Pennacchio Argentato

Marisa Argentato (* 1977 in Naples, ITA ) /
Pasquale Pennacchio (* 1979 in Caserta, ITA )
live in Naples

The “Survival Upgrade” (2013) installation created by Italian artist duo Pennacchio Argentato highlights the difficulties of living in a post-futurist world. The projection that floats in the exhibition space catches the eye with the warning that “You will never be safe”.

The work centers on the interplay of technology, humans and violence. The words come from a widely viewed video of 2013, in which a murderer, his hands bloody, shakily spoke the words “you people will never be safe”. The video was shot just after a soldier had been brutally stabbed to death in the middle of the day in a street in London. Images, constantly interrupted and upended are projected onto a panel of acrylic glass cut in the form of the quoted sentence.

Humans seem to have disappeared, or so the fragments of casts of limbs scattered around the space intimate. Kevlar, the material from which these casts are made, once served as the basis of military armor and here, stripped of its protective function, seems to be as good as useless, disposed of at random.

The rotating images give the warning in the video all the greater presence, emphasizing its two-dimensional nature. They negate the expected spatial depth of a projection and in this way technology is represented as dysfunctional at yet another level. Like the shed casts, technological progress neither fulfils its purpose nor does it optimize humankind. What is ostensibly progress seems to be obsolete and paralyzing, eligible neither for an upgrade at some point nor suitable as the basis of improvement.

Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden

Surviaval Upgrade-Feet #1, 2013
Carbon-Kevlar, Resin, Realdimension, 42 29 cm
Courtesy T293 Gallery, Rom