The installation of Tai Shani produced by the Carla Fendi Foundation and by Mahler LeWitt Studios for Spoleto64 rearranged in the London collective “The Horror Show!”

Marina Mahler – Maria Teresa Venturini Fendi – Carol LeWitt

LONDON – “The Neon Hieroglyph “ is the title of the artist’s installation British Tai Shani, winner of the Turner Prize, produced from the Carla Fendi Foundation and Mahler & LeWitt Studiosmade for Spoleto64 Festival of the Two Worlds.

The sculptural work has now been rearranged as part of the exhibition The Horror Show! A Twisted Tale of Modern Britainat the Somerset House from London, open until February 19, 2023. The exhibition explores, through the works of some of the most important and well-known exponents of contemporary art, the way in which “horror”, transcending the genre, has influenced the last 50 years of the work of the most nonconformist and rebellious British artists.

Tai Shani’s work “The Neon Hieroglyph” (exhibited for the 64th Festival dei 2Mondi in Spoleto)

The installation

The Neon Hieroglyph and the depiction of an enigmatic ghost, adorned with tears and lucky charms, originally placed in the public fountain of Piazza Mercato in Spoleto.

The installation is inspired by the artist’s research on psychedelia, feminism and myth and is part of the project The Neon Hieroglypha series of poetic reflections on the history of ergot, the fungus from which LSD is derived. Before industrial milling, ergot was sometimes grown in wheat crops across Europe. In The Neon Hieroglyph, the ergot and ghost stories it inspired create appearances of apocalyptic anxieties and utopian aspirations: pain and discord circulate through the same interconnected web of ecstasy and empathy.

It struck me that Tai’s personal story has a strong connection with Spoleto, a place where his father passed away. ” – Explains Maria Teresa Venturini Fendi. – “I also believe that the atmosphere of the Sacred Wood of Monteluco, the sanctuaries and in general the spirituality of all of Umbria, rooted in centuries of mysticism and esotericism, have widened the field and the sensitivity of his research”.

Drawing on a range of topics, including medieval mysticism, science fiction and anarcho-communism, Shani discusses the ghost as a radical and transformative figure with the ability to transcend hierarchical narratives and to propose history, culture and criticism as a continuous process of ‘transtemporal collaboration’.

To accompany the exhibition, i Mahler & LeWitt Studios posted the full conversation they commissioned between Shani and former curators in residence Hana Noorali and Lynton Talbot.

“… there are these points of contact that you can connect together, creating a story … – Says the artist – I think we live among ghosts, don’t you think? We continually live with the debris of history and the ghosts that surround us“.

A film in nine episodes

The Neon Hieroglyph it also exists as a nine-episode film. Episode 7, which refers specifically to the Umbria region, was presented in the contemporary art gallery of Palazzo Collicola Museum, as part of the exhibition project ‘Exploring Art’ conceived by the curatorial team of Guyr Robertson of Mahler & LeWitt Studios and produced by Carla Fendi Foundationmain sponsor of Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds.

The installation of Tai Shani produced by the Carla Fendi Foundation and by Mahler LeWitt Studios for Spoleto64 rearranged in the London collective “The Horror Show!” – Arte Magazine