Alessandro Bava

Land, religion + the architectural history of the Los Angeles River for El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina… at MAK Center, Aug 4

4 August 2017

The El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula group exhibition is on at Los Angeles’ MAK Center for Art and Architecture on August 4. 

The Spanish language title of the show translates to ‘The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porziuncola River,’ the original name of the City of Los Angeles during Spanish colonization of the area in the 18th century. Led by Franciscan friars and soldiers, what was originally a small military outpost on a fertile waterway — named ‘Porziuncola‘ after the Catholic chapel in Italy and meaning ‘small portion of land’ — would become the second most populous city in the United States with its barren concrete ‘water freeway’ of the Los Angeles River. 

Curated by Alessandro Bava, of MAK Center’s current Mackey Apartments residents åyr, the show comes with little information but will no doubt cover the changing landscape of the Californian capital from the perspective of architect Bava, particularly at a time of public revitalisation projects around the river. Contributing artists include Nina Cristante, Veronica Gelbaum, Etienne Van Doorslaer, Giangiacomo Rossetti, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Philipp Johnson, Corita Kent, and Dena Yago.

See the MAK Center website for details. ** 

Dena Yago, ‘Do you Ever Feel like a Plastic Bag?’ (2014). Courtesy the artist + Hammer Museum, Los Anegles.
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Ecocore V: The Issue of Narcissism

28 November 2016

Ecology zine Ecocore presents its 5th issue The Issue of Narcissism available now.

Edited by Alessandro Bava and Rebecca Sharp, Issue V “exploits Narcissus as the symbol of the modern subject’, featuring contributions by Gabriele BeveridgeIsa GenzkenEthan James GreenHannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Benjamin Ahmed HusebyEmily JonesJosip NovoselLisa Radon and Frances Stark among others.

The issue explores the complexities of the ‘personality disorder’ with new perspectives on “identity, the virtual, transcendence and how our aesthetic embodiment relates to capitalism.” Looking at the ways our “psychic/social ecology meets with the environmental in haemorrhage of inner to outer”, the focus relates to the overarching aim of the zine which is rooted in “ecology’s muddled identity.”
 

See the Ecocore website for details.**

Ecocore Magazine Cover, 'Issue V: The Issue of Narcissim' December 2016.
Ecocore Magazine Cover, ‘Issue V: The Issue of Narcissim’ December 2016.

 

 

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ECOCORE IV @ The Art Market, Dec 18

17 December 2015

ECOCORE zine, edited by Alessandro Bava and Rasmus Myrup launches its fourth edition with party at The Art Markets on December 18.

The irregularly published zine aims to “edit the identity of ecology from the point of view of art” by fostering discussions about the topic and pushing it into the radars of contemporary artists, writers and poets.

The party will be hosted by M¥SS KETA and will be accompanied by a listening party selected by Bava and contributing artist Jacopo Mazzetti. Other contributing artists include Harry Burke, Juliette Bonneviot and Katja Novitskova.

See the FB event page for details. **

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ÅYR’s Newcomers @ PNI, Oct 7 – Nov 7

7 October 2015

ÅYR, the collective formerly known as AIRBNB Pavilion, opens their new exhibition Newcomers at London’s Project Native Informant on October 7 and runs until November 7.

Founded by Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela and Octave Perrault, the collective got its former name during the XIV Architecture Biennale in Venice, when it exhibited in apartments rented through AirBnB. The name change comes under legal pressure from the apartment rental company and in 2015, the collective opted for a new name and, with it, a new show.

Newcomers is a push back of sorts, using what Philipp Ekardt calls “architecturally informed digital rendering and imaging techniques” to create “a new sort of depth”.

See the PNI website for details. **

AirBnB Pavilion, 'Community Development Meeting' (2014). Courtesy the artists.
AirBnB Pavilion, ‘Community Development Meeting’ (2014). Courtesy the artists.
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Sitting in the City of God : a review

14 January 2015

I think: it takes a real asshole to agree to do a poetry review.

I am sitting under a makeshift coconut-shaped hut somewhere down the Mexican coast, flipping through the digital pages of City of God, Harry Burke’s new book of poems accompanied by the architectural drawings of Alessandro Bava. The only rain the blazing week has seen drizzles through the gaps of the straw roof and collects around my toes. Nearing the end of my first sober month in more time than I can adequately understand—and the longest I have been away from Berlin since moving there over three years ago—I am feeling things through a skin so thin the sun leaks through.

city of god 5

A great writer recently wrote, of her own book reviews, that they were actually “book reviews about myself”, echoing a long-held (and weakly debated) literary conviction that everything a writer does is, in the end, about herself. It applies to other things too, things less transparent; everything is personal, especially the political. And so when I read City of God, all I can adequately feel is my own skin burning through. There is no way to write an objective review, and to disguise it as such feels dishonest in a way that to me is altogether unforgivable. I love City of God because Burke’s pain is my pain, his regrets, his longing my own; I love it because in that moment, I am it.

I had been reading Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying while flying the previous week, but the irony didn’t strike me then, and why would it: it wasn’t irony, it was chance. Besides, it should have been called Fear of Everything, or A Manual on How to Escape Yourself, and I needed it more than I needed the food I had finally begun to eat again, so that when I read Burke’s line “Life is the thing that you make when you’re free,” I looked up at the blue horizon and down at my naked skin and knew I was freer than I had been in a very long time.

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I read the book out of order, jumping from front to back to middle to front, reading certain sentences in isolation, skipping entire poems because in that heartbeat of a moment, the title did not suit me. Which is to say: I read it truthfully, according to my heart. Because I did this, listening to the truth beyond the book, I liked it more every time I read some lonely fragment of it.

Every line in the book brings something. When, in ‘Confession:’, he writes “this is bad writing / this is bad writing and its boring to read”, it is Anne Carson’s “My personal poetry is a failure” and the imposter syndrome that any self-respecting person I know lives by every day. When, in ‘confes’ he writes “if i was a poem i wouldn’t be me / a poem shouldn’t be an apology”, I actually feel my eyes well up. It’s mortifying. But no therapy can bring you that level of understanding, that catharsis, and I stand by that. When, in ‘Wednesday’, he writes “Time is really long : ( / time is like a thing”, you can’t help but laugh at the banality, like in Eileen Myles’s ‘Peanut Butter’ when she describes buying it in the “largest supermarket you know”. Even banality is beautiful, do you get that? When he writes, in ‘romance poems :)’ that he is “just fine and for the most part incorporated”, I decide that this is how I will answer the next time I am asked how I am. Truthfully. And when in ‘9th of October, that time’ he writes “Night doesn’t die / jus (sic) moves away sometimes”, I think of nothing else, and I think of everything I have ever known.

city of god 3

Somewhere towards the end, Burke writes “A pin drops but there’s no gravity in the void” and my sunburnt skin prickles in direct response, and try as I do to reason with myself, in the end I don’t. We are in the City of God, and there is no reasoning with poetry, or the truth. **

City of God by Harry Burke and Alessandro Bava was published by Version House in September, 2014, and is available for digital download.

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