, translate and transcribe a series of phrases in the dominant languages of various geographical locales that Lewitt has been asked to exhibit throughout the year. As these phrases shift between languages, they take on nuances of meaning that begin to short-circuit their communicative value. The coins around which From A to Z and Back circulate, according to the manufacturer's catalogue of patinas, are stamped in “antique silver” (actually cheap zinc alloy.) Their value, is not intrinsic to the object itself, despite its physical reality, but is rather determined through pervasively shared ideas of exchange in a context of increasingly linguistic labour.