20 JANAURY - 3 MARCH 2007

Show curated and catalogue edited by Domenico Quaranta

On occasion of their second solo exhibition at Fabio Paris Art Gallery, and for the first time in Italy, Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.org) are to exhibit the project for which they have been awarded the Premio New York 2006.

For over a year Eva and Franco Mattes lived in the virtual world of Second Life, exploring its terrain and interacting with its peculiar inhabitants. The result of this “video game flânerie” is a series of portraits characterized by the bright colors, artificial lighting, polygonal shapes and surreal perspectives typical of virtual worlds. Overall, the series draws on the technological developments which allow the creation of alternate identities within simulated worlds.

“LOL” carries on the work that began with “13 Most Beautiful Avatars”, an exhibition project that involved the physical space of the Italian Academy in New York and the virtual space of Ars Virtua Gallery (curated by Rhizome.org), and is set to continue in February with the Mattes’ second solo exhibition at Postmasters Gallery in New York.

“LOL” features five portraits and a triptych, all dedicated to female avatars. The title of the show is an expression much used by the online community to express amusement or jollity (“Laugh Out Loud” or “Lots Of Laughs”) or as a closing greeting (“Lots Of Love”). The fact that the Mattes duo refuse to explain the meaning of this ready-made of web communications leaves it open for interpretation: an artificial language for artificial life forms? A touch of sarcasm towards attempts to interpret a work that should be assessed primarily from the aesthetic point of view? Or rather the revelation that behind the display of apparent high spirits virtual worlds conceal a profound sense of anxiety, an underlying tragedy that at times emerges from these dazzlingly beautiful faces?

On occasion of the exhibition the gallery is to publish the book “Portraits”, which explores all the stages of this work.