UNBOXING
A project curated by
Anna Donà and
Ombeline de Nombel
unboxing.curatedby@gmail.com

UNBOXING is a nomadic project of digital exhibitions that occupies the website and social networks of the Jocelyn Wolff gallery. From one chapter to the next, emerging artists – who are not part of the gallery’s usual programme – are invited to explore the potential of these platforms. Inserted in the form of Viewing Rooms, Slide Shows, Instagram Stories, Live Videos, and Zoom calls, their language/creation opens up a new, immaterial exhibition space.

 

It is not a question of using the virtual as a substitute for reality, but rather of exploiting its codes and reversing its lexicon in order to generate new interactions, reflections, and content.

UNBOXING invites the participating artists to narrate, interpret and document their work, using the digital tool, theoretically making it accessible for all time. It is up to the artists to define which clues to reveal, which packaging to choose to present the work from the screen to the gaze of the other, the unknown spectator, who is called on to pass from contemplation to inter.action.

 

UNBOXING analyses how digital technology influences the perception of an artist’s work, from the studio to the gallery, from the idea to the digital product. How do artists observe and perceive themselves, express themselves and act by means of this filter? What is the importance and value taken on by the object-work, the image of the work, the narrative, the chosen lexicon?

 

As more or less accurate sounding boards of information, social networks (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) call into question the multiple relationships that we have with the surrounding matter, with the gestures and entities that define our identity between the physical world and the digital world. The idea is to explore a porous terrain, a terrain of confluences, a terrain that challenges established roles (or otherwise). The goal is once again to use the digital medium by “sidestepping”, by analysing its impact in order to contextualise it in the face of a possible posterity.

On the website, the project becomes an archive where information branches out and proliferates. We explore the idea of an archaeology of the present, of the ruins or relics that make up our personal and collective memory.

 

Transcending the opposition between reality and virtuality, UNBOXING opens up the discussion about the use of digital technology, and its impact. The project generates new questions thanks to the reactions of artists using a medium that is never fixed, whose future we cannot predict.

Anna Donà,

Ombeline de Nombel

(trad. Juliet Powys)

Projects :
UNBOXING#1 _Yue Yuan

UNBOXING#2 _Louise Mervelet

UNBOXING#3 _Giuliana Zefferi

UNBOXING will return in February 2022, after a short break!

hosted by

UNBOXING#3
_Giuliana Zefferi

Sans hâte et sans muscle

Sans hâte et sans muscle, the third chapter of UNBOXING, presents a selection of printed images, a kind of utopian landscape where the sensitive relationship between matter, form and perception is revealed by observation. These images are part of the project Après le geste, le grand dehors. Through this project, the artist questions the form of the object/archetype, the use associated with this form, the sacralisation and reinterpretation, from the gesture that generated and used it to its current interpretation and the possibility of weaving a new story, of describing what might have been.

The matter, the object, the action that it receives, activates or evokes, the narratives that accompany creation, come together to build hybrid sites (ruins of a present in the making) and to open up potential narratives.

The models, suspended architectural landscapes from the series Près de vous, are composed of spaces-rooms partitioned and connected by openings or doors. Each room is inhabited by shapes of objects/prototypes/archetypes. We namely recognise chairs, allusions of inertia or otherwise. Their daily use provides us with clues to imagine a possible functionality. Their positioning suggests interconnections between individuals/organisms destined to inhabit these places, to share the same trouble, the same perception and experience of space.

The questioning of the object, of its use and heritage, is superimposed with the question of the transformation, transcription and appearance of the work and its materiality - by the artist - from the real to the virtual space.

In the real space, the work is designed to accompany the movement of the spectator. For UNBOXING, the image is built to accompany the movement of the eye in the image. Giuliana Zefferi transcribes the experience of the perception of the work from the real to the virtual. In addition, Giuliana Zefferi’s proposals integrate the thick temporality of the virtual space, an archive of information and potentially perpetual data, sources of new codes. 

The artist's research spans reflections on matter, assembly, permeability between multiple practices and theoretical knowledge, and a reflection on the (re)presentation of the object as a work of art and its perception by the receiver/spectator. 

The question of appearance and representation also affects the construction material of the series. To make the three sculptures, Giuliana Zefferi used papier-mâché. A bio-sourced and compostable material. Papier-mâche is also part of an historical tradition of craftsmanship (especially in Mexico, where works made of it are called “cartón piedra”- stone). It is indeed cartón piedra, since in the exhibition views, the material resembles concrete attacked by stains of colors: ruines, lichens, simple illumination, etc. Its true nature is revealed with a magnifying glass, in the detail, whereas to scale 1/1, its appearance changes, in a perennial mimicry that accompanies observation. 

The artist also transcribes this play of scales in the images of Sans hâte et sans muscle. The series shows an assembly of photographic fragments, shots of existing works and of graphic and pictorial alterations and distortions that make use of the same processes of deformation, compression, folding and polishing that its micro-architectures undergo in the space of the real.

Every passage implies a sacralisation or a change of status, the addition of a stratum of interpretation. The subject of the image remains the metamorphosed object which can (always) be a (re)composition device of another suspended space, another composition or architecture. 

The continuous play of scales, assembly and disintegration forces us to change our points of view, to jump from one platform to another, to dance/return/(re)touch and perceive the new figures that are presented to us, from the object to its image, from printing to pixel frames on a computer. 

Giuliana Zefferi’s universes generate patterns, moving like in a strings game (the game which consists of creating different shapes from a loop of string slipped between the fingers), which allows us to “stay with the trouble” described by Donna Haraway. Taking part in the game means accepting and transmitting. Accepting that the threads can create unexpected narratives and interpretations, evolve into other sensitive scenarios, or simply disappear. Transmitting one’s own experience, perception and sensations to interpret the stories and provide them with sequels. 

