UNO+UNO gallery was born in Milan in 2010, with the intent of promoting emerging artists – and allowing the development of projects devoted to Italian artists of the new generations. Artists are often invited to create site-specific installation for the exhibition space and curators, national and international, are invited to submit their exhibition projects.
For MIA fair, we are delight to present “The Obsidian Isle”, a project from english artist Gayle Chong Kwan. (born Edinburgh 1973)
‘The Obsidian Isle’ is a significant new body of work for Chong Kwan which documents a fictional island located off the coast of Scotland, Presented as an installation of large-format photographs and sculptural works, The Obsidian Isle explores ideas of collective history, national identity, landscape, and tourism through the prism of the senses and the distortion of memories. From structures that fell into dereliction after the Highland Clearances, buildings destroyed during the Second World War, places torn down to make way for new developments, or structures that collapsed due to poor construction, the island is a place where visitors are invited to remember or possibly to collectively ‘forget’. ‘The Obsidian Isle’ questions what is kept, what remains, what falls into ruin or is destroyed, what persists and how these can be altered by memories, myth or competing histories. Chong Kwan’s ‘The Obsidian Isle’ refers to a controversial literary work. Ossian, the blind 3rd century poet who was ‘discovered’ by James Macpherson in the 18th Century, he was presented to the public as the narrator and supposed author, of a cycle of epic poems. translated as fragments of ancient sources in Scots Gaelic, it aroused huge controversy and a Committee for the Highlands was set up to investigate its sources and the veracity of Macpherson’s claims. Ossian was hugely influential in the development of ideas on the Scottish landscape and the notion of national identity at home and abroad: Napoleon was said to carry a copy with him; Ingres painted the ‘Dream of Ossian’ and places inspired by and named after Ossian, such as Fingal’s Cave in Staffa, and Ossian’s Cave in Drumkeld, became major tourist attractions. ’The Obsidian Isle’ was premiered at the 54th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia 2011, and was shown as a solo exhibition at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, 2011, and will tour to Peacock Arts, Aberdeen, in 2012.
Via Ausonio, 18 – Milano
P.o. Box Via Ariberto, 19