previews

  • RYAN TRECARTIN/LIZZIE FITCH

    Fondazione Prada | Milan
    Largo Isarco 2
    April 1–August 1

    Curated by Mario Mainetti

    It’s always cause for excitement when Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, the poet-oracles and court videographers of our confused, intemperate times, release new work. This April, at Fondazione Prada, Trecartin and Fitch will debut a cycle of films they created over the past three years in Appalachian Ohio broadly focused on the subject, and concept, of land. In the aftermath of 2016’s political earthquake, when rural voters throughout the US slammed the brakes on urban cosmopolitanism, one might have expected that the entire art world, following the entire media, would storm the midwestern countryside in an effort to find out What Happened. As it turns out, Trecartin and Fitch are among the few who have bothered to peek under the hood of pastoral late modernity. (Rem Koolhaas’s recent obses-sion with cottages doesn’t count.) Perhaps that’s just as well. What other artists would we really trust to probe Net nativism in the heartland?

  • “MARIO MERZ: IGLOOS”

    Pirelli HangarBicocca
    Via Chiese 2
    October 28–February 24

    Curated by Vicente Todolí

    Between 1968 and 2003, Italian artist Mario Merz built scores of igloos from materials such as glass, clay, sand, iron, sticks, stones, and fabric. That none were made of ice indicates that he wished to explore the construction as a model for anthropological space rather than as a cultural practice. Simultaneously domus and dome—home and archetype—the igloos perform the precarious relationship between individuals and society that informs the artist’s oeuvre. While Merz was fabricating his first igloo, international interest in nonpedigreed architecture was emerging as a critique of industrial capitalism; his use of newspaper stacks or piles of produce as building blocks resonated with these postwar discourses. Bringing together more than thirty igloos in one cavernous space, this show invites us to wander through three decades of Merz’s continuous development of the form and, with its accompanying catalogue, affords new occasions for reflection on the fragile structures of contemporary society.