 

(AD + OdN, trad. JP)

photo credits for sculptures: Studio Luma

Website created and designed by UNBOXING

Program 2021-2022:


09.12, 10 a.m. : Opening of UNBOXING#3 on www.galeriewolff.com
18.12 to 19.12, 12 a.m. : 24h Instagram Story by Giuliana Zefferi
06.01, 7 p.m. : Studio vist live on Facebook,

From December to January, you were able to join an ongoing discussion with Giuliana Zefferi on WhatsApp.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Giuliana Zefferi

sans hâte et sans muscle 1, 2021

from Après le geste, le grand dehors

Lambda silver print, fujiflex paper
70 x 46 cm

edition of 5 + 2 A.P.

300. EUR incl. tax

Giuliana Zefferi  sans hâte et sans muscle 1
Giuliana Zefferi  sans hâte et sans muscle 3, 2021,  from Après le geste, le grand dehors, Lambda silver print, fujiflex paper, 70 x 46 cm

Giuliana Zefferi

sans hâte et sans muscle 3, 2021

from Après le geste, le grand dehors

Lambda silver print, fujiflex paper
70 x 46 cm

edition of 5 + 2 A.P.

300. EUR incl. tax

Giuliana Zefferi  près de vous (waiting for Apolemia), 2021, cardboard, wood and papier mâché, 137 x 81 x 24 cm

Giuliana Zefferi

près de vous (waiting for Apolemia), 2021

cardboard, wood and papier mâché
137 x 81 x 24 cm

unique

1,600. EUR incl. tax

Giuliana Zefferi, Sans hâte et sans muscle 2, 2021, from Après le geste, le grand dehors  Lambda silver print, fujiflex paper

Giuliana Zefferi

sans hâte et sans muscle 2, 2021

from Après le geste, le grand dehors

Lambda silver print, fujiflex paper
70 x 46 cm

edition of 5 + 2 A.P.

300. EUR incl. tax

Lear more about Works by Giuliana Zefferi:

​​

Après_le_geste_le_grand_dehors_1.jpg

At the heart of Giuliana Zefferi’s research is the study and identification of “ordinary” objects whose uses have been fixed since Paleolithic, at times condensing know-how and immutable gestures. The appropriation of such forms/archetypes, their transformation and modular reproduction (matter, assembly or image) will perhaps allow for the transcription of their mythologies.

In the same way, the desire is expressed to explore the notion of real or imaginary space, to retrace the functions, actions and relationships activated by a given living space, from detail to its architecture and vice versa, in a kind of archaeological excavation. In doing so, the artist also questions the status of the work of art, its process of creation, its space of appearance and representation, its perception – changeable depending the context -.

Thus, Giuliana Zefferi absorbs and translates her experiences through writing (accounts, dialogues...), through sculptural objects and installations, through printed images, videos and/or 3D figures that combine and hybridise in a perennial play of figures, scales and decompositions. 

The question of temporality is also central. These objects are relics/testimonies of that which the artist defined as uchronic pasts (u: private + chronos: time, in English, the terms uchrony or uchronia are very rarely used; the most common equivalents are alternate history or alternate world) or more simply non-times, suspended and utopian times where everything is still possible. These times converge in what Donna Haraway describes as the thick present. It is no longer a question of conceiving of time according to a linear order but of exploring its verticality, its strata. Giuliana Zefferi seeks to transcribe this concept into some of her sculptures and installations, which occupy the exhibition space, stretched, compressed or spread out, whilst disrupting the “established” perspective. 

In this thick present, layers of stories constitute a single entity without us being able to trace a relationship of cause and effect. Our past is not dead but lives in our present, our future already exists in the gestures, acts and situations that we experience. This intimate and collective condition implies the need for a cohabitation and interconnection with the organic and inorganic things that surround and compose us, within the abyss, the ruins, the (r)evolution, and the regeneration of the world. For Giuliana Zefferi, the thick present contains and involves hybridity.

It is a permaculture of elements that are close together and superimposed on each other. The compost of a land where reflections, branches and materials feed each other. The work is an object/subject that is never completed, a source of narratives that succeed each other (in their chain of words) and that arise from collaborations between the artist, the other (thinker, audience, author) and their environment. The old projects inform those to come by the reuse of forms and materials in a cyclical movement.

Giuliana Zefferi’s works are therefore informed by all those that preceded them and give their substance to the work to come, under a multiple temporality.

Giuliana Zefferi was born in 1985 in Paris. She lives and works in France (Gennevilliers).

Giuliana Zefferi materialises her research through collaborative projects, residencies and exhibitions, in France and abroad (Helsinki, Rome, Prague). In recent years, her work has been presented in places that testify to its multiformity: institutions (Palais de Tokyo - 2012), galleries (Alain Gutharc - 2015), artist-run spaces (Atelier W, Pantin - 2015-2020).

As a satellite member of the Collectif W, Giuliana Zefferi is co-developing a proposal of art library. In 2017, she began the evolutionary and participatory project Après le geste, le grand dehors, whose prologue was deployed in a personal exhibition at the Confort Mental space (Paris - 2018). Nominated for the Prix Révélation Emerige in 2020, she took part in the exhibition Un monde à votre image (Villa Emerige, Paris - 2021). The same year, her production was part of a solo show at the capsule-venue Bikini (Lyon). Currently, Giuliana Zefferi is pursuing her experiments as an artist-in-residence at the Fiminco Foundation (Romainville).

(AD + OdN, trad. JP)

Live visit of Giuliana Zefferi's studio (in French)