Igor Eškinja. “The Day After”

Marco Tagliafierro, ARTFORUM, November 18, 2011

he works in Igor Eškinja’s current solo show, “The Day After,” evoke an impressive postindustrial building in Milan that long ago housed the Officine Meccaniche Riva Calzoni factory, and was more recently the home of the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. This past October, the Croatian artist was scheduled to have an exhibition in the project room of the latter institution––an installation and a series of large-scale photographs depicting ephemeral, site-specific pieces in the space. Viewers were not intended to have direct access to the installation; on the light-gray floor of the Fondazione, Eškinja had created wavelike drawings from the black detritus produced by the casting of metals in the factory. These drawings represented a pitch-colored sea; they were meant to recall the water used in the factories of old Milan. Yet the exhibition never occurred, as the Fondazione shut down in September. What remained, in addition to the photographs, were two videos Eškinja made as documentation of his drawings. Those permanent works, which were meant to celebrate the history of the site, would have become part of the history of the building itself.

Here, Eškinja revives the work he had created for the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. Two projectors transmit videos of the artist sweeping the dust in the old project room, immortalizing his activity. The result is a meditation on monumentality and a dramatic restructuring of the energies that it can entail. A few images of the mysterious installation of black debris round out the show.