Christina Mackie – People Powder, JULY 20–SEPTEMBER 9, 2018

Christina Mackie
People Powder
July 20–September 9, 2018

Ex Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, Italy

People Powder, Christina Mackie’s solo show at Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti, ex Chiesa di San Francesco in Como, takes as point of departure the work Yellow Machines, one of a three-part monumental installation produced at Tate Britain, London in 2015. Reinstalled at San Francesco, Yellow Machines responds to the austere architecture of the Romanesque church with an explosion of colour and with its complex vertical structure designed to hold light gauze funnels. Solid but apparently precarious—the work appears anchored to the column only by an orange support strap—the sculpture suggests a mysterious and devoid function, as a “bachelor filtering machine”. It is precisely the themes of filtering, translation, reduction and transaction between different formats and media at the centre of Mackie's work of recent years and traverse the entire exhibition at San Francesco. Presented together with the Yellow Machines a group of computer animations, Powder People, and a series of sculptures, Plastics Thinking—created specifically for the minor aisle, the apse and the sacristy of the church—articulate the artist’s discourse on these themes. Departing from the notion of “powder people”—term used to define the optimal passage of large masses of individuals through public facilities such as subways, squares or stadiums—the video animations use a highly sophisticated technology to give back an image of channelling, cleaning and filtering processes whose abstract virtuality suggests a direct link with the dominant technologies used to control the contemporary human experience. In the apse and in the sacristy of the church there are installations composed of abrasive media and plastic regranulated materials. These are the result of the most advanced research in the field of industrial cleaning and finishing that Mackie pairs with everyday tables and plastic containers suggesting a formal and ideological continuity between futuristic research and everyday life. The church is transformed not only into an exhibition space but also into a laboratory in which the implicit and explicit connotations of the various materials, extrapolated from their function, are magnified.

Documentation by Agostino Osio.