January 21, 2008 - Portikus - It’s a Cocktail Party
January 21, 2008

It’s a Cocktail Party

Paola Pivi, It’s a Cocktail Party, 2007
Prototype for Installation

Paola Pivi
It’s a Cocktail Party

Opening: January 25, 2008, 8 pm
Exhibition on view: January 26 – March 9, 2008
Press conversation: January 25, 2008, 11 am


In its first exhibition of the new year, the Portikus is showing a spectacular spatial installation by Italian artist Paola Pivi (b. Milan 1971). The show was developed specifically for the exhibition space at the Portikus. Nine objects made of polished steel are on view, each consisting of 16-feet-tall pipe, a pump, and a basin. In each installation, a fluid is circulating continuously. The fluids, including red wine, liquid soap, olive oil, ink, and coffee, drop in one massive jet from the pipe’s opening into the basin; given the extreme total height of the installation, they drop straight down as much as ten feet. The structure as a whole, then, is a rather impressive spatial installation, radiating massive power. Pivi has a reputation for realizing large-scale projects that highlight absurd aspects of our everyday world, confronting the viewer with unanticipated and spectacular situations. Her works place well-known objects in unusual contexts, imparting to them a modified meaning and function, thus exhibiting cultural and social conventions. Paola Pivi realizes conceptions and ideas of structures the viewer would not ordinarily get to see. The spectacular is here balanced with a certain Romantic notion of an inversion of all things. During the past few years, Pivi has been represented at important international group shows such as the 1999 and 2003 Venice biennials. In early 2007, Paola Pivi first presented her work in the German-speaking world with a major solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel.

Lecture by Paola Pivi

January 24, 2008, 7 pm
at Städelschule Academy Frankfurt
Sculptural Department
Daimlerstrasse 32-36, D-60314 Frankfurt

Director: Daniel Birnbaum
Curator: Melanie Ohnemus

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