In its first exhibition of the new year, the Portikus is showing a spectacular spatial installation by Italian artist Paola Pivi (b. Milan 1971). The show was developed specifically for the exhibition space at the Portikus. Nine objects made of polished steel are on view, each consisting of 16-feet-tall pipe, a pump, and a basin. In each installation, a fluid is circulating continuously. The fluids - red wine, almond sirup, glycerine, black ink, olive oil, espresso, water, facial tonic, woodruff sirup - drop in one massive jet from the 5 inches pipes opening into the basin; given the extreme total height of the installation, they vigorously fall straight down with loud turbulence. The structure as a whole, then, is a rather impressive spatial installation, radiating massive power. Pivi has a reputation for realizing large-scale projects that highlight absurd aspects of our everyday world, confronting the viewer with unanticipated and spectacular situations. Her works place well-known objects in unusual contexts, imparting to them a modified meaning and function, thus exhibiting cultural and social conventions. Paola Pivi realizes conceptions and ideas of structures the viewer would not ordinarily get to see. The spectacular is here balanced with a certain Romantic notion of an inversion of all things. During the past few years, Pivi has been represented at important international group shows such as the 1999 and 2003 Venice biennials. In early 2007, Paola Pivi first presented her work in the German-speaking world with a major solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel.

With generous support from: Illy, Regenponcho.com, Dokumental and Provide.

Curated by: Melanie Ohnemus
Photo: Katrin Schilling