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Pizza! Siemen Van Gaubergen uses Italy's favorite dish to question symbols of national identity, origin myths, and authorship.
In his practice, Belgian visual artist Siemen Van Gaubergen investigates contemporary visual culture and the way in which we understand images. Narratives of all kind form the multilayered background against which his images take shape.
In his solo exhibition at STUK he presents a new book and six new paintings alluding to questions related to symbols of national identity, origin myths, and authorship.
-Crête rouge (bien formée)
-Pattes bleues (teint légèrement bleuâtre)
In 1889 the sovereigns of Italy, Umberto I and Margaretha, visited the city of Naples. During this visit the court invited the then renowned pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito to prepare a meal for the sovereigns. Esposito prepared three pizzas. One was dedicated to the queen, made with red tomato sauce, white mozzarella and green basil referring to the national colors of the newly formed nation.
“…the Brandi brothers, in the midst of the Great Depression, desperate to raise their pizzeria’s visibility, decide to bend a “family myth” to their advantage. They somehow find the name of Camillo Galli, decide on a plausible date, and have a believable (though not terribly accurate) facsimile of the royal seal made in rubber. Some old paper and a pen (an error here too in not using a fountain pen), exaggeratedly elegant script, and a forgery is made.”
In the 13th century a new method was developed in Fabriano, a prosperous city known for its high quality paper production. The new method was watermarking and involved applying an identifying image or pattern in paper. It mainly served as a tool to identify sizes, mill trademarks and to determine the quality of the paper.
Siemen Van Gaubergen
°1991, Leuven, Belgium
In his practice, Siemen Van Gaubergen investigates contemporary visual culture and the way in which we understand images. Narratives of all kind form the multilayered background against which his images take shape. In the creation of his work, he additionally makes use of existing or newly created photographs, videostills, instruction sheets, language and graphic signs. The result is often complex, and demands to be viewed and reviewed, deciphered. Siemen Van Gaubergen received a Master in Graphic Storytelling from LUCA School of Arts, Brussels. He resides in the Cas-co studios in Leuven since 2018.
Since the Fall of 2017, Cas-co and STUK work together on a presentation platform for visual artists whereby the work of Cas-co residents (N+1 & STUDIO) is on view in STUKcafé in a series of curated solo presentations.