June 1, 2017

The unsettling and familiar contemporary reliquary of Evan Penny

Arte : Mensile di Arte, Cultura, Informazione
June 2017  – page 125
Francesca Amé

Translation of text: 

The Canadian artist Evan Penny (1953) has entered into the small church of San Samuele
next to the Palazzo Grassi, where he has placed his intense silicone sculptures and two works, self portraits as a young man and as an old man. Applying a kind of tri-dimensional Photoshop, Penny shows us what happens to our bodies when we manipulate them as per the  possibilities of representation. Ask Your Body participates in an extraordinary dialogue with the actual interior of the church: “The use of real hair in the sculptures is to reiterate that they are living works,” the artist explained in front of Self Portrait after Géricault’s Fragments Anatomiques (2017), which could expire into paroxysm, and is instead, pure poetry, a hand and a foot intertwined, almost embracing, in front of the altar, placed on a slab that recalls a Roman relic. Tapered bodies – pure emotion in front of Homage to Holbein (2017)an elongated sculptural version of The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521) by Hans Holbein the Younger – and contemporary busts that recall ancient ones: it is our body, between disquiet and familiarity. 

Until November, www.evanpennyvenice.com

To read the original version of the piece, please open the pdf listed below.