INLOCO Gallery
by Filippo Minelli
February 28 – June 15, 2024

The Idealised City


A highlight of the new InLoco Open Storage is the first UAE multidisciplinary solo project and site-specific intervention by contemporary artist Filippo Minelli “The Idealised City” is an interdisciplinary research project related to the study and artistic interpretation of the ubiquitous identities and landscapes that form in the post-globalist era. The exhibition's title refers to the concept of the “Ideal city” by Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472), which posits the idea that cities should be designed with specialized architecture for each population segment. In this theoretical framework, a person identifies themselves most strongly through their relationship to their landscape.
In the contemporary world, as people move from place to place, architecture and historical artefacts cease to play a key role in shaping the identity of a place. Modern attitudes to the urban environment refer often to the heritage of Bedouin traditions — specifically nomadism — which is characterized by the absence of a deep connection with permanent architecture, and the presence of constant movement, mutability, impermanence, and multiculturalism. This way of life is reminiscent of the ancient theory of the “Virtuous City” (al-Madinat al-Fadilah) by the Eastern thinker Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi (870-950), who turned to more fluid concepts of building cities that are not necessarily tied to the historical past but rather can adapt according to the times.
Drawing inspiration from these ideas, the main visual language of the exhibition takes the form of universal renderings and stock images, which act as a symbol of constant transformation and movement towards the ideal and which, nevertheless, can be found in any international landscape — natural or digital.

The Idealised City is about how similar we are wherever we are. It questions authenticity, the boundaries between reality and fiction, the meaning of photography, and the function of images in the digital age. The exhibition consists of an outdoor installation, photographs, videos, paintings, and sculptural elements, combined to give the viewer an immersive gallery experience, expanding into a digital format through playful interactions within the Metaverse.

For the occasion, the artist developed a kaleidoscopic production with a variety of mediums, but keeping a focus on the contemporary landscape as a way to translate anthropologic processes, as he often operates.
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“I work analysing and interacting with landscape, and I’m very interested in the relation between landscape and identity, and human practices within spaces and aesthetics”.

Filippo Minelli, born in Italy in 1983, is an internationally recognized contemporary artist known for his deep exploration and research into the contemporary landscape and its cultural dynamics. He creates engaging installations and performances, which are extensively documented through photography and video. His artistic focus is primarily on liminal spaces and geographic areas in the post-globalization world. Part of his research and works realities to the landscapes of the UAE were created during 3 months at Al Hamriyah Studios SAF. Throughout his career, he has participated in numerous key art events, including MANIFESTA12 at the Palazzo Ajutamicristo in Palermo, Italy as well as in PREVIEW and group shows at Artspace Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, UAE. His involvement in these events highlights his significant role in shaping the contemporary art landscape.

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