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Dress Code by Giuseppe De Mattia @ LAVAPIU

The Third Unconscious 2022/2023

Dress Code an exhibition by Giuseppe De Mattia

8th April – 14th June 2023

curated by Celeste

Celeste is proud to announce the exhibition dedicated to artist Giuseppe De Mattia (Bari, 1980), the third act of the LAVAPIU series. De Mattia’s work, titled Dress Code, consists in a performative intervention that will be staged in occasion of the exhibition opening, Friday 7th April, 6:30 pm, at the launderette in the Gammarana neighbour of Teramo.

Retrieving some themes and modality common to his practice, De Mattia will trigger the laundrette by producing artwork that will be sold during the performance. The day before the opening, the artist will be accompanied by the curators to a local market to purchase the second hand clothes that will be used in the performance. During the opening De Mattia will wash, dry and iron the clothes in the launderette. Then he will assemble the clothes in various outfits sealed into a plastic bag. Each outfit – like De Mattia did in his work Ladri di Piastrelle [Tiles Thieves] 2022 – will be sold at an affordable price, to reaffirm the anti-elitist nature of his work.

The clothes packed by De Mattia are characters, costumes, portraits, pictures. The multiples produced do not fall precisely in the aesthetic category of ready-made, since they encompass a thorough intervention of regeneration of the object. Furthermore, the artist’s operation does not entail a de-functionalisation of the product, it does not decree the irreversible entrance of an object into the contemporary art scope lifted from its original function, because nobody forbids collectors from wearing the clothes after the purchase. The artworks originated from the performance to the local market and then in the launderette, are processed found objects, where the distinction between a work of art and goods reveals its fragility and inconsistency. The juxtaposition between artwork and wares in De Mattia’s work it is not based on the use-value of the merchandise, but rather on its symbolic value. A work of art, like any commodity, has a value because it is integrated in a system of relations and exchange.

Dress Code by Giuseppe De Mattia. Exhibition views from LAVAPIU, Teramo 2023 © Celeste.