CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium and Jizaino present

Art and intangible reality

Group exhibition

► Introductory texts
► Exhibited artworks and photo gallery
► Excerpts of the video artworks
► Catalogue
► Directions

Art and intangible reality
24 April - 15 May 2023
CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium
Corso Buenos Aires 42 11
Lavagna, Italy

Download the invitation card

Pietro Angelini • Max Breakenridge • Shanna Fliegel • Lăcră Grozăvescu • Winnie KS Hui • Veronika Krämer • Ekaterina Kuzmina • Lucas Rebelo • Ruth & Alexander • Ian Kevin Scott • Leni Smoragdova • Tom Snelgrove

Introductory texts


After a time of intense social pressures and incredible global events, that are considered prodromes or symptoms of epochal changes in the big centres of power (scientific-religious and economic-political), CTAO opens up 2023 with two essential and necessary exhibitions analysing our contemporaneity, where on one side we see the individual oppressed and controlled by a system that is always more penetrating and totalitarian, and on the other side we are urged toward horizons of an ideologic evolution of mankind, promoting an improvement of the existence (of whom it’s untold), in a future of promises as the only way out from the endured anguishes.

The first exhibition, Escapism, introduces the first pressing question of our epoch through the representation of the soul that reacts and tries to keep its human dimension, while the following, Transhumance, will analyse the perspectives promised by a system that considers human existence from a mere materialistic, productive and mechanistic point of view.

In Escapism we propose a selection of artworks that are like breaches on the real truth, that is to say windows on the reality of existence, which is not tangible or evident, but outcome of an intimate contemplation of the apparent world, of a lucid interpretation of the sensorial illusion.

Continues on the catalogue...

Art and intangible reality

Usually, escapism is a word referring to the psychoanalytical term defining those attitudes of an individual who tends to elude or ignore problems and responsibilities, lingering in the search for lightheartedness and amusement, fantasizing daydreams that takes nowhere, or for an instant gratification of the senses. But in this exhibition we want instead to subvert this commonplace whereby such behaviours would be deplorable, because they are rather necessary to the survival itself when the true deplorable behaviour is that of the oppressive system, and not the reaction of the individual. But aiming to go beyond, and against, exiting that system, we interpret the exhibition title in the most literal way, as abstraction of the noun escape, which literally refers to a flight, a break out, a jailbreak when you escape from a prison, from a constraint, from an oppressive situation, from the social greyness or from conventions, willing to break the imposed schemes and searching new perspectives, planning a complex, demanding, strenuous and even dangerous escape from conformism.

Artists are almost never conformists, but more often contrarians, not loving rules and formalities, in all of their forms, of which they prefer to become iconoclasts, thus proving their inclination to spirituality and transcendental, setting them apart from the pragmatic materialism, of which they not even consider the various rewards and small or big advantages it offers. The materialist person instead is often well integrated in the consumerist society, or yearning to be integrated, they don’t try to escape because only there they can get satisfaction to their material desires, and often they consider contemporary art a form of entertainment, that must be necessarily enjoyable.

There is even a bad habit, both in the simplistic imaginary and even in the art world (but also by some artists who exploit this preconception), outlining the artist figure as an ill-suited, a misfit, a person with psychological problems, or who is suffering for inevitable circumstances, puzzlingly problematic, even better if more lunatic than eccentric.
Maybe for the usual reasons of marketing pushing ...

Continues on the catalogue...

Exhibited artworks and photo gallery

Excerpts of the video artworks

Video summary of all the time-based artworks


Click here to ask for the catalogue on paper.

Catalogue of Escapism - Group exhibition, Italian | English, 60 pages A4 (21 × 29.7 cm)


The CON-TEMPORARY Art Observatorium exhibition room is located in the centre of Lavagna, in the midst of Riviera Ligure di Levante, northern Italy. The location is well serviced, a few steps from bus and railway stations, the touristic jetty, free 2h parking and near the highway exit. Access for impaired people and lift.

By foot, by train or bus: exiting the train station of Lavagna towards the city side, go to the left going along the main street until the Poste Italiane post office, here turn right toward Via Cristoforo Colombo street, as soon as you arrive at the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola square turn left in Corso Buenos Aires boulevard. The building n. 42 is at the start of the boulevard.
Bus stop "Lavagna - Cordeviola/Edicola" linee 704, 705, 731, 798, 846 and 934.

By boat: on the maritime line fares Portofino / Lavagna / Cinque Terre disembark at the touristic harbour of Lavagna. Exiting the harbour, turn left in Via dei Devoto street and go beyond the railway by the underpass that takes you to the Poste Italiane post office, then follow the directions above.

By car: toll road A12 E80 Genova-Livorno, exit at Lavagna, go toward the town centre. At the roundabout of Piazza Cordeviola turn right in Corso Buenos Aires and stop at the start of the boulevard, number 42 .

By airplane: the nearest airport is the Cristoforo Colombo in Genoa, the shuttle bus VOLABUS will take you to the train station of Genova Brignole, from there you can reach Lavagna in 40-60 minutes.