Federico Solmi

Thursday, August 23 – Thursday, October 26, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday August 23, 2018, 5—7PM
Free Parking in the Cherry St. garage, levels 5 & 6

The UMKC Gallery of Art is pleased to be a participant in the Open Spaces Arts Experience 2018. We will be exhibiting the work of internationally recognized artist Federico Solmi with wall-to-wall, ceiling to floor projected animations that confound the viewer with color, sound, texture and light.

The Great Farce is the most recent chapter in New York based Italian artist Federico Solmi’s unfolding investigation into the unspoken archetypal myths that provide the underpinning of nativist ideologies. Unlike most video artists, who depend on a lens-based process to create their work, Solmi repurposes the virtual architecture of video games to conjure a phantasmagoric world of whirling space, jerking movement and oscillating facades that strive to overwhelm the viewer’s visual field. Mining the contradictions and inaccuracies of historical narratives that he views as having lured their audience into a chaotic era of misinformation, Solmi takes particular aim at the society of the spectacle, whose bottomless thirst for glittering pageants of mind-numbing banality is understood by the artist to be purposefully depriving the populace of their right to the truth, thereby undermining their capacity to engage in critical reflection of the world around them.

Alongside “The Great Farce” video installation is a vitrine of artist books that hint at Solmi’s elaborate animation process. 3-D models of characters and environments are built and texture mapped with scans of hand-painted imagery. A virtual world is created within a game engine, where each scene is staged as a movie set. The characters act as puppets, animated through motion capture and computer scripts rather than strings. Solmi has compiled ten artist books that include paintings of historic myths alongside the paintings originally scanned to texture eight of his most iconic characters. By turning the pages, visitors are exposed to the tactility of traditional media that Solmi introduces to new technologies.