Rurale, 2021, installation view: Guido Costa Projects, Turin

Hilario Isola

6 November 2021 - 14 February 2022

Hilario Isola’s exhibition Rurale will open at the gallery at 6 pm on Saturday 6 November 2021. Rurale brings together some exemplary pieces the artist has been working for some years. Taken from a larger oeuvre, this selection offers a reflection on the complex relationships between contemporary agriculture and ecosystems. These apparently neutral but at the same time highly symbolic images document intensive farming techniques and exploitation of soil and natural resources. Such images have become an integral part of our mental landscape, begging the question: does familiarity with such images mask genuine environmental damage and possible apocalyptic scenarios at work, some of which are now irreversible? To answer the question Hilario Isola has probed the darker, neoteric side of farmed landscapes: mechanical irrigation systems that wash the soil clean of nutrients; huge feed silos that tower over intensive livestock farms, and plagues of infesting parasites that have come down to us like globalised tourists, in some ways the fruit of high-tech greenhouses and ultra-modern automation projects. Doing so the artist grafts modern materials such as anti-hail netting into the work, overlapping, and layering it to create poetic three-dimensional, floating images that recall ancient engravings. The bold impact of such images is mitigated by the lightness of touch found in the short videos accompanying the exhibition that blend rural actionism and sound installation. The result is an extremely distilled and elegant exhibition, at the same time profound and disturbing; the latest chapter in an artistic itinerary that has been exploring the natural world, its offshoots, and age-old agricultural practices cleverly and inventively for many years.
Rurale by Hilario Isola will remain open to the public, by appointment only, until 14 February 2022.

Hilario Isola approaches concepts and elements in nature in a manner that appeal to, and reflect on, their intrinsic existence and properties. Working primarily with installation, drawing and sculpture, Isola creates delicate, often visually subtle compositions engaging with primary materials and poetic notions, responding directly to their immediate landscape and environment, or any particular exhibition space. Taking the ritualistic aspects of the exhibition as an object in itself, he has worked to change the paradigm of this encounter, questioning the boundaries of this artistic manifestation - spectator dynamic experience. Intrinsic to Isola’s practice is the notion of getting to the heart of the object or substance: living systems, photographs, drawings, music are distilled to their purest state, lulling the viewer into an uncontaminated line of thinking only to then flip that original thought and organically allow room for another. In recent years through a systematic process of observation and immersion, Isola has created self-generating systems, including living entities and artefacts, in which emergence and rhythm are indeterminate and exist beyond our corporeal existence. Engaging with, and subtly intervening in nature so as to reimagine it in artificial terms, Isola finds ever new ways to mark the persistence of biological life, harmonising elemental occurrences in terms of his own artistic drive. Coral systems, wine vineyards, hybrid honey, fermented fruit pigments, sounds of biological life regenerating. In each work, he reveals the innate textural and structural qualities of such natural elements—many of which emerge from his own agronomy—exposing the deep patterns of growth and time.

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Hilario Isola has presented his work in Italy and abroad in shows at public and private institutions : NMNM, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Montecarlo; Art in General, NYC; Artists Space, NYC; Sculpture Center, NYC; CCA, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Museion, Bolzano; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa, Venezia; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino; GAM, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino; MuCEM, Musée des civilisation de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille.
This is his second exhibition at Guido Costa Projects.

Thanks to Enrico Ascoli for his precious collaboration.