Quayola

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Davide Quayola is a visual artist and digital art pioneer from Rome. Currently working out of London, Quayola explores the complex relationship between form and space, innovation and tradition, and the figurative and the abstract. His practice spans photography, performance, drawing and software programming. Whether moving or still images, Quayola’s pieces challenge notions of intellectual property and historical value.

Quayola has presented a solo show, Captives, at The Sculpture Factory in Eindhoven, Holland, where he and a selection of other leading names involved in the Transmaterials programme explores how digital fabrication technologies, such as lasers and 3D printers, create new possibilities for rendering the abstract in physical space. Captives consistes of a series of virtual and physical sculptures based around Michelangelo’s Prigioni.

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captives13_600 Images: Captives, Sculpture Factory Exhibition, MU Gallery, Eindhoven.

As a modern interrogation of the classical artist’s idea of “non-finito”, the work explores the tensions between mechanical perfection and human creativity. Quayola’s vision was turned into a tactile reality through the use of a complex collection of programming techniques, that involved using robotically operated machines and computer-generated geometrical formations.

Often enigmatic and layered with meanings, Quayola’s installations have become synonymous with a playful use of existing art. Pieces such as his Strata series, which took the Vatican as a subject matter and raw material, show Quayola putting the present into conversation with the archives by colliding digital technology with classical paintings. Strata saw Quayola use footage that he had shot in some of the Vatican’s most vaunted sites in a creative visual collage. Stripped of their cultural baggage and the weight of their religious significance, Quayola’s collaborative re-appropriation of ancient masterpieces with sound artists including Mira Calix and Autobam, forces the audience to confront established pieces in a new way.

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Strata 4_600 Images: Strata #4 – Process.

Similar themes were explored in Quayola’s audiovisual installation Forms, a collaboration with London-based musician, artist and engineer Memo Akten. Inspired by the art of Eadweard Muybridge, Marcel Duchamp and the cubist movement, Forms investigated the unseen forces underpinning athletic feats and human motion. Footage of the Commonwealth Games was deconstructed and repurposed, to make a multi-screen artwork that investigated the invisible processes behind an athlete’s movement. Divested of context, and removed from its role as competitive spectacle, the athlete’s performance was shown with a strict focus on the aesthetic and mechanical. Both haunting and thought-provoking, the resulting work was the recipient of the prestigious Golden Nica for animation in the 2013 Prix Ars Electronica.

Screen-shot-2012-09-19-at-10.34.39-e1348047459271 Image: Forms by Davide Quayola & Memo Atken. Production Company Nexus Interactive Arts.

Quayola’s first solo exhibitions were at Young Projects gallery, Los Angeles and Bitforms, New York, during spring 2012. Since then, he has shown extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, and has also recently been a keynote speaker at Redefining Animation at USC in LA, as well as featuring at the Venice Biennale, La Gaite Lyrique, Paris, and partaking in a group exhibit at the V&A in London. Last year also saw Quayola as part of the bill of Plugin, Istanbul, and Sonar Festival in Barcelona.

Whether using extant artifacts to sculpt something new, or projecting a video-based vision of the future, Quayola’s work remains shot through with innovation and originality. Make sure you don’t miss seeing this unique talent in person, as Davide Quayola comes to Alpha-ville EXCHANGE on January 17, in a compelling headline presentation, to explain his inimitable creative process and talk about his new work. Get your tickets now!