At Any Cost is the title of artist Carla Viparelli exhibition at the L.A Artcore Brewery Annex. The electrifying and provocative title puts the perils faced by migrants from the global south who seek refuge and a better life in rich countries situate in the global north. This exhibition at the Brewery Annex ends her four month residency in Los Angeles California. Viparelli’s multidisciplinary career extends from a Master in philosophy from Naples University in Italy to international art workshops around the world.
At Any Cost originally began as a video Installation which later turned into painted canvases. The exodus and departure from the global south is best depicted by Viparelli’s archeological approach of unearthing to rediscover and reveal an old and ancient practice by all prior cultures and civilizations; migration.
Viparelli’ series touches on three aspects of her exhibition, The Myth, The History and The Present by simulating ancient fragments of Roman clay pottery as her springboard to an open conversation on today’s migration. The juxtaposition between pottery fragments decorated with ancient pictorial patterns along silhouettes of children, men and women exposes the search and journey of migrants in a state of uncertainty. There is an ambiguity as to how immigrants are viewed, either with suspicion,apprehensiveness or with a benevolent gaze. Viparelli seeks to reveal embedded myths and stereotypes. Through this metaphor Viparelli draws a closer examination via the arts on a heated subject that is often demonized and misunderstood.
Her animated video installation projects a shadow of a voyaging ship onto the bottom surface of what simulates the base of an ocean floor. The shadows cast rowing arms thrusting across a body of water with fragments of scattered clay pottery. The faceless images of unknown people are stamped by the magnifying sun at the very bottom of an ocean. Viparelli brings to light the concealed and invisible faces in search of a landing they can call home.
Viparelli’s work is active and an engaging philosophical dialogue that attempts to piece together a fragmented narrative between western perceptions of otherness and the contributing colonial factors that have more than often impeded the global south its own self determination. This exhibition is an interdisciplinary act that questions current world affairs and its collective responsibility to bring to evidence the push and pull factors that have forced thousands to flee their home.
It is a timely exhibition during xenophobic reactions in Europe with the arrival of migrants and refuges from the Middle East and Africa, and anti-immigrant legislation in the United States with the building of a wall along the border between The United States and Mexico. Viparelli’s art is a sensitive response to an urgent historical moment that seeks to make sense of it all.