Erika Nevia Cervo, Utile
01 June 2021
Flashback, all art is contemporary
The flashback special project Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, il Manifesto
Erika Nevia Cervo
Utile (Useful, 2020)
Inauguration Thursday, June 3rd, 6.30 p.m.
Piazza Bottesini, Turin
and live on Facebook (@flashbackfair)
The second poster of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano, il Manifesto, a project devised by Alessandro Bulgini, curated by Christian Caliandro and supported by the Flashback art fair is inaugurating in piazza Bottesini on Thursday, June 3rd at 06:30 p.m. and live on – @flashbackfair: Utile (useful) by Erika Nevia Cervo (2020).
After the laid table of senzazioni by Emanuela Caruso, which came to light at the artist’s home in Palermo in the month of March of this year, the phase we are witnessing – as narrated through the works of the winners of the call for the sixth edition of Opera Viva Barriera di Milano – is now continuing with Utile, the poster by Erika Nevia Cervo. The photograph portraits a situation that was impossible, at least in last year’s May: an orderly, outdistanced row of people in front of the lowered shutter of Multicinema Modernissimo in Naples.
Friends and acquaintances of the artist made themselves available to the development of some sort of “painting” which reproduced a condition which was unfortunately far from reality, and – therefore – of suspended normality. A network of institutions and associations (composed by artistic collective ABC, by the Nation 2.0 platform – whose headquarters are in Dubai, in the Arab Emirates – by Mincione Edizioni and by Spazio Y from Rome) invited the artist to develop a work on the concept of basic necessities.
The result is the project condensed in this image: a criticism to the rhetoric of the “primary needs goods” that characterized this year of pandemic, mainly at its initial stage: a rhetoric linked to criteria of efficiency and productivity which – by its own nature – has largely removed culture, its working realities and places.
As the artist herself states: “In the very first period of the ‘Covid era’, in full lockdown, I suffered from the basic needs diktat: a stage where the Italian government, forgetting the essential significance of the cultural production, was hurrying to give to the first aid to the industries. Amongst the darting of the police trucks, in a surprisingly deserted Naples, did I gather a small group of people (mainly actors, artists and musicians) who would stand in a row in front of a closed movie theater”.
Erika Nevia Cervo is therefore reflecting on this theme starting not only from her own artistic vision, but also from her own life experience and profession, which is linked to the theater. Thus, the row patiently waiting in front of the multiplex movie theater (with the playbills of Volevo nascondermi and Parasite, i.e. of the last pictures watched before a very long interruption, to portrait a precise historical and collective moment) renders the image of a condition that is still extremely current after exactly one year.
What these people and this image are stating is that art and culture are primary, essential goods; they are useful by definition and – as such – they should be available to everybody, at any moment.
Erika Nevia Cervo deals with the rediscovery and regeneration of the self through sculpture. The artist uses different materials and media depending on the expressive needs. She is a co-founder of studio Cervo, in the historical center of Naples. Graduated at the High School of Arts and Bachelor in Archeology and History of Art at University Federico II in Naples, Erika was selected at the call Reclaim of Cheap festival 2020, poster billposting in via Marchesana in Bologna. She won the Exibartloves Verona 2018 contest and she is the author of photograph publication “psnluci” on issue 102 of Exibart paper edition.