Just Knocked Out
MoMA PS1 presents the first survey of Lara Favaretto (b. Treviso, 1973), comprising a dozen works from the past fifteen years, as well as new pieces created specifically for the exhibition. Organized by MoMA PS1 Curator Peter Eleey, the show will also feature the first presentation of the extensive archive of images that the artist has collected as source material and inspiration.
Favaretto's installations and audio, sculptural, and kinetic works balance between failure and aspiration. A sense of resignation to the forces of decay and obsolescence runs throughout her work—most visibly in her minimal cubes made of confetti, which decompose during the period of their display. Favaretto represents the eventuality of loss through a recuperative memorialization, often recycling elements from previous installations as new works, reusing discarded industrial materials, and encasing found paintings in loose tapestries of wool yarn. The memorial form is pointedly evoked in a series that the artist calls "momentary monuments," which loosely adopt but also subvert the vernacular of public sculpture. Beginning with a swamp that she created at the back of the Giardini in Venice to commemorate twenty historical figures who have disappeared, and continuing with her sandbagging of a 1896 statue of Dante Alighieri in a civic square in Trento, she has conceived a series of sculptures and public installations that draw attention to the futility and impermanence of memorials themselves. Favaretto memorializes the body in a similar state of limbo, often through mechanical representations that gradually degrade: car wash brushes whirl repeatedly, wearing themselves down against metal plates; a platoon of compressed air cylinders randomly empties itself, blowing silent party favors. These animist machines celebrate their own absurdity, taking on lives of their own, while also reflecting ours.