04 Feb 20 Mar 2021
A Piantare un Chiodo
The exhibition is part of Black History Month Florence. VI Edition. OSTINATO
You and your friends are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition.
Soft Opening: Thursday 4 February, 2 to 6 pm
Limited number of visitors to the exhibition with mask and according to the distance regulations.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 2 to 6 pm and on appointment.
photos: Ela Bialkowska /OKNOstudio
The gesture of sinking a nail in something has linguistically been tied to notions of closure, from the sealing of a casket to the finishing of a task. The labour that the gesture invokes is key in deciphering and appreciating the significance of resolution in regards to the collective histories and the intricate diasporic affinities of Afrodescendents. In this context closure is akin to the propagandist fiction of progress designed with a sense of irreversibility aimed at quelling the sparks of revolutionary thought and forms of social awakening that a lack of closure produce. A Piantare un Chiodo is the fruit of Alexis Peskine's signature works emboldening portraits of Afrodescendent people with nails as provocations, restitutions and propositions. The works are riddled with violence and a spiritual embodiment of a meticulously ritual application of nails and gold leaf to the soaked and saturated surfaces of wood. Drawing upon locally sources earth from Florence and pigments used for frescos that adorn the cities walls, the pieces bring together Florence portraits of people of African descent to reflect upon diaspora and transnational healing.
Piantare un chiodo is an Italian saying that means to settle a debt. In a moment of a heightened awareness of socio-spiritual unrest, these works place front and center the planting of nails as seeds that establish the weight of inheritance, that mark the individual while extending into a collective consciousness whose obstinacy is the price and product of Eurocentric attempts towards debt evasion.
Alexis Peskine was born in Paris in 1979. He is a 2004 Fulbright Scholar who holds a Bachelor from Howard University, and a master from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Building on his heritage and personal experiences, his artistic work - whether the large-scale nail reliefs or photographs - is particularly concerned with the Black experience and the dynamics of colonialism and migration. His work has been presented in numerous international exhibitions at, among others at ELA - Espaço Luanda Arte, Luanda, FLUP – Festa Literária das Periferias, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Somerset House, London (2019), Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, US, Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo, IT (2018), Dak'Art Biennale, Dakar (2016), The Devon House Mansion, Kingston (2015), SLP Gallery, University of San Diego, US (2014). He lives and works in Paris, France.
In collaboration with