The Olds is Lorenza Longhi’s third exhibition at the gallery, and the first in its new venue. There is a voyeurism at play, both within the works and in the system of the exhibition: a reflection on the act of looking and consuming in which the boundaries between the objects and the subjects, caught in the act of experiencing them, become blurry.
The works in the show scramble together a series of signifiers that will be familiar to those who find themselves wandering in a city: sentences borrowed from advertisements; magazine pages; packaging and garments materials; mirrored surfaces serving both as a display and as a selfie spot; short videos capturing the experience of walking through shops and their vitrines via hidden cameras, here inserted into amateur replicas of the emblematic Camelia flowers brooches, a Chanel classic. One could feel to be in Time Square, outside the Rockefeller building, in front of the vitrine of a boutique, in a department store, or inside a Zara fitting room. It is in the dynamic moment that is that of observing and at the same time being reflected into a mirrored surface that the distance between the City and the self oozes away.
If The Olds could be a reference to the unavoidable aging that affect any product, image or information as they begin their tour between circulating and being consumed, the term could also highlight Longhi’s interest in certain brands, whose success seems to depend on their ability to respond to the shocks of contemporaneity by proposing a series of classics, whose continuous update and revamping ultimately does not affect a taste and a desirability that are claimed to be timeless.
The Olds is also a reference to the production process that characterizes the artist’s practice, which often involves the reuse of materials and objects removed from the obsolescence to which they have been set to once they fail the promises of newness and efficiency. It is in the process itself that the idea of the Standard, usually conceived both as a serialized system and a parameter that sets the goals by which the products and their performance are judged, becomes a space to be claimed and hacked: a set of rules to renegotiate so that within repetition differences can emerge. The same old news.
Lorenza Longhi (b. 1991, Lecco, IT, lives in Zürich) studied at Brera Academy of Fine Arts and at ECAL in Lausanne.
She has exhibited widely throughout Europe, including solo shows at Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich; Ordet, Milan; Weiss Falk, Basel; Bungalow, Berlin; Fanta-MLN, Milan; and Plymouth Rock, Zürich. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Macro, Rome; Fondazione Prada, Venice; Kunsverein Bielefeld, Bielefeld; Kunsthalle Zürich; Quadriennale di Roma, Rome; Villa Vassilieff, Paris; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin. In Milan, she was a co-founder of Armada (2014-2018) and in Zürich she is guest professor in the Fine Arts Master department at ZhDK. In 2020 she received the Shizuko Yoshikawa Advanced Award for Young Women Artists and the Swiss Emerging Artist Prize 2020 by Societe Generale. In 2021 she was Artist in Residence at the Swiss Institute, New York. In 2022 she was among the winners of the International Sculpture Prize, by Fondazione Henraux.