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Luca Granato

Luca Granato has exhibited extensively in Italy and has participated in several curated artist residencies in the region. He is an installation and performance artist who has won top awards with Regione Puglia and Searth - European Video-Art Contest in the Adriatic Lagoon. Extensive publications include interviews and press with Artuu Magazine, Iblei News, and Siracusa Press. 

With an anthropological approach, Luca explores the sociological context of our environment. The works often contain the use of cotton fabrics displayed similar to or literally like flags, usually torn and burned. These contemporary standard bearings imply chaos and destruction as seldom few of them are left intact and even the ones which are whole are smeared with grain and dust. One piece which contains clean, intact cotton standards, Places Surrendered (pictured below), does not imply surrender but in actuality resistance to repressive governments and cutthroat market ideologies. A directed project of handmade white flags constructed and hand-carved out of bamboo and white cotton placed along Maremma National Park. 

Probably the most interesting performance art out of his body of work, Hoeing the Sea (top of article), contains video of a man clothed in what looks like a hazmat suit…literally hoeing the sea. The performance has been displayed as stand alone and either integrated into an installation with pieces of debris which appear like broken up concrete with pieces of cotton attached. Indicating a relationship between humanity and nature, according to Luca the performance also contains metaphors towards the contemporary humanitarian crisis of 114 million refugees in the world, as well as persecution and human rights violations. Performing an illogical and impossible act of farming the sea as if land were there acts as a form of protest towards current world conditions. 

Returning back to the burned fabrics, these works could be interpreted as lashing out against feelings of oppression and repression. The pieces seemed to have a controlled burn as if the artist was sculpting with fire. Artworks which are intact such as Sentimental Flag (pictured above) contain mechanical traces of dirt, dust, and smeared debris. A statement made with a dirty, worn out flag with crinkles suggests the artist making a commentary on nationalism. The title even suggests the flag as a reference to nostalgia in a world increasingly becoming more associated with globalization. 

Luca Granato provides thought-provoking commentary on the purpose of art in a sociological context and presents post-minimalist qualities which can express the deepest of ruminations. With performance, video, and strategic placement, he conveys the need for discussion and creates art which exemplifies intense feelings like frustration, perhaps even rage. Intellectual and indirect, Luca gives us a presentation of the unfamiliar.

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