Rero Untitled (NOT TOO FAR FROM REALITY…), MAC Bogotà, Colombia, 2016 Photo © MAC Bogotà

This Wednesday, on September 20, Wunderkammern gallery in Milan will be the venue to Rules of engagement, an interesting exhibition featuring the work of Mark Jenkins and Rero.

This is not the first time Mark Jenkins and Rero exhibit at Wunderkammern gallery being in many ways a follow-up to their individual exhibition in Rome, respectively Living Layers and Supervised Independence. In Milan, the two artists present the evolution of their artistic research in relation to the idea of rules of engagement, a set of regulations or directives issued by a military authority specifying the circumstances, conditions and limitations under which forces can engage in combat with the enemy. Simultaneously, engagement is also the formal agreement to get married. It is a word that brings together the extremes of emotions, hate and love. On the one side, it is a process that legitimizes and authorises violence and the act of killing. And on the other side, an existing relationship based on the purest of feelings is validated and made official by engagement. Building on these concepts, the artists explore the mechanisms of the formalisation of emotions in our contemporary culture. For the show a series of mixed media artworks will be exhibited, as well as some four-handed installations developed jointly by the two artists.

Mark Jenkins – Seoul, Korea, 2010 Photo © Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins ‘The painter’. Mixed media (2012)

Mark Jenkins ‘Trash girl’ Barcelona, Spain (2008) Photo ©Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins ‘Urban Toaster’. Rome, Italy (2012)

Mark Jenkins (USA, 1970) is famous for his hyperrealistic sculptures of persons, animals and objects placed in the urban space. Since the moment they are “delivered” to the street, the works start the short life-cycle which will bring them to deterioration or disappearance. The sculptures take on positions or create situations which are emblematic and surreal, transforming the public space and pushing the passers-by to become real actors, part of the artwork itself. Beyond all the reactions that can be triggered by the installations, such as fear, indifference, confusion or amusement, Mark Jenkins’ art offers an unusual occasion of reflection on social and political themes, as well as on ourselves and our behaviour within society. His work has been exhibited from New York to Barcelona, from Tokyo to Moscow; the artist has collaborated with Greenpeace in 2008 and has participated to important events such as the Nuit Blanche of Paris and the Glastonbury Festival, both in 2014.

Rero Untitled (SUPERVISED INDEPENDENCE…), Rome, Italy, 2013

Rero’s (France, 1983) work is placed in between urban art and conceptual art, and it is based on language. Influenced by sociology and philosophy, the artist reveals his message through sentences or words which are crossed by a thick black line. The line indeed defines Rero’s research on the negation of the image and on self-censorship; it acts as a contradiction and it multiplies the possible interpretations of the message by the observer. His site specific interventions, whether created in urban abandoned spaces or in natural and wild landscapes, imply a strong interaction with their context. His fine art works explore the concept of re-appropriation through the use of materials, supports and objects originally intended for something else. Rero has exhibited in important galleries and institutions, among which the Vasarely Foundation (Aix-en-Provence, 2014), the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2013), the Grand Palais (Paris, 2013) and the La Poste’s Museum (Paris, 2012).

Rero Untiled (PLEASE LIKE ME…) Vintage book covered in resin and adhesive letters (2017)

Rero Untitled (ALONE) Joshua Tree, USA (2013)

Rero Untitled (THE-INSTALLATION-FAILED…) UrbanArt Biennale Völklingen, Germany (2014)

Mark Jenkins and Rero’s exhibition Rules of Engagement opens on Wednesday, September 20, 6.30 – 9.30 pm and will run through October 28, 2017 at the gallery located on Via Ausonio 1A, Milan.
For more information join the Facebook event on: Mark Jenkins and Rero | Rules of Engagement.

Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.