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Friday, April 01, 2011

La Tempestad from Mexico for Every Website is a Monument

Suddendly, a set of iconic monuments sprouted up all over Milan, occupying all kinds of public spaces, from central squares and parks to anonymous roundabouts. If no heated public controversy ensued is because Greek artist Angelo Plessas built his urban parade of sculptures only in cyberspace - his habitual platform for artmaking. "But nowadays, is there any space which is more public, open, crowded and controversial than the Net?" he asks. Plessas went on a digital flânerie on Google Street Views, starting from the Duomo and ending in the suburbs, and decided to place his "offline monuments" in all the terrain vagues he came across and liked. 

The works have ironic, self-reflecting titles (MeLookingAtYou.Com, ZigZagPhilosophy.Com, DoubleFaced.Com) which correspond to real interactive websites created by Plessas over the last decade (, but also seem to target the cliché of artists's expanded ego and colossal narcissism. At Gloria Maria Gallery, Plessas presented a series of twelve framed "Milanese postcards", together with a videoprojection of his latest Flash Player animation, and a large wooden version of another digital monument, titled The Monument to an Online Persona. Seen all together, the "snapshots" revealed the anthropomorphic profile of a face in each structure, maybe to recall that icons and emoticons have become our ordinary means for communicating emotions and sharing memories, in alternative to words. Or maybe to rhetorical monuments. 

Barbara Casavecchia

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