Christina Mackie filters a deconsecrated church through in Como

In the frugal spaces of the former church, the exhibition “People Powder” brings together three large works, including two unpublished.

Christina Mackie, "People Powder", veduta della mostra, Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, 2018

From July 2 to 25, the English artist Christina Mackie was invited by the Ratti Foundation in Como to become the tutor and visiting professor of CSAV – Artists Research Laboratory, in its XXIV edition. A full-immersive course based on the topic How to Begin. Eighteen young artists from different countries worldwide, selected from over three hundred applications, attended to the workshop, directed by Annie Ratti with Lorenzo Benedetti and Gregorio Magnani.

About one week before the end’s course, on 19 July, Christina Mackie opened, as usual (a sort of a tradition for each masters involved in the Laboratory) a solo show, a condensed art path set in the essential Romanesque church of San Francesco in Como. Under the title People Powder (term used to define the optimal passage of large masses crowds through public structures such as subways, squares or stadiums), the exhibition surveys some extended interventions introducing an extensive sampling of practices and methodologies, compared to the exhibition the artist held in 2015 at the Tate Gallery in London. The exhibitions boasts three components, three artistic interventions, including Yellow Machine: a complex filtering lattice, with a yellow metal section and a mechanical symbolical-filtering system. This work represents the main interpreting key, laying beyond whole of the exhibition. Indeed “People Powder” draws its inspiration from only one of the three large works, perfectly installed in the ancient spaces.

Entering, the narrow left aisle, sectioned by four pointed arches, highlights exactly four animations, projected on each intermezzo’s pediments. The projections are realized thanks to a highly sophisticated technology underlining processes and shapes – while taking forms in motion- and thanks to several abrasive preforms. Thousands of hyper-coloured stones, the preforms are obtained with special polyester resins and feature a peculiar design, shaped in order to increase their performance and therefore to reduce the total used amount. In addition, the heat treatment carried out in the production process is due to guarantee perfect resins’ polymerisation, giving an ideal cutting quality and consumptions. The abrasive preforms animations embody the volumes composed of abrasive powders,  such as silicon carbide. A matter allowing to reduce the work cycles, to decrease the quantity of solid parts in suspension and to constitute a decisive factor in the pollution lowering process.

This kind of digital research on materials and volumes accompanies small analogical heaps of preforms, placed on the ground, on the floor of the central apse, collected by colour (yellow, ochre, blue, red and pink). A few meters away, near the right aisle, Yellow Machine responds to the austere architecture of the Romanesque church. The themes of filtering, translation, reduction and transaction between different formats and media, indeed, gets along “People Powder” till its own end. With a series of sculptures, titled Plastics Thinking, the solo show introduces a final declination conceived for the different issues raised in the setting project. The church in Como looks like transformed not only into an exhibition space but also into a laboratory in which the implicit and explicit connotations of the various materials, unburden from their function, are amplified.

Img.12 Christina Mackie, "People Powder", exhibition view, San Francesco Church, Como, 2018
Christina Mackie, "People Powder", exhibition view, San Francesco Church, Como, 2018
Exhibition title:
People Powder
Curated by:
Lorenzo Benedetti
Opening dates:
until 9 September 2018
San Francesco Church
viale Lorenzo Spallino 1, Como
On the occasion of:
XXIV CSAV – Artists’ Research Laboratory

